As the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony kicked off Friday (April 7) night, the big question remaining was “who will perform the tribute to the late Tupac?”
Well, the Rock Hall made a lovely, inspired choice by having East Coast R&B balladeer Alicia Keys honor the late West Coast rap god with a medley of snippets of ‘Pac songs (including “I Ain’t Mad at Cha” and “Ambitionz As a Ridah”) while effortlessly riffing on the piano, talking about her love for the man and his music. Standing up from the ivories, she belted “Changes” as the audience sang along.
Then, things got loud. Snoop Dogg and YG performed “Gangsta Party,” Treach from Naughty by Nature did “Hail Mary,” and T.I. — decked out in Tupac’s signature bowtie bandanna AND a leather corset — gave an affecting cover of “Keep Ya Head Up” that was clearly very meaningful for him.
Prior to the performance, Snoop delivered a hilarious, heartfelt induction speech that focused on “Tupac the actual human being” instead of “Tupac, some kind of thugged-out superhero.” Also, he shared a story about parasailing with Tupac while Suge Knight piloted the boat that was sweet, hysterical and bizarre, and you’ll just have to watch the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony on April 29 on HBO to hear about it.