5 Tupac Songs That Are Still Awesome 15 Years After His Death
On September 7, 1996, just before midnight, 14 bullets came firing from a white Cadillac and entered the black BMW that contained Suge Knight and Tupac Shakur as they sat stopped at a red light in Las Vegas. Knight was grazed, but Shakur was hit four times causing injuries that would eventually take his life 6 days later at University Medical Center. 15 years ago to this day there is very little to add to the story surrounding the death of Tupac but we do know that his music lives on as a part of hip-hop, music and American pop-culture. To pay homage to the late great 2Pac, here are 5 songs from the Westside rapper that are just as good now, as they were then.
“I Get Around” was the second single from 2Pac's second album and features Shock G and Money-B of Digital Underground (Humpty Dance), the group that introduced him. 2pac was known as a fun loving guy, and he also loved the ladies, which was made quite apparent in this video.
“Keep Ya Head Up” was first released in 1993, but later appeared after his death in 1996 on his Greatest Hits compilation. The video opens up with the words “Dedicated to the memory of Latasha Harlins, it's still on”, in reference to the L.A. Riots. The video has Shakur rapping in the middle of a circle surrounded by a crowd of people and in some scenes seen holding a young child. At times the video shows scenes of what Shakur is rapping about. The music video also features Shakur's childhood friend Jada Pinkett Smith.
This Cali anthem was released as 2Pac's comeback single upon his release from prison in 1995. Some will argue that this is perhaps 2Pac's best-known song. It is his most successful song, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks (as a Double-A side single with “How Do U Want It”). The song was nominated for a posthumous Grammy Award as a Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group (with Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman) in 1997. The original version of the track was not available on any of Shakur's studio albums, but it can now be found on Shakur's compilation of Greatest Hits.
“Changes” was originally recorded during his tenure at Interscope records in 1992. Changes was later remixed during 1997-1998. The song re-uses lines from another 2Pac song called “I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto” which was recorded during the same year. 2Pac at times re-used lines from other unreleased songs because he would try to make an updated version. However, since his death many of the unreleased and un-mastered songs are being officially released. It is one of 2Pac's most notable and popular songs. Released posthumously on his album Greatest Hits, the song talks about all of the different issues that were related to 2Pac's era of influence – notably racism, police brutality, drugs and gang violence.
“Dear Mama” was released on February 21, 1995 as the first single for 2Pac's third solo album, Me Against the World. The song was written by 2Pac as an ode to his own mother, Afeni Shakur. The song is considered by critics, fans, and purists as one of the greatest hip hop songs of all-time, and one of 2Pac's best songs in particular. It was announced on June 23, 2010, that the Library of Congress was preserving Dear Mama, along with 24 other songs, in the National Recording Registry for their cultural significance.