Tupac Shakur better known as just Tupac, 2pac and Makaveli, is a legend in west coast hip-hop, and hip-hop in general. His songs, lines, and talent last through the ages. No matter what year it is, people know when a song is from him.
His rapping career, although short, has affected so many people with his messages of love, respect, and honor. Tupac released 5 studio albums, one collaboration album during his lifetime, and they all contain a number of great hits that everyone, if not most, can relate to.
He was caught in a shooting by a rival group on September 7th, 1996, and died from internal bleeding on September 13th. Even after his untimely death, there have been album releases of past songs that were never published to keep his spirit alive. His views towards life just related to everyone that grew up with a hard life, no matter where they lived.
It was because he was honest with his lyrics, if he had a problem, he brought it up in his tracks. That’s how he gained followers upon followers for his music. No matter where you are, what you’re doing, or how you’re feeling, there will always be a track by him that will go with your current state of life.
His music reminds you to respect your family, love everyone, and f*ck the haters. He keeps his songs relating to real life. Compared to other rappers that exaggerate life with getting tons of money and sleeping with hundreds of girls. They all give you a life lesson to the most basic details of whatever’s going on.
No matter who or what gives you negative feelings, he teaches you brush it off, and keep pushing to live on (you’ll see in one of the songs). Other times though, his songs just make you want to get up, f*ck all of your problems off, and just chill.
Like I said, all of his songs last throughout time. BUT, there are these 15 songs that will truly last forever in the ongoing timeline of music, hip-hop, and pop culture in general. You can just hook up your headphones, blast your car speakers, or turn up your home theatre to any of these, and get sh*t bumpin.
15. “California Love” (Ft. Dr. Dre)
Although he was born in New York, he made his career in California. This song just shows his respect for Compton, and CA in general. His lyrics laid over Dre’s amazing beats just makes you want to go to Cali, and stay real.
14. “Me Against the World”
The song that is the same name as his 1995 album release, Me Against the World, is a great example of his view on life. He always thought of life as something that just passes by, and to just f*ck it without a care. Keep this track in your playlist if you feel the same way, or if you want to just say f*ck it at some point in time.
13. “All Eyez on Me”
Another example of his “f*ck it” view on life. On this track, he explains that so many haters try to imitate his lifestyle, but he knows he’s the original.
He brings up that b*tches wanna be with him for his money, but after that they bring consequences with them. Tupac still stays strong and confident no matter what comes at him. Listen to this if you wanna be the same and screw the haters.
12. “Hit ‘Em Up” (Ft. Outlawz)
Now, he wasn’t always about respect, love and all that good sh*t. If he had to, Tupac would be straight up savage with his lines.
“Hit ‘Em Up” was a diss track towards former friend Notorious B.I.G. This track just started a whole new battle between the two. He made this personal by bringing up his B.I.G.’s wife, Faith Evans. This track would be considered one of the most recognizable, and savage songs ever made in hip-hop.
11. “Picture Me Rollin”
One of his tracks about life, he portrays a typical day of strolling along a street in the city. Such a simple event in the day is elaborated to become a unique story of how life is on the streets.
Some of us might connect to this if we’ve lived on the streets, and that’s why we think it should be in the top 15.
10. “Only God Can Judge Me”
The title says it all. He doesn’t care what other people say about him, the only person that can judge him is the one he believes in. Not much else to say about this track. Play it if you just don’t care what other people say.
9. “When Thugz Cry”
Tupac made this track to explain his disgust, and unhappiness towards the black-on-black crime in the African-American community. Listening to this really shows how much people were affected by what was going on at the time. It might even be applied to things that could be happening present day.
8. “N.I.G.G.A. (Never Ignorant About Getting Goals Accomplished)”
The title may seem really offensive, and of course people of other colors probably would be able to say the acronym, but what it means can be connected to anyone who struggles with obstacles building up towards their goals.
In this track, he says to not give up and just go against whatever’s pushing against you. Keep it up, and live on.
7. “Old School”
Tupac made this as a homage to all of the old school rappers and MCs. He wasn’t always the legendary rapper that everyone knows today.
Of course he was once a newbie to the mic, and he knows that. He says that no one that’s up and coming wouldn’t be what they are without the true legends. Keep this track in mind when you start up something. Don’t forget the people who started the art.
6. “Ghetto Gospel” (Ft. Elton John)
He created this song to state that he’s made numerous mistakes in his life, but that God wasn’t just finished with him yet. Tupac knows that the past might be full of troubles, though the future could hold so much in store. Maybe even for the better. He also gets help from Elton John with this track, making it even more memorable.
5. “Ambitionz az a Ridah”
Tupac was still a gangster even though he strived for more, and that’s what he’s saying on this track. Even as a straight up thug, he still hoped for better times in life. Listen to this when you’ve got hopes for something better coming up in your life, and don’t let anyone screw with you.
4. “Got My Mind Made Up” (Ft. Outlawz & Kurupt)
The song’s name explains the gist of it. If you have your mind made up, keep it and stay stubborn about it. The struggles that he faces doesn’t make him change his mind, and the same goes with you.
3. “So Many Tears”
This is a personal song for Tupac. He speaks out to God, asking him for forgiveness for all of his past sins. A truly deep track, Tupac tells the stories of how he’s cried over the lost lives on account due to street violence. This might be a track that few might be able to connect to, but it is one to appreciate.
2. “To Live and Die in L.A.”
There was “California Love”, but this was his true homage to his new hometown Los Angeles. He gives full respect to the City of Angels.
It’s not just about the city that he gives mad respect to also. Tupac shows love for every race, color, and culture in this track. Anyone who’s ever lived there would know what he’s talking about.
1. “Dear Mama”
In my opinion, this is the all time best track from Tupac Shakur. “Dear Mama” is a love letter in hip-hop form showing so much appreciation and love for his mother.
It explains how much his mother went through to put food on the table, and to raise everyone right. Now this song can be used by anyone because everyone loves their mom, because mothers deserve all of the love they get from their children.
Young or old, anyone can connect to his song and play it for their mommas. Keep this sh*t in every device you have, and play it whenever you think of your mom.
Those are the top 15 tracks from Tupac Shakur in my opinion. These have gotten most of us through most of our stress inducing trouble in life, and I’m sure they’ll continue to do the same for future generations. He was a true artist in the hip-hop genre, and he’ll continue to live on through his music and future rappers that speak the truth.
Of course, there are countless other tracks in his long list that still vibrate across time, and those are still very respected, even cherished. I may have missed a few tracks, but readers could always comment or submit their most loved ones to be added in future lists of his music.