In an undated letter after Eminem broke out, the rapper penned a heartfelt letter to Afeni Shakur, Tupac's mom, and enclosed a drawing he'd made of the "California Love" rapper. "When I was feeling at my 'worst' (before fame, before Dre), I knew I could put that 'Tupac' tape in and, suddenly, things weren't so bad," he wrote. "He gave me the courage to stand up and say, 'Fuck the world! This is who I am! And if you don't like it, go fuck yourself!'"
Although both the sketch and letter appeared in the 2008 book Tupac Remembered, interest in the letter and drawing was recently renewed when it appeared on Reddit (via Fader). A citation in the book says the letter and sketch is on display at the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts. Eminem has mentioned Tupac's influence multiple times in his rhymes.
"Thank you for always being so kind to me," he wrote in the letter. "You are a true Queen, and I mean that in every sense of the word. I will never forget the opportunities you have given me. You will always be in my heart, my thoughts and my prayers.
"As I have said before, you have no idea how much your son and his music has [sic] inspired not only the 'hip-hop' world but, speaking for myself, has inspired my whole career," the rapper continued. "He was and still is the true definition of a 'soldier.'"
He signed the note, which he opened by apologizing for the "sloppy" look of his sketch, "Love, Marshall."
In other Eminem news, the rapper recently released an adrenaline-pumping video for his Southpaw soundtrack contribution "Phenomenal." The rapper also appeared for an interview on a satirical takeover of a real Michigan cable-access show hosted by Stephen Colbert.
Regarding Shakur, Afeni recently entered into a new agreement with a management company that will manage Tupac's commercial affairs, including issuing previously unreleased music. Additionally, a Tupac biopic is still in the works despite the exit of director John Singleton, and the director of some of Shakur's music videos was recently seeking funds to create a different biopic about the rapper's final days. The latter project, though, was not fully funded before the crowd-funding campaign was closed.