Tupac Shakur continues to impact and influence people all over the world. His tragic death on September 13th 1996, was one of the most unfortunate events to occur, not only in hip hop, but the music industry.
I recently sat down with Simon Sez to discuss his tribute track to Tupac, ‘2Pac Made Me Rap‘. The UK rapper from Liverpool started rapping at the age of 11, after listening to one of ‘Pac’s song in his uncle’s car. A young Simon Sez was already interested in poetry and art, and was drawn to 2Pac’s lyrics and flows instantly. The late rapper was influential to Simon’s rap technique and lyricism. After honing his craft for a number of years, Simon Sez has become one of the UK’s finest rappers and a gifted lyricist, blessed with an impeccable razor sharp flow.
The hardworking rapper is keeping himself busy, and is currently working on a project and a much anticipated mixtape ‘Exodus Continues..’ with his group Enter The Commisson.
So, how influential has 2Pac been to you as an artist?
2Pac, has been the most influential rapper since I was a small kid. He inspired me to go for what I believed in and speak my mind.
What is your earliest memories of the rapper?
Earliest memory is when I pretended to be sick in school as a kid, and my uncle came and picked me up. In his car he was playing a 2Pac record and I was like ‘Who’s this?’.His music instantly had an effect on me, and the first thing I did when I got home was ask my mum for his album.
What is your favourite song of his and why?
I couldn’t pick a favourite there is too many to choose from.
What do you think it is about Tupac that has made him so iconic in the rap game?
I think he stood for what he believed in and never backed down. He had more passion as an artist than most rappers. His work ethic was crazy. People are still hearing tracks they’ve never heard to this day, and its been 17 years since he passed. He was able to make versatile music from ‘Keep Ya Head Up‘ to ‘If I Die 2nite’.
Hypothetically, if Tupac was still alive, where would hip-hop be now?
If he was still alive I think that a lot of these so called “rappers” wouldn’t be in the game, or at least would have found it harder. There’s not a lot of artists left, that do it from the heart, but instead do it for some selfish ambition for fame, cars, girls and money.
Tupac left with a legacy. How would you like to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as someone who never gave up on what he believed in. I want to inspire and relate to the average person who doesn’t have a way to speak out.
So finally, any upcoming gigs, or tracks/album to be released from yourself?
The gigs are on hold for the moment, but there could be one at the end of the month. I’ve been in the studio working on a lot of stuff, my next release will be ‘Exodus 4:1’. I’m also working on Enter The Commissions latest material and fellow group members solo work.