Snoop Dogg inducted fellow West Coast legend Tupac Shakur at Friday night's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Both artists were on Dr. Dre and Suge Knight's Death Row Records, and Snoop Dogg had appeared on one of Tupac's final releases before his death, "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted."
Speaking to Rolling Stone before the speech, Snoop noted that, "The Hall of Fame has come a long way and we appreciate them for appreciating us for what we do. And hopefully there will be many more to come, because there's a lot of greats in hip-hop that deserve to be here." But for now, the rapper reminisced about his history with Shakur. Read his full speech below.
Snoop Dogg: I can't believe it's been 21 years since we actually got to hear Tupac, not the oneclip on YouTube, not the hologram, Tupac Amaru Shakur the human being. Twenty-oneyears ago, Tupac Shakur was taken from all of us. He was only twenty-fiveyears old, too. Dare me to say that he was gone too soon.When I sat down to gather my thoughts about my late and great, my homie and my brotherthere's one thought that kept coming back: Tupac was actually really good. While manyremember him now as some kind of thugged out superhero, Tupac really was only goodand he represented through his music like no one before. It's the fact that he never shiedaway from it. He wore it like a badge of honor. With an unapologetic voice, Pac embracedthose contradictions that proved we ain't just a character out of someone else's story book.To be human is to be many things at once. Strong and bold. Hard headed and intellectual.Courageous and afraid. Loving and vengeful. Revolutionary and – oh, yeah I'm gettingfucked up.
So, while we may be here to celebrate one of music's most prolific and outspoken artists ashe's rightfully enshrined as one of the greatest musicians to ever do it, I'm here to makesure that Pac is remembered the way he would have wanted to be: a strong black man whostood up. Not somebody who acted like a rapper, but as a human. That's what made Tupac an amazingactor on the big screen in movies like, "Above the Rim" and "Juice." That's what made him so engaged with everything he ever did. Bothbefore and after his death. That's what made Tupac the greatest rapper of all time.
"He's rightfully enshrined as one of the greatest musicians to ever do it."
But to me, Tupac was first and foremost a homeboy. We shared a whole lot in common.The way our journey started together. We were both born in the same [neighborhood in] '71. Hereleased his first single track from his scorcher first album "2pacalypse Now" in late 1991.Not even a year later I would make my debut alongside Dr. Dre on the song, "G Thang."I finally got a chance to meet Pac in 1993 at a wrap party in L.A. And on thatnight, Pac passed me my first blunt. That's right, Tupac is the one that got Snoop Doggsmoking weed. I was a zig-zag man before that shit. We became very good friends quicklythereafter.
Then, in 1995, I told Suge Knight, I said, "Suge get Pac out of prison and have him come join our team at Death Row Records." He never had a team before. It was always just him.Now, with us it was like he joined the Lakers. Dre was the coach and me and Pac were the stars on the court making history every which side.We were young, rich, and rock stars but we were also young men black men with targets onour back. We were catching cases simultaneously. That's why when we got together we reallywere two of America's most wanted.He had just gotten out of jail. I had just beat my case. I get a white Rolls Royce with thatcreamy white interior and Pac, he went out and bought a black one with the same thing.
He put me up on a lot of brand shit like Gucci and Versace and shit I can'teven pronounce. I got that penthouse suite on Wilshire, then two weeks later Pac got theone right across the hall from me. Neighbors, you dig?We had no peers besides one another. Just two black boys struggling to become men. Inever shared this story before but it really speaks to our journey. I had just beat my caseand Suge had taken us to South America to get away from all the drama and me and Pacwas parasailing. You heard right. Snoop Dogg and Tupac parasailing together. You got to remember I had just beat my case and Pac had just got out of prison. Does anybody know what parasailing is?Because we damn sure didn't.Me and Pac were sitting on the edge of the boat with all this gear and shit on and all ofsudden the boat pulls away and we start floating and slammed up into the water likeboom. I don't know what was in there. Sharks, or octopus or whatever, I'm like, man.
"He saw more potential in me than I saw in myself."
It wascrazy because not only did we think we're on top of the world at that time we actually wereon top of the world. Floating around in style then all of sudden Pac started telling me aboutsome movie idea he had about me being the main star. He was saying some shit. I wasn'tpaying attention because I was like, 'we're too high.' I mean the shit he was saying to me at that moment was different, though. He saw me asan actor. He saw more potential in me than I saw in myself and it's funny because after hepassed away I started getting a lot of movie roles and all this stuff. Pac was looking outfor us even after he was gone.
That's the thing with Pac. When he loves, he loves hard. Whether that was him loving blackpeople, him loving his homies, him loving his record label, and of course him loving hisbeautiful and incredibly strong mother the late Afeni Shakur. Memories of Ms. Shakur are embedded in m mind. Right after I heard Tupac got shot Iimmediately flew to Vegas. Iwas so weak I damn near fell over and his mom came over to me and she grabbed me andshe held up and she said, "Baby, you to to be strong." I went and sat next to him and Iwhispered to him telling him I love him and to hold on and he was going to be OK and evenin that moment his mom was thinking more about me than herself and showed me how tolove strongly. I mean it was amazing that his momma was so strong and loved so hard.
I realized that Pac was taught how to love at a very early age and through his music heshared the love with all of us and that's ultimately why we're here tonight. Pac's apart ofhistory for a reason because he made history. He's hip hop history. He's American historyand just like in school the more research you do on history the more information that youhave. So do your research. I'm not talking about Pac the rapper, I'mnot talking about Tupac the actor, I'm talking about Tupac the human being.So with that said, we'd all like to officially welcome Tupac Shakur to the Rock and Roll Hallof Fame.
You will always be the best. You will live on forever. Legends always do. They can't takethis away from you, homie.I love you, Tupac. Welcome to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In our in-depth oral history on Tupac Shakur's incredible career.