kendrick lamar 2pac

As you may have noticed, Kendrick Lamar’s new album To Pimp a Butterfly dropped a week early last night. I’ve already dedicated this entire morning to listening to it — like everyone else, am I right? — but I’m not even attempting to write anything that resembles an album review before giving it more time to sink in (come back to me in, like, three weeks — there’s a lot to digest here).

However, an instant highlight of the album — and something that all the skits appear to build towards — is an interview with 2Pac at the end of the closing track, “Mortal Man.” It’s set up as a conversation between Kendrick and his hero, but we all know that’s not really the case. Instead, Pac’s powerful words are lifted from an interview he gave to Swedish radio station P3 in November 1994 — two weeks before the Quad Studios shooting, no less.

Coincidentally, P3 recently interviewed Kendrick Lamar (along with Joey Bada$$), which is also worth checking out. Listen to that here.

Listen to the full 2Pac interview below…

Sidebar: This video of Kendrick Lamar recalling a vision he had of 2Pac is crucial to understanding To Pimp a Butterfly (jump to 1:00).

I was asleep one night and [I saw] his silhouette and he basically said, “keep doing what you doing. Don’t let my music die.” The shit scared the shit out of me, just off the fact that prior to that, a day before, my mom was bringing up, you know, “you and 2Pac, y’all are days apart, your birthdays.”

[h/t Reddit]

Related: Album Stream: Kendrick Lamar — To Pimp a Butterfly