Label: Def Jam, Ruff Ryders
Kendrick Lamar: “Aww yeah. That’s the first album that got me writing. I wrote my first lyrics to that album actually, about 13-14. I was going into eighth grade, seventh grade going into eighth grade maybe. I just got inspired and I started writing, so that will always be one of my favorite albums. And the fact that I just met DMX for the first time last week—I got to actually tell him that for the first time. That album inspired me to be a rapper.

“It was just the raw and realness. Tupac was gone, there was a void, [something] was missing in the game and he came through to fill that void. Now that I think about it, that was the reason why.

“My favorite song would probably be the ‘Intro.’ ‘One two one two / come through run through gun who / oh you don't know what the gun do.’ I had that on repeat. That, ‘Get At Me Dog,’ I could go all day.”