It's always great to hear of artists paying their respect to other artists, especially when the artists in question happen to be two of their genre's most heralded and successful. Case in point, Eminem penning this letter to Afeni Shakur, mother of the legendary Tupac. Not only does Marshall pay tribute in writing, detailing his massive amount of respect for the late emcee, he also shows off his sketching abilities with a very impressive sketch of Pac himself (via Vibe).
Em has touched on Tupac's influence on his career many times - he also played a major part in the soundtrack for the 2003 documentary Tupac: Resurrection and this letter and drawing appeared in the 2008 book Tupac Remembered - so this is far from breaking news, but it's never too late to be reminded of the power that Pac's music had on the world and on other world-changing rappers.
He refers to Afeni as a "true Queen" and her son the true definition of a "Soldier," thanking her for the opportunities she's given him throughout his career, going on to say, "When I was feeling at my 'worst' (before fame, before Dre), I knew I could put that 'Tupac' tape in and, suddenly, things weren't so bad. He gave me the courage to stand up and say, 'F**k the world! This is who I am! And if you don't like it, go f**k yourself!" Wise words indeed, and it's always powerful to hear what inspired someone who has inspired so many in their own right.
Plus, it turns out Em is one hell of a sketch artist. How did I not know this before?
Both the letter and the sketch are on display at the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, GA. Remember kids, respect your elders, even if you're one of the biggest celebrities in the world.