Kendrick Lamar has always been quick to praise his idols.
He's paid tribute to Tupac both on and off wax, and has interviewed the surviving members of N.W.A.
In this month's Paper mag, K.Dot writes about Eazy-E, the N.W.A member who is no longer with us.
He starts the essay by remembering the first time he saw Eazy, in the video for 'We Want Eazy.' The visuals -- which have E busting out of jail -- left the six year old Kendrick thinking "Man, this dude feels like an action superhero."
Later in the piece, he discusses what Eazy's legacy means to him and all of Hip Hop
I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Eazy and I wouldn't be able to say the things that I say, talk about my community the way I talk about it, for good or for bad. He's 100% influenced me in terms of really being not only honest with myself, but honest about where I come from and being proud of where I come from. Because before then, everything was pop. People were scared to talk about these kinds of tough situations, but because he and the group took it upon themselves to talk about [these things], every artist is able to and they owe it to him. He's not only the birth of gangsta rap, but he's the birth of a whole legacy of being able to say what you want to say on a record and not being in fear of what others may think and not offending your own art and your own reflection. He'll always live forever, not only 50 years from now but a thousand years from now. His name will always be in people's hearts because he gave people the opportunity and the voice to say what they want and how they feel.