During a visit to Talib Kweli‘s People’s Party podcast with his Mount Westmore groupmates E-40 and Too $hort, Ice Cube spoke on meeting ‘Pac when he was a member of Digital Underground and becoming friends with him.
According to Cube, they connected because they were both the younger guys in their respective crews, and they built a camaraderie off that. There were also times when ‘Pac would tell Cube he wanted to make music just like him and the rest of the N.W.A.
“He would always tell me like, you know, ‘This Digital shit is cool, man, but I want to do records like y’all,’” Cube said. “‘Cause where I live at, shit is fucked up. You know what I’m saying? I want to talk about how the shit is.’”
Cube said he told ‘Pac to continue working on his craft, and people would take notice of him which ended up happening when he landed more looks on Digital Underground records.
“I was like ok ‘Pac is starting to move up from just being in the background to actually doing some songs then he went solo,” Cube added. “He was like, man I’m going to do my own thing. I still fuck with Digital but I’ma do my own thing.’ He was like, ‘Yeah, I can do the music I want to do.”
2Pac was surely able to make the music he wanted to do as he became one of the greatest and most influential artists of all time. He left Digital Underground in 1991 and released his solo debut, 2Pacalypse Now, that same year.
He followed that up with Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z… and Me Against the World, but things really took off when he released his Death Row Records debut All Eyez on Me, which made history as Hip Hop’s first-ever double-disc solo album on CD.
In total, he’s sold more than 75 million records worldwide and has become a cultural icon. However, 2Pac didn’t get to fully realize his potential as he was shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas on September 7 1996. After being taken to hospital, he died six days later on September 13.
The other member of Mount Westmore, Snoop Dogg, also spoke on ‘Pac’s influence during an interview with The 85 South Comedy Show. According to Tha Doggfather, his former Death Row labelmate taught him how to become a “star,” beginning with encouraging him to elevate his style and embrace his “pimp” persona.
“I’m still dressing like a n-gga from the hood — khakis, Chucks,” Snoop said of his post-Doggystyle wardrobe. “That n-gga like, ‘Me and you finna have a meeting… We stepping our game up. We gotta change your look, Snoop Dogg. You a pimp, n-gga. Bitches love you. You fly. You gotta start showing your fly side!
“‘I’m a get you suited up.’ ‘I’ma call this nigga Dion Scott, get your suits fitted, get your hair laid, get your nails done. Put some pimpin’ on screen, n-gga.’”