At last night’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fete, Snoop Dogg inducted late, great rap icon Tupac Shakur into the newest class, which included Pearl Jam, Journey, Yes, Electric Light Orchestra, Joan Baez and Chic’s Nile Rodgers, who was given the Award for Musical Excellence.
The Dogg began his tribute to his friend, who was murdered at the tender age of 25, by saying, “When I sat down to gather my thoughts about my labelmate, my homie, my brother, there’s one thought I kept coming back to: that Tupac was an actual human being,” Snoop said. “While everyone now thinks of him as some thugged-out superhero,” Tupac was many things: “strong and vulnerable, hardheaded and intellectual, revolutionary and—oh yeah, don’t get it fucked up—gangsta.”
Snoop also recalled the first time he met Shakur, in 1993.
“That night, Pac passed me my first blunt,” he said. “For real. That’s right: Tupac is the one that got Snoop Dogg smoking blunts. ... We became very good friends quickly thereafter.”
Snoop also paid homage to Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, telling of the night he went to her after Pac was shot in 1996 on the Las Vegas strip. “His mom came up to me and she grabbed me, and held me and said, ‘You’ve got to be strong,’” Snoop said. “Even in that moment, his mom cared more about me than herself. It was amazing that his mom was so strong and loved so hard.”
He ended his speech by holding Pac’s award in the air with the words, “Thug life!”
Afterward, Snoop, Treach from Naughty by Nature, Alicia Keys, YG and T.I. gave a performance of Pac’s hits, including “I Ain’t Mad at Cha,” “Ambitionz as a Ridah,” “Gangsta Party” and “Keep Ya Head Up.”
Artists are eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single. 2017 was the first year Pearl Jam and Tupac Shakur were eligible. They are also the first artists to be inducted who started their careers in the ’90s.
Pac is the sixth artist from the hip-hop genre to make it into the hall Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were inducted in 2007, Run-DMC in 2009, the Beastie Boys in 2012, Public Enemy in 2013 and N.W.A in 2016.
For even more Pac, peep the extended trailer for his biopic, All Eyez on Me, out on his birthday, June 16.