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ATLANTA—Even though rapper Rick Ross lacked a father figure growing up, he found guidance through many of Tupac Shakur’s songs that taught him how to approach life as a young man.
So when Ross was asked to perform at Shakur’s 40th birthday concert celebration Thursday night, he didn’t hesitate to take the stage to pay homage to the slain rapper he calls his role model.
“Tupac played father for a lot of dudes like me,” Ross told a crowd of about 500 at the Atlanta Symphony Hall after he and Meek Mills performed their single “Tupac Back.”
Ross along with singer Erykah Badu, jazz musician Roy Ayers, rapper Bun B, and the rap group 8Ball & MJG joined to raise money for the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation to help students develop their skill in the creative arts.
Comedian Mike Epps hosted the concert and presented a $10,000 check to Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur, for the foundation. Attendees stood and applauded Epps for the donation.
“We celebrated his life more so his death,” said actress Jasmine Guy, a close friend of the rapper who showed a video to honor his life and highlight his music career. “His voice still resonates. It’s amazing. That’s why is important that we keep the Shakur foundation going.”
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