The "King Kunta" rapper penned an open letter to his hero, posted to Pac's official site, describing the time he first saw him in person, at the Compton Swap Meet during the filming of his "California Love" music video.
"I was 8 yrs old when I first saw you. I couldn't describe how I felt at that moment. So many emotions. Full of excitement. Full of joy and eagerness. 20 yrs later I understand exactly what that feeling was. INSPIRED," Lamar writes. "The people that you touched on that small intersection changed lives forever. I told myself I wanted to be a voice for man one day. Whoever knew I was speaking out loud for u to listen. Thank you, K.L."
Pac's influence on Lamar runs deep. He would later shoot a scene at that same swap meet for his "King Kunta" music video, a clear nod to his idol. And the final track of his critically-revered album To Pimp a Butterfly, "A Mortal Man," is built around a fictional conversation between him and Shakur, with Lamar saying, "Being one of your offspring of the legacy you left behind I can truly tell you that there's nothing but turmoil goin' on..."
Watch: California Love: Remembering Tupac in the Music News video below.
BET.com is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.