Tupac Shakur left behinda massive catalog of songs. Narrowing Pac's best to just 22 songs wasn't an easy task. 2Pac managed to touch on every subject worth rapping about, from racial injustice to teen pregnancy. As a tribute to one ofhip hop'sgreatest minds, here are 22 of 2Pac's greatest songs.
"2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" (Ft. Snoop Dogg)
This is the song that blew the doors off the hinges of the epicBiggie-Tupac feud. Anointed as the new prince of the left coast, 'Pac exhibited a new side of himself: a clever, young comrade of the gangsta rap movement of the mid-'90s, alongside Tha Doggfather. The dynamic duo spit murderous daggers at their East coast foes atop a smooth-as-silk party track. Homicide to bump in the ride. Only on the Westside. And 'Pac helped put 'em back on the map!
"Until the End of Time (RP Remix)"
An eponymous remix track, this "Broken Wings"-sampling Richard Page remix matched Tupac's identity quite well. The beat grips the listener with its heavy bass, snares and urgent church bells as 'Pac spills his soul over with grit and honesty, even from the song's first bars:"Perhaps I was addicted to the dark side/ Somewhere inside my childhood witnessed my heart die."
Perhaps the most recognizable Tupac track of them all, "Changes" possessed the rare duality of being both a commercial success and a vessel of social upliftment. As 'Pac would say,"some things will never change."Indeed. Songs like "Changes" remain timeless to this very day.
"Hit 'Em Up" (Feat. Outlawz)
Vitriolic, spiteful, and outright inflammatory, Tupac elevated what was abitter feudbetween former friends to outright warfare in this rapid-fire diss record aimed at Notorious B.I.G. Flanked by the marginally skilled ranks of the Outlawz, Pac unleashed private matters—including an alleged affair with Biggie's wife,Faith Evans—for the world to see, giving hip-hop one of its most memorable and venomous tracks.
A heartfelt lamentation of the ills of Black society, an angry and frustrated Shakur struggles to find hope in this cut offMe Against the World. Introspective and spiritual, this song is the expression of Pac at his most honest: conflicted, disillusioned, and desperately clinging to the hope of redemption.
"Picture Me Rolling"
Funky production and guests Syke and CPO offer Tupac enough ammunition to propel an otherwise typical roll through the city block into an ambient portrait of street life. With his typical energy and lyricism, Pac provides a taunt to his critics and detractors, offering a triumphant statement of self in the face of adversity.
"When Thugz Cry"
Self-pity is often reserved for teenage girls, but 2Pac turns it into a song about the persecution that induces Black-on-Black crime in the African-American community.
"Life Goes On"
This gem fromAll Eyez On Mefinds 2Pac nudging himself forward after losing some loved ones. "Life Goes On" is a bittersweet reminder that 'Pac had a knack for displaying strength in the face of adversity.
"I Wonder If Heaven's Got a Ghetto"
Returning to his role as a social rabble-rouser and plain-spoken prophet, 2Pac questions the failed institutions of the material world and wonders if the divine is more forgiving. Vulnerable yet assured, Pac doesn’t offer apologies, only hope in this earnest song.
"Ambitionz as a Ridah"
The fierce opening track forAll Eyez On Me, Pac’s most commercially successful album, sets the tone immediately; menacing, gruff, and uncompromising, this song serves as a haunting foreshadowing of the violence and paranoia that would plague the rest of Tupac's career.
"California Love" (feat. Dr. Dre)
Though it sometimes gets overshadowed by the more emotive "To Live & Die in LA," "California Love" is one of Tupac's best-known works. Dr. Dre's piano-laden production frames the soundbed for a celebratory ode to Cali, while Roger Troutman's vocoder-aided chorus adds some flavor to the mix.
"One day I'm gonna bust/ Blow up on this society/ Why did you lie to me?/ I couldn't find a trace of equality!"As he proceeds to critique the so-called justice system and the prison complex, the tone in Tupac's voice grows more and more urgent with each bar. 'Pac finally lets out his aggravated tension in the last line:"I'd rather die than be trapped in a living hell/ They got me trapped!"
With the name-dropping and homage that takes place in Pac’s name today, it’s easy to forget that he was once an up-and-comer. On “Old School,” Shakur gives a nod to everyone from MC Lyte, Big Daddy Kane, and Rakim to Melle Mel, Slick Rick, and Chuck D. for paving the way for aspiring hip-hop artists.
("Don't cry through your despair /I wonder if the Lord still cares, for us n***as on welfare /And who cares if we survive /The only time they notice a n***a is when he's clutching on a .45 /My neighborhood ain't the same, /Cause all these little babies goin crazy and they suffering in the game.")'Pac shouts out his 'hood, while praying for better days.
"Me Against the World"
This title track from the 1995 masterpiece,Me Against the World, is a perfect example of 2Pac's eff-the-world, melodrama-inducing attitude.
Backed by a hazy cosmic soundtrack, 2Pac delivers a dose of vitriol on this standout track from 1996'sMakaveli. In 2003, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Busta Rhymes famously summoned 'Pac's spirit as they re-imagined "Hail Mary" as a diss to Ja Rule and Irv Gotti.
"So Many Tears"
Laid across the somber puffs of the harmonica solo from Stevie Wonder's "That Girl," "So Many Tears" finds Tupac pleading with God, renouncing past sins and his"mind full of demons."'Pac recollects over the tears he's shed on account of the lives he's seen lost to violence. Truly one of his deepest and most personal moments.
"Only God Can Judge Me"
2Pac and Rappin' 4-Tay trade bars about imperfection on one hand and ponder afterlife on the other. Hear 'Pac predict his own death:"I hear the doctor standing over me, screaming I can make it /Got a body full of bullet holes layin here naked /Still I, can't breathe..."One of the standout moments on the critically acclaimed double album,All Eyez on Me.
"To Live & Die in L.A."
From Venice Beach to the San Gabriel Valley and all the areas in between, Tupac loved the City of Angels and the city loved him. Sure, "California Love" was a great party track devoted to the Golden State, but "To Live & Die in L.A." was an authentic gesture of homage -- paid to his true adoptive home -- where it"never rains in the sun."The fact that it became one of his several swan songs further eternalized his name and never-ending presence in the city, even to this very day.
"Brenda's Got a Baby"
On his debut single from 1991's2Pacalypse Now, 'Pac narrates the story of a 12-year old girl who accidentally conceives and is incapable of raising her child. Seventeen years later, many rappers have kept this discussion alive by churning their own versions of the song ("Runaway Love," "Lil Girl Gone"), but "Brenda's Got a Baby" still reigns supreme.
"Dear Mama," 2Pac's ode to his mother Afeni Shakur, is pretty much the unofficialMother's Day hip-hop anthem. On this meticulously-crafted masterpiece, Shakur pats mama on the back for working tirelessly to put food on the table during the day and trying to liberate him from the perils of street life at night.
"Keep Ya Head Up"
Perhaps the perfect showcase of the man's softer side, "Keep Ya Head Up" is arguably his best individual performance ever. Over DJ Daryl's rendition of Zapp & Roger's "Be Alright," Pac delivers a message about staying ahead of the struggle and showing respect to all, regardless of gender.("Time to heal our women, be real to our women /And if we don't we'll have a race of babies /That will hate the ladies...")
|"I Ain't Mad at Cha"|
|Genre||Hip hop, R&B|
|Label||Death Row Interscope|
|Songwriter(s)||Tupac Shakur Delmar Arnaud Etterlene Jordan Daniel Steward|
In January 1991 Shakur debuted under the stage name 2Pac on Digital Underground, under a new record label, Interscope Records, on the group's January 1991 single "Same Song". The song was featured on the soundtrack of the 1991 film Nothing but Trouble, starring Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Chevy Chase, and Demi Moore.What was Tupac listening to when he got shot? ›
Death Row associate Kurt "Kobane" Couthon revealed in an interview in 2016 that Shakur was listening to Nas's It Was Written the day he got shot—September 7, 1996—on his way to Las Vegas.Did Tupac have a number 1? ›
Throughout his career, Shakur has sold 125 million records worldwide. He has scored 5 No. 1 albums on Billboard 200 and 8 No. 1 albums on Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums.Who is Tupac favorite singer? ›
2Pac's favorite musician was none other than the also-legendary Prince, who sadly past away just last year.What was Tupac's favorite song that he made? ›
Tupac Shakur's favourite song was Don McLean's "Vincent." His girlfriend kept the song on repeat so it would be the last thing he heard at his death.What was Tupac's last hit? ›
The last song 2Pac filmed a music video for prior to his death, “I Ain't Mad At Cha” is a sobering salvo from All Eyez on Me that had already become a fan favorite prior to its release as a video or a single.What was Tupac's motto? ›
1. "Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside while still alive. Never surrender."What was Tupac most famous song during his lifetime? ›
“California Love,” featuring Dr.
