Tupac Shakur once said he wanted to make music like N.W.A.
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Tupac Shakur once said he wanted to make music like N.W.A.

The West Coast has produced many legends, some more known than others. From Dr Dre to Snoop Dogg, Ice T and many more, it is undeniable that California has contributed a great deal to hip-hop. However, in an interview with Talib Kweli for his People’s Party podcast, Ice Cube once revealed that 2pac told him he wanted to make music just like N.W.A.

As a musician and actor, Ice Cube (real name O’Shea Jackson) has been one of the most successful West Coast artists of all time, and as a proud LA native, has recently been making music as part of the California collective Mount Westmore. Comprised of E-40, Too $hort and Snoop Dogg, last year, the rapper appeared on the People’s Party podcast to talk all things West Coast. 

Alongside his counterparts E-40 and Too $hort, the emcee recalled when he first met 2pac in the late-’80s when he was a member of Digital Underground. Based in Oakland, at the time, 2pac (real name Tupac Shakur) was working on his debut album, 2pacalypse Now, focusing on Gangsta rap and not G-funk. 

Explaining how they hit it off, Jackson unveiled that the pair bonded because they were both the younger guys in their crews, and that connection helped them build a bond. Although Shakur was operating in Oakland and Jackson was based in South Central LA, Jackson stated that as West Coast rappers, from time to time, they crossed paths.

According to Jackson, 2pac regularly told him he wanted to make music just like him and the rest of the N.W.A. Elaborating on their exchanges, the ‘No Vaseline’ lyricist recalled, “He would always tell me like, you know, ‘This Digital shit is cool, man, but I want to do records like y’all, ’cause where I live at, shit is fucked up. You know what I’m saying? I want to talk about how the shit is.'”

Jackson also revealed that, even in the late-’80s, Shakur had a plan concerning how he was going to advance his career, disclosing, “He was like, ‘Man, I’m going to do my own thing. I still fuck with Digital, but I’m a do my own thing.’ He was like, ‘Yeah, I can do the music I want to do.”

2pac moved with his mother to LA in 1992, following N.W.A’s dissipation; he eventually found himself recording alongside Death Row in Tarzana, which led to his signing with the record label. You can hear Ice Cube sharing his recollections in the video below.