By K.B. Tindal
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
Father’s Day is today and everyone is out with their families today. But, hip hop is a daily thing and there is always something happening. There is a lot of new things happening in hip hop daily, but it is important to remember where the genre has been. Back in the 1990s, hip hop’s biggest star was Tupac Shakur.
Signing with Death Row Records in the mid-1990s, Tupac Shakur would release two albums in 1996. Unfortunately, he was unable to promote his 7 Day Theory album because of his untimely death. Before all the negativity, Tupac Shakur was a force in the game and he has a bevy of hits under his belt.
Had Tupac Shakur survived, today would be his forty-second birthday. Too often in the world, the death is when the life was celebrated. But, it was on June 16 when this life that defined 1990s hip hop began. So, a few of Tupac’s classics will be reflected upon in celebration of the life and when it began.
“Brenda’s Got a Baby”
This is where it all started for Tupac Shakur in the rap game. Late in 1991, Tupac Shakur released his 2Pacalypse Now debut album. Tupac Shakur shook the game up with “Brenda’s Got a Baby.” Fourteen years later, Game referenced the song on his “Hate It or Love It” with 50 Cent, when he stated “‘Pac is gone and Brenda’s still throwin’ babies in the garbage.”
In 1994, Tupac Shakur created the perfect hip hop ode to the mother. Life comes with ups and downs and it is impossible to always get along with family. But, Tupac Shakur found a way to still thank his mother for both the good and the bad with “Dear Mama” and it is taken off his Thug Life, Volume 1 album. This album was a promotional compilation with Tha Outlawz.
“2 of AmeriKKKaz Most Wanted” ft. Snoop Dogg
At the height of the success with Death Row Records, Tupac Shakur joined the mix and fit right in with Snoop Dogg and the others. Clearly angry at Bad Boy Records, Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg teamed up with each other for his All Eyez on Me album. This song is, of course, “2 of AmeriKKKaz Most Wanted.”
“California Love” ft. Dr. Dre
Tupac Shakur forged his alliance with Death Row Records in 1995 and immediately recorded “California Love” with Dr. Dre and released it as the lead single off All Eyez on Me. The album was a breakout success and helped display the hardcore persona of Tupac Shakur. Completing the album in three weeks, Tupac crafted a California classic with the good doctor.
“Hail Mary” with Tha Outlawz
This one is another Tupac classic and it comes along with Tha Outlawz. “Hail Mary” is considered one of Tupac’s most-legendary singles, among many others. But, it is these are the ones that are the most-known with the public and to reflect on the life of Tupac, this is one song that has to be mentioned.
Understand, there are many more songs from Tupac Shakur that can be included, but this is only a sampler.