Roc Nation’s Willow Smith has revealed that late rapper Tupac Shakur, who was also a close friend of her mother Jada Pinkett-Smith, is one of her favorite hip-hop artists.
According to Willow, Pac ranks in her favorites list alongside pop senstations like Beyonce and Lady Gaga.
Willow Smith became a fan of Tupac through her mother, Jada Pinkett-Smith, who was best friends with the rapper since they met in Baltimore, where Tupac attended theater classes early in his career. During an interview with Nnette on Madd Hatta‘s morning show, on 97.9 The Box in Houston, Willow Smith detailed her love for Tupac, as well as other musicians. “He was my mom’s his best friend,” said Willow, who added that she was fan of Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Billy Idol, B.O.B. and Eminem, although she labeled Tupac as her favorite. (All Hip Hop)
Willow’s Roc Nation boss, Jay-Z, also recently named Pac as one of his personal favorite emcees of all-time.
“I guess I would choose B.I.G. [as one of my favorites] because of his ability to tell stories to be humorous, to be dead serious, he just had it all,” Jay said. “Just [B.I.G.’s] voice alone. I would choose Pac because his fire will overcome, what he doesn’t have in technical skills will be overcome by passion. If you listen to that ‘Tunnel’ [freestyle] verse where B.I.G. is saying ‘MC Hammer and them 357 women’ and then you hear how [Pac] comes on, he just screams on the track, his passion could put a lot of guys to sleep. I guess Kool G Rap and KRS-One would be on there…” (YouTube)
Over the summer, it was announced that Pac’s 1990’s song “Dear Mama” would be added to the Library of Congress.
The rapper’s 1994 song “Dear Mama,” about a mother struggling with poverty and addiction, was selected for the 2009 National Recording Registry for its cultural significance, alongside works by Willie Nelson, Little Richard, Patti Smith and R.E.M.. Tupac is the third rapper to be included, following Grandmaster Flashand Public Enemy. (Washington Post)
Pac’s legacy will reportedly carry on in a forthcoming biopic by Training Day director Antoine Fuqua.
“It looks like we’re doing Tupac Shakur’s movie next in September, that’s what I’ve been starting up and working on now,” Fuqua said in a summer 2010 interview. “I’ve been working on that for a while with Morgan Creek and Jim Robinson. I just got the greenlight from him and we’re going in September. I’ve just started to prep that.” Fuqua added that he is hoping to find an unknown actor to portray the iconic hip-hop star, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996. “That’s the goal, I want to discover someone new,” he explained. “I want to discover a lot of new people if I can. Obviously I’m going to have to put some people in it that you know, just because actors have different skills. I want to go to the streets and find him anywhere he might be in the world.” (Digital Spy)
Check out a past Tupac Shakur interview down below: