Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known as 2pac, is one of the greatest rap stars to ever walk on earth. This American rapper and actor is considered one of the best rappers that has come from the west part of the country. Also, he is undisputedly considered the man who put aggression and thought into gangsta rapping. If you discount the 90s from Tupac, you discount all of rap that happened in the 90s.
There was emotion and aggression in Shakur’s lyrics. His videos and vocals depicted the thug life. There is hardly any celebrity out there that discussed the issues of the ghetto life the way Tupac did. In the few years of his amazing career, he made enough material to leave a legacy. As of the end of last decade, he has sold over a whopping 75 million albums all across the globe. These figures make him not only one of the best-selling rappers of all time, but also lists him among the greatest music artists to ever live. According to the Rolling Stone Magazine, 2pac is listed at the number 86th spot among the Greatest Artists of All Time.
Here, we will be talking about the top 10 songs that this rap god sang. We know it is extremely difficult to sort out and leave any song from the list when it comes to an artist of this caliber. However, we have tried doing our best. So let the ranking begin!
10. Hit ‘Em Up
This might be the most controversial choice in our list, but we had to include it for many reasons. Hit ‘Em Up is a track that fits perfectly into the diss record category. Vitriolic, inflammatory and extremely spiteful – this song does the job exceptionally well. All the words are complemented by the raw and aggressive voice of Tupac, who leaves nothing behind, when it comes to abusing his competitor from East coast – Notorious B.I.G. Teaming up with the Outlawz, Pac doesn’t even leave Biggie’s wife in the song, going full throttle on the private matters.
9. When Thugs Cry
When Thugs Cry is a song that best describes Pac demonstrating self-pity. From the big thumping beat to the immaculately done rap of the legend himself, this song is an encore material. You get to listen to what Shakur thinks of all the persecution that has plagued black-on-black crime in all of African-American communities.
8. Life Goes On
All Eyes On Me is an album that needs to thank it had this number in it. Life Goes On is a great ode to the one you lost. Here, 2Pac talks about how it felt, the moment he lost his loved one and how things have moved on from there. From all the bittersweet memories, Pac shows the world that it is these adversities that make him stronger and that his life and his mission will move on, come what may.
7. Two of Amerikaz Most Wanted
Collaboration between the prince of gansta rap and The Doggfather could never be ordinary. And that is very well felt in this song. Two of Amerikaz Most Wanted is a number that takes shots (and very clever ones) on the East Coast foes, especially Biggie. Not only is this track one of the best duo party numbers that any rap artists have made, it also served the purpose of showing the world that their side was the much better one. With lines such as: “Homicide to bump in the ride. Only on the Westside!”, the track topped the charts like no other!
“Changes” is a track that is all-so-Tupac! The moment you listen to it, you know the genius behind those words. What really helped the track was the fact that not only was it intended for commercial success; it also had the words to help uplift our society. To this date, this song remains timeless and is considered among the finest.
5. Hail Mary
The hazy cosmic sound with Pac’s dose of vitriol is what this number from the 1996 album Makaveli offers. Hail Mary continues to haunt haters of Pac to this date. There is something very special about this track, as it somehow predicts the untimely death of this rap god.
4. Brenda’s Got a Baby
This is perhaps the best song from Pac’s 1991 coming 2Pacalypse Now. It is a narration of a 12 year old girl, Brenda, who accidentally conceives. However, her unsuitable age has made her incapable of raising a child. To this date, there are scores of other artists who have kept this idea alive and tried promoting this bleak issue of the society that Tupac first raised.
3. Dear Mama
Ever since this song came out, it remains Pac’s unofficial ode to his mother, Afeni Shakur. This Mother’s Day anthem is nothing short of a very meticulous masterpiece. Here the rap prince praises his mom for all the hard work and efforts she pulled off to make it possible to put food on the table. There is honesty and real love in this track, which keeps it an ever long number.
2. Keep Ya Head Up
Keep Ya Head up is arguably the very best performance by Pac on an individual level. Here, 2Pac talks about how important it is to always look ahead of the struggle, looking at the brighter side and respecting everyone, irrespective of the gender. With verses such as “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”, this song is a true winner.
1. California Love (feat. Dr. Dre)
No matter who you are, whether you worship Pac or are an East Coast fanatic, there is no way you don’t like this song! California Love is a complete number by all means. It has the jammin’ beat, the clever rap, the backing by Dre and a video that is equally fun to watch. California Love is a commercial phenomenon and is one of those songs of the 90s which still gets played a lot over the radio waves. Also, this is one of the most known works by Pac that is full of flavor and fun.
So this is it… the complete list of songs that we believe made Pac what he is now – a phenomenon in rap music. Do let us know of which songs you think should have been listed in the top 10s.