It's one of Tupac's most known and successful songs, reaching number one on Billboard Hot 100. Dr. Dre wrote the song and intended it for himself.
2Pac and Johnny J recorded more than a hundred songs together—11 of them, including "How Do U Want It" and "All About U", ended up on All Eyez on Me; the rest composed the bulk of 2Pac's posthumous work. Throughout producer Johnny J's career, he had sold over 100 million albums.
Tupac ShakurWho was Tupac beefing with? ›
Focal points of the feud were East Coast–based rapper The Notorious B.I.G. with Puff Daddy and their New York City–based label, Bad Boy Records, and West Coast–based rapper Tupac Shakur with Suge Knight and their Los Angeles–based label, Death Row Records.What does Makaveli stand for? ›
The name Makaveli is boy's name meaning "bad nail; king of light". Makaveli was an alias of Tupac Shakur — his posthumous album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, was released under the pseudonym.Why was Tupac's music so good? ›
What he brought to hip hop was a level of rawness and a poetic drive in the way he delivered his words. He had a level of self-empowerment that made people want to listen to what he had to say. Even today, you could fly anywhere and surely there'd be someone who knows of Tupac.Does 2Pac have a diamond record? ›
Tupac's All Eyez on Me double-album, which was released in 1996, was certified diamond recently by the RIAA, which means 10 million copies of the classic album have been sold.What is the longest number 1 hit? ›
"Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
"Old Town Road" holds the record for the longest stretch at No. 1 with 19 weeks. It also became the fastest song in history to be certified diamond.
Before we begin, it's important to note that compilations have been omitted from this re-evaluation, though 2Pac Shakur's 1998 Greatest Hits album is indeed certified diamond.Who is Tupac best friend? ›
|Born||October 9, 1977 New York City, U.S.|
|Origin||Montclair, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Died||November 10, 1996 (aged 19) Orange, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Genres||Hip hop, gangsta rap, West Coast hip hop|
Tupac was signed to Interscope Records by Tom Whalley (who still oversees his estate today), and his first solo album, 2Pacalypse Now, arrived a few months later, generating both acclaim and controversy.Does Tupac have a Star of Fame? ›
The Walk of Fame only awards one posthumous star annually and Tupac Amaru Shakur made the cut in 2013 as he became the fourth rapper inducted. His star is set to be unveiled in a 2014 ceremony.
Tupac Amaru Shakur ( June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996) was an American rap artist, actor, activist, and poet. He is known by various alias such as: 2Pac, Makaveli and Pac. He is known in the Guinness Book of World Records as the top-selling hip-hop artist, having sold over 73 million albums worldwide.How many #1 does Tupac have? ›
Tupac also earned five No. 1s on the Billboard 200 albums chart, led by Me Against the World, which ruled for four weeks in 1995.How many songs did Tupac write a day? ›
"I Get Around" music video Shakur recorded about 150 songs during the final year of his life, often completing three songs per day.What is Tupac best selling album? ›
Greatest Hits is 2Pac's best-selling album in the Nielsen Music era (1991-present), with 5.33 million copies sold in the U.S. It peaked at No. 3 in January of 1999, and has spent 196 weeks on the chart (his longest-charting album).What are 5 famous quotes? ›
- The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - ...
- The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. - ...
- Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. ...
- If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor. -
However, the words come from a recently unearthed video of deceased hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur being interviewed on MTV News in 1992. Tupac goes on to say, “There's no reason Michael Jackson or whoever Jackson should have a million, thousand, triple billion dollars and then there's people starving.”What did Tupac say about fear? ›
Fear is stronger than love, all that love I gave didn't mean nothing when it came to fear.”What was Tupac's first rap? ›
In 1990 he joined Digital Underground, an Oakland-based rap group that had scored a Billboard Top 40 hit with the novelty single “The Humpty Dance.” Shakur performed on two Digital Underground albums in 1991, This Is an EP Release and Sons of the P, before his solo debut, 2Pacalypse Now, later that year.When was Tupac most popular? ›
When it comes to albums, Tupac's 1998 Greatest Hits album finishes top of the pile, logging 619,000 sales despite is Number 17 peak, while All Eyez On Me is second with 338,000 sales.Who sold more albums Biggie or Tupac? ›
However, for what Biggie lacked for time in the spotlight prior to his untimely demise, he roughly matched 2Pac in overall album sales (Biggie hovers at 22 million while Tupac sits pretty at 24 million overall) over a career that was, while alive, three years and three albums shorter.
