Kendrick Lamar used one of Tupac Shakur’s rare interviews to simulate a conversation with the hip-hop icon on his new album.
Tracks from the Swimming Pools hitmaker’s much-anticipated album To Pimp A Butterfly were accidentally posted online on Sunday, one week prior to the disc’s scheduled release date.
Bosses at iTunes, Google Play and Spotify took down the album, but later made the record available for fans to download.
Among the tracks of interest is the closing song Mortal Man, which samples audio from a rare 1994 interview between Shakur and the host of a Swedish radio show. The discussion occurred just two weeks before the rapper was robbed and shot five times outside a recording studio in New York City.
Lamar’s 12-minute song begins with verses about devotion, power, and spiritual enlightenment, and then goes into his “question and answer session” with Shakur.
The two “discuss” fame and classism, and the life cycle of a black man’s power in America, to which Shakur says, “Once you turn 30 it’s like they take the heart and soul out of a man, out of a black man in this country. And you don’t wanna fight no more. And if you don’t believe me you can look around, you don’t see no loudmouth 30-year-old motherf**ers.”
Lamar goes on to note that the current state of the U.S. has “nothing but turmoil going on,” and asks Shakur what he thinks the future is like for African-Americans.
Shakur says, “I think that (black men) is tired-a grabbin’ (sic)… out the stores and next time it’s a riot there’s gonna be bloodshed for real. I don’t think America can know that. I think America think we was just playing and it’s gonna be some more playing but it ain’t gonna be no playing. It’s gonna be murder.”
It appears the tragic rapper could foresee the drama that erupted in Ferguson, Missouri and New York following the deaths of two unarmed African-Americans at the hands of white police officers last year.
Shakur was shot and killed in Las Vegas in September, 1996.
You can listen to the track below: