For all the anticipation, speculation and rumor-mongering that went on in the months leading up to the release of Kendrick Lamar's long-awaited To Pimp a Butterfly album, it's safe to say that few expected the album's dreamy, jazzy closing track, "Mortal Man," to include a sort of posthumous conversation between Lamar and Tupac Shakur. The "interview" between Lamar and Shakur, taken from a two-decade old audio Q&A with the late rapper, focuses on ideas of legacy, how to handle success, and the current generation of hip-hop, incorporating a two-decade old interview with the late rapper.
"It was Kendrick's idea," says Tom Whalley, head of Loma Vista Records, who signed Tupac to Interscope in 1991 and is working on the rapper's estate in partnership with Jampol Artist Management. "I thought it was a brilliant idea, and they sent me portions of what he was thinking of doing creatively around it, and I supported it. I knew Kendrick was a fan and influenced by Tupac, and I always do what I think Tupac would do."