Tupac Shakur: 15 Songs, 15 Years Later

>> Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tupac Amaru Shakur was pronounced dead 15 years ago on September 13, 1996.

I still remember where I was when I found out he'd died: I was on the Encinal High football team's bus coming back from our game in Livermore. We'd lost. Riding the bus back in silent reflection, the first news we got from those waiting for us back in Alameda: Tupac died.

I hadn't been able to check out any Hip Hop websites like AllHipHop.com, HipHopDX or Davey D's Hip Hop corner all day. AllHipHop has an interesting series. "Triumphant Tragedy" discusses the range of views people have of 2pac, but how he's managed to stay in the news posthumously.

As I reflect on 2pac's legacy, I was just 14 years old when Tupac died. At the time, I could ask a girl, "Whatz ya phone #?" But wasn't ready to ask, "How do U Want it?"

Still, 2Pac's music was part of the soundtrack to my coming of age–through my chaotic teenage years through the first part of my twenties, and my later "Panther Power" driven desire for knowledge. The highs and the lows, my aspirations and failures; my complex contradictions and restrained resistance was captured by a man who died too early and was a voice for a generation.

He gave us all he was in his music, poetry, and later