In their new series,Nowstalgia, Paper Magazine is paying homage to the rappers who set the stage for hip hop today. The series features some of the most influential artists of today, share a letter about an artist from the past that served as an influence to them.In the first installment, Kendrick Lamar payed tribute to Eazy-E. In most recent, Eminem shares the influence Tupac had on him while growing up and as an artist.

Read more below.

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Eminem vividly recalls the first time he heard Tupac. It was on verse on the track “I Get Around.” He said, “I remember thinking, ‘Who is this?’” Eminem continued, “He stood out so much. Once I heard that, I got his first album, 2Pacalypse Now. I saw the video for ‘Brenda’s Got a Baby’ and I remember thinking, ‘Holy s–t.’”

Eminem revealed that growing up he studied all the rap trailblazers from “N.W.A to Public Enemy to Big Daddy Kane to Kool G Rap to Rakim to Special Ed” however it was Tupac that taught him how to bring true emotion into his songs.

He said, “His spirit spoke to me because it was like you knew everything that he was going through, especially when he made Me Against the World,” Eminem added, “You just felt every aspect of his pain, every emotion: when he was happy, when he was sad. His ability to touch people’s lives like that was incredible.”

Eminem not only was impressed by ‘Pac’s ability to share emotions through his music, but by his way of thinking and being able to handle the press. He said, “I used to be fascinated with his interviews like, “Yo, what he’s saying is so true.” He would also be able to trump people who were interviewing him when they would hit him with hard questions — it was incredible. He was a superstar in every aspect of the word. You just wanted to know that guy. Like man, I wanna hang out with Pac.”

Check out the full interview here.

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