It’s almost 20 years today that we lost one of the greatest mcs to a tragic senseless Hip-Hop beef.
On September 7th 1996 Tupac Shakur was fatally shot 4 times in Las Vegas Nevada, he died from his injuries 6 days later. Despite the numerous conspiracy theories and ’sightings’, Tupac is no longer with us, but he lives on through his music.
He dropped 5 albums while he was alive, 5 official posthumous albums have been released, and countless bootlegs since he passed away. Out of the several hundred tracks that he recorded these are 5 of the key moments that immortalise Tupac’s legacy.
5. Dear Mama
Pac was one of the first rappers to dedicate a track to his Mama. Not only was/is it a very real heartfelt classic, it was a single from his ‘Me Against The World’ album and a video was shot that featured his mum Afeni Shakur whilst Pac’ was serving a term in prison.
Whether you’re about that Thug life of not, Pac’ made it cool to show that special appreciation to your mum.
4. California Love
When he was ‘fresh outta jail california dreamin’, Dr Dre laced Tupac with the ‘bomb beat’ that became an instant banger. After ‘so called beef with you know who’, being shot, court cases, and a stint in jail, Tupac was back with an undeniable, vengeful energy.
Throughout the Death Row released ‘All Eyes on Me’ album, Pac’s voice was more powerful, more intense, almost apocalyptic. Together with the good Dr, Pac’ created the ultimate anthem for the West Coast, ‘California Love’ was a call to arms and a global club banger.
Pac’ had everybody throwing them dubs up.
3. Hail Mary
One of the realest tracks ever made that has since been covered or sampled by G.O.A.T.S. such as Eminem, Lil Wayne, and Drake.
This was Pac’s prayer to the creator reflecting on the violence and negativity that surrounded his life, the daily conflicts that he faced. ‘Hail Mary’ resonated with us even harder because it dropped several months after his death.
Lyrically it was a self epitaph, a haunting reminder of his greatness, and the mystery that surrounded his death. ‘Do you wanna ride or die?, la da da da da da da da’.
2. Hit Em Up
This has to be the most brutal diss record of all time.
Within one verse Pac’ annihilated the Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, Junior Mafia, Lil Kim, Lil Cease, Bad Boy records, and desecrated the marriage of B.I.G. and Faith Evans. Later on in the track Pac’ actually challenged the entire East Coast.
To this day his fury is unmatched, you still feel the intensity of his anger, you actually feel pity for his enemies.
This is Hip-Hop at its best and worst. It’s a reminder of the darkest, most tragic chapter in Hip-Hop history.
Originally recorded in 92′ and later reproduced and released in 1998, this was Tupac’s most successful single. It’s crazy that one of his most conscious, reflective, successful records dropped 2 years after his death.
There are mixed opinions on Pac’s post humous releases. Some fans feel that his material should be left alone, although the sales and new audiences that he attracts would suggest otherwise.
‘Although it seems heaven sent, we ain’t ready to see a black president’
Even after his death Tupac’s words and spirit are more relevant than ever before, they continue to inspire future generations of artists.
He is forever immortalised through his music.