As the 15th anniversary of Tupac Shakur‘s death approaches next month, Run-DMC’s DMC has reflected on what the music mogul’s legacy means to him.
In DMC’s eyes, Pac should be considered nothing less than a gifted emcee.
“Tupac is incredible. The reason why Tupac is a genius is because he could curse Biggie out in a minute, but he’s powerful because on the very next song [could be a] ‘Brenda Had a Baby’ or ‘Dear Mama.’ Tupac is like Treach. Treach and Tupac were good because when Treach and Tupac stepped to that mic, they made incredible records. They wrote life-giving, inspirational records. Tupac is from the same chromosome and DNA as Melle Mel and Afrika Bambaaataa. Yeah, we street, yeah, we out here with the homies, yeah, we trying to survive, but when we step to that mic, when we open our mouth, shocked us, the hip-hop culture people.” (XXL Mag)
The hip-hop pioneer also credited Pac’s ability to switch up his flow and sound for earning him a spot amongst the greats.
“The world at large looked at a Pac or Melle Mel or Afrika Bambaaataaa and Zulu Nation, at Treach and go ‘I can’t believe this is coming out of that young man!’ That’s powerful! That’s what Pac records represent. He could curse you out, he could make the party record, he could throw his money up in the air, but in the very next breath he could make a ‘Brenda Had a Baby’ or ‘Keep Your Head Up.’ That’s power. That’s a leader. We need more of that.” (XXL Mag)
Earlier this year, New York rapper 50 Cent said he would opt to work with Pac over B.I.G. and others if given an opportunity to record with a late emcee.
“2 pac RT @Crazy4_KStew: @50cent if u could collaborate with any rapper that has died and make a song who would it be?,” 50 tweeted Monday (February 28). (50 Cent’s Twitter)
Southern rapper David Banner previously talked to SOHH about imagining Tupac living today.
“I think if Pac was here, hip-hop would have more of a voice in what’s going on in this election,” said Mississippi rapper, David Banner. “I think Tupac would be one of the people that could rally young people together. He’s one of the few artists that would’ve been able to take his fame and actually be able to focus that to somewhere positive.” (SOHH)
Tupac Shakur died on September 13, 1996.
Check out some past Tupac Shakur footage below: