It’s a well-known fact that Tupac Shakur was a huge fan of Nas. According to the book, Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas’s Illmatic, Pac was bumping Illmatic during his during his 1994 trial.
Pac was an instant convert. I dubbed the CD onto a cassette for him. He got his manager to upgrade his rental to a Lexus (he traded some midsize rental from the cavalier family). The next day he pulled into the courthouse parking lot, his interior cloudy. He pulled his dub from the whip, threw it in his headphones, and arrived in his assigned courtroom blasting Illmatic so loudly that the bailiff yelled at him to turn it off before the judge took his seat on the bench.Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas’s Illmatic | Edited by Michael Eric Dyson & Sohail Daulatzai
While Pac and Nas would clash a couple of years later, mainly due to miscommunication, it didn’t stop them both from appreciating each other’s music.
Nas’ sophomore album, It Was Written, featured “I Gave You Power” – a Premo-laced joint that weaved a story from the perspective of a gun.
“I was around a lot of guns then. Guns were in my sleep, in my car, in my home, on my person, on my friends,” he said in a later interview. “That’s how much they were around. It’s crazy to think about that today, but it was my reality. It was in my head 24/7.”
It’s one of the most creative hip hop songs of all time, and apparently Pac was so inspired by it that he wrote a similar record – “Me and My Girlfriend.”
In a 2003 interview with XXL about the making of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Outlawz member Young Noble recalled Pac hearing “I Gave You Power” and flipping the same concept.
Young Noble: He got that concept from Nas. Remember Nas did that song about the gun? Pac used to like that song. When him and Nas squashed their beef, I was happy. I grew up on Nas. Around my way, when Nas came out with “Live At The Barbeque” I could have been the first ni**a promoting his ass. All the Outlawz were fans of Nas. Pac was too. He used to like Nas. That’s all hip-hop do. You hear a nice idea, and you flip it and make it better. That was one of those shits.The Making of Makaveli – The 7 Day Theory | XXL