On Friday, April 7, West Coast rap legend Tupac Shakur was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.Accepting the honor on his behalf was none other than fellow rapper and former Death Row Records label mate, Snoop Dogg, who appeared on one of Pac’s final releases, “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted,” prior to his death.
Musical tributes included performances by T.I. Snoop, Alicia Keys and Treach.
Arguably the highlight of the night was Snoop’s stirring acceptance speech, during which he dubbed Pac “one of the greatest musicians to ever do it,” despite dying at 25. Keep reading for an excerpt from Snoop’s emotional tribute, per Rolling Stone.
“I can’t believe it’s been 21-years since we actually got to hear Tupac, not the one clip on YouTube, not the hologram, Tupac Amaru Shakur the human being. Twenty-one years ago, Tupac Shakur was taken from all of us. He was only twenty-five years old, too. Dare me to say that he was gone too soon. When I sat down to gather my thoughts about my late and great, my homie and my brother there’s one thought that kept coming back: Tupac was actually really good,” Snoop began. “While many remember him now as some kind of thugged out superhero, Tupac really was only good and he represented through his music like no one before. It’s the fact that he never shied away from it. He wore it like a badge of honor. With an unapologetic voice, Pac embraced those contradictions that proved we ain’t just a character out of someone else’s storybook. To be human is to be many things at once. Strong and bold. Hard headed and intellectual. Courageous and afraid. Loving and vengeful. Revolutionary and — oh, yeah I’m getting f–ed up,” he continued of the late rapper’s impact.
Of the bond he and Shakur shared, Snoop said: “But to me, Tupac was first and foremost a homeboy. We shared a whole lot in common. The way our journey started together. We were both born in the same [neighborhood in] ’71. He released his first single track from his scorcher first album 2pacalypse Now in late 1991. Not even a year later I would make my debut alongside Dr. Dre on the song, ‘G Thang.’ I finally got a chance to meet Pac in 1993 at a wrap party in L.A. And on that night, Pac passed me my first blunt. That’s right, Tupac is the one that got Snoop Dogg smoking weed. I was a zig-zag man before that s—. We became very good friends quickly thereafter.”
Later on, the rapper revealed that despite Pac’s “thugged out” brand, he was a lover. “When he loves, he loves hard. Whether that was him loving Black people, him loving his homies, him loving his record label, and, of course, him loving his beautiful and incredibly strong mother, the late Afeni Shakur.”