West Coast supergroup Mount Westmore — E-40, Too $hort, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg — have proven their mettle on the mic many a time. They’re icons and legends across the board. And last week, three members of the lauded hip-hop quartet spoke about their respective rap journies on People’s Party with Talib Kweli.
During the episode, co-host Jasmin Leigh asked 40 Water, Cube, and Short Dog to speak on their personal relationships with the legend Tupac Shakur. Each of them knew Pac as he was on the rocket ship to stardom and their words offered a unique perspective into the early years of a complex mega-star.
E-40 celebrated Tupac’s diversity of skill and his kindness upon their first meeting. After telling a few funny stories he grew more circumspect.
“He was uplifting to females and the urban community as well. No other rapper spoke as highly of females as he did. “Keep your Head Up,” “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” “Dear Mama” and he had party bangers and he spoke about the trenches period. The octagon.”
Sharing the unceasing artistic drive Tupac had, E-40 described the late rapper’s work ethic and ambition, adding, “Just being a part of All Eyez on Me was amazing.”
Ice Cube talked a lot about how genuine Tupac was as an artist before reflecting on their connection through filmmaker John Singleton, who directed Cube in Boyz In The Hood and Pac in Poetic Justice.
“I didn’t do Poetic Justice, so John [Singleton] went and got Tupac to do it,” Cube explains. “So it was real cool to see John taking another rapper under his wing and making him a fuckin’ star. That is what he had did with me, Pac, he did it with Busta Rhymes… It was cool to see another rapper getting his shot on the big screen.”
Too $hort — long critiqued for how he spoke about women in songs — reflected on the wisdom of Tupac. “He never lived past 25,” $hort noted. “But every time they gave him a mic — he said some shit! How could you be that young and be that on point all the time?”
To check out more of this historic conversation with Mount Westmore on music, culture and art watch People’s Party with Talib Kweli and co-host Jasmin Leigh.