Getty Images

If It Wasn’t For This Rap Icon, There Would Be No Kendrick Lamar

...And that's coming from Kendrick Lamar.

Kendrick Lamar is one of today's top rappers, but he wouldn't be in that position if it wasn't for Eazy-E. At least that's what K. Dot wrote in a new Paper article where the Compton MC describes his Ruthless hero's impact.

"I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Eazy and I wouldn't be able to say the things that I say, talk about my community the way I talk about it, for good or for bad," Lamar wrote in the article. "He's 100 percent influenced me in terms of really being not only honest with myself, but honest about where I come from and being proud of where I come from."

Kendrick went on for those who might not be familiar with Eazy beyond Straight Outta Compton, breaking down just why he was a valuable force in the rap game.

"What made Eazy special was that he was telling a different type of truth, a truth that wasn't heard in music yet," Lamar explained. "Before them, rap was fun -- you had your battles and whatnot, but this time around, when it came to what Eazy wanted to do, being a visionary, he had the idea of speaking the honest truth, and I think it really resonated with a lot of people because it was the shock value."

If you like this idea -- top figures in rap today paying tribute to deceased icons -- you'll love where Paper's going with this series. According to the mag, we should expect Eminem on Tupac Shakur and Swizz Beatz on the Notorious B.I.G. coming soon.

For more on Eazy's importance, check out the clip below from when we spoke with Ice Cube and DJ Yella about the late rap icon.