Kendrick Lamar is a revered lyricist in hip-hop culture, and for a good reason. As hip-hop has seen a focus shift from lyricism to beats, Lamar has remained dedicated to blessing his listeners with both remarkable instrumentals and high-quality lyrics.
Initially signed to Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), following the release of his first official album, Section.80, in 2011, the Compton emcee was swiftly presented with a record deal by Dr Dre and soon became an official Aftermath Entertainment roster artist. Since 2011, the lyricist has continued to produce quality bodies of work and now has a dense and impressive discography.
However, during one of his many 2011 interviews promoting his debut, Lamar revealed that the project’s lead single, ‘HiiiPoWeR’, was inspired by a spiritual encounter he had with the late Death Row rapper 2pac. In the conversation with Home Grown Radio, Lamar detailed how his exchange with the late legend inspired him.
Revealing that it happened while he was asleep, Lamar disclosed, “It’s a real situation where I was sleeping one night and a silhouette [came] and he said, ‘Keep doing what you doing, don’t let my music die.’ The shit scared the shit out of me!”
Highlighting how his mother had recently spoken about 2pac, Lamar recalled, Just off the fact that prior to that, a day before, my mom bringing up, ‘You know, you and Tupac, y’all like days apart, y’all birthdays.’ I never knew that shit. That’s some wild shit.”
He continued, “Once she said that shit – and I’m really big on shit like that – somebody comes in your dreams and relays a message, you gotta listen to it because I’ve got past family relatives that’s been coming to my dreams forever and been talking to me.” Lamar didn’t just relay the experience on the track but also in its music video, which includes a segment that shows a message explaining he “got a visit from Lesane Parish Crooks,” the birth name of Tupac Shakur.
You can watch the visuals for ‘HiiiPoWeR’ below.