Eminem describes his first introduction to Tupac on “I Get Around” with Digital Underground when he was in his late teens, leading Eminem to find Tupac's first album 2Pacalypse Now and making a lifelong fan of him.Did Dre honor Tupac? ›
Dre and Snoop Dogg paid homage to their late hip-hop brother Tupac during the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show on Sunday (Feb. 13), and they didn't do it by resurrecting the eerie hologram that was created for their 2012 headlining Coachella performance.Who sold more records Eminem or 2Pac? ›
Eminem firmly tops the chart with 46.5 million copies, 10 million sales ahead of 2Pac, who holds the second place. The gap between Eminem's dales and Jay-Z on the third position is impressive 19 million copies.Which Tupac song sold the most? ›
California Love is far and away the biggest at 4.8 million sales, an incredible number for a 90s song. The title track, Ambitionz Az a Ridah, 2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted, How Do You Want It and I Ain't Mad at Cha are either not too far from a million or over the mark.How many times has 2Pac won a Grammy? ›
|Awards and nominations|
|American Music Awards||1||2|
|Murder of The Notorious B.I.G.|
|Deaths||1 (Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. "The Notorious B.I.G.")|
|Accused||Wardell "Poochie" Fouse (suspected shooter, murdered in 2003) Suge Knight (allegedly orchestrated killing) Amir Muhammed a.k.a. Harry Billups (suspected shooter by Russell Poole)|
Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg were great friends from the West Coast rap scene, they remain amongst the greatest to ever do it. During the 2012 Coachella festival, Snoop got his wish to perform one more time with Tupac thanks to state of the art technology.Why is Suge called Suge? ›
Marion Hugh Knight Jr. was born in Compton, California, the son of Maxine (née Dikemen) and Marion Knight Sr. His name Suge (pronounced /ʃʊɡ/) derives from "Sugar Bear", a childhood nickname. He attended Lynwood High School in nearby Lynwood, where he was a football and track star.What did Tupac stand for? ›
Tupac's last name means 'thankful'
The rapper's name descends from the Incas of Peru and the Arabic language. Túpac Amaru was the last leader of Peru's Incan Empire and the name translates to “shining serpent.” “Shakur” comes from Arabic origins and means “thankful” or “appreciative.”
Machiavelli was a 16th century Florentine philosopher known primarily for his political ideas. His two most famous philosophical books, The Prince and the Discourses on Livy, were published after his death.
His favorite dishes — meatloaf, gumbo and his cousin's fried chicken wings — taken from one of his handwritten notebooks at the exhibit will be included on the menu. The Powamekka Café is located at 800 W Olympic Blvd in Los Angeles and is open daily from June 16 through June 30.What makes Tupac the goat? ›
With over 713 songs, 75 million records sold worldwide, and 11 platinum albums, there's no doubt Tupac Shakur is the GOAT in the rap game. The acronym “GOAT”, which stands for “Greatest Of All Time” gets thrown around frequently in every aspect of entertainment.What was Tupac's struggle? ›
As his popularity grew, Tupac personally and professionally struggled over his appeal to the mainstream, while battling the allure of conspicuous consumption, excess and sexism.What is 2Pac's most streamed song? ›
Late Tupac's 'Hit Em Up' emerges most streamed track from 90s – Spotify. Spotify, an online streaming platform, has announced that late American Rapper, Tupac Shakur's track, “Hit Em Up”, is the most streamed track from the 90s in the year 2022. Tupac, who died on Sept.Who got Tupac's fortune? ›
Tupac left his estate to Afeni as the sole beneficiary upon his shooting death in 1996. When Afeni died in 2016, all of her “tangible personal property” was left to Sekyiwa, who argued in the new lawsuit should include the items that Afeni inherited from Tupac.What is the number 1 most played song of all time? ›
It was never a hit single and got almost no play on Top 40 radio. There's even a dispute over the exact title. Yet “It's a Small World,” also known as “It's a Small, Small World” and “It's a Small World (After All),” is very likely the most played song in music history — nearly 50 million times.What is the number 1 most popular song? ›
According to Guinness World Records, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1942) as performed by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies.What is the #1 streamed song of all time? ›
The most-streamed song in Spotify history is credited to… The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights." The song, which was released in November 2019, has been streamed over 3 billion times on the platform!Why do they call him Tupac? ›
Lesane Crooks was born to Afeni Shakur (née Alice Faye Williams), a member of the Black Panther Party, and she renamed him Tupac Amaru Shakur—after Peruvian revolutionary Túpac Amaru II—when he was a year old.How many songs did 2Pac record? ›