Eminem is one of the most influential rappers in hip-hop, but do you know who actually influenced the Detroit rhymer to rap? Apparently it was Tupac Shakur. Em was so enamored by the West Coast MC that he actually sent his mother, Afeni Shakur, a letter.

Watch Loud discovered this rare treasure from the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, Ga. The center focuses on educating the youth through various creative arts programs including creative writing, dance and drama -- something Tupac excelled at when he was a teenager.

Inside the center, there is also a wide selection of memorabilia dedicated to Tupac Shakur. One item that stands out is this handwritten letter and illustration that was sent to Afeni Shakur by Marshall Mathers. It's surely an interesting read, which originally appeared in the 2007 book Tupac Remembered. The letter made its way online earlier this week.

One thing you can tell by the missive is that Em took his time with getting the words right. The “Lose Yourself” rapper wanted to make sure that his handwriting was legible at the very least.

In the letter, he thanks Afeni for a son whose music has inspired “my whole career.”

“He was, and still is, the true definition of a ‘Soldier,’” he writes. “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.”

Before he ends the letter, Eminem tells Afeni just what her son helped him do: “[Tupac] gave me the courage to stand up and say, ‘F--- the world!’ ‘This is who I am! And if you don’t like it, go f--- yourself!'”

Another thing we learn about this letter is how great of an illustrator the writer is. His drawing of Tupac is not bad at all.

What do you think of Eminem's personal letter to 2Pac's mom? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Eminem's Letter to Afeni Shakur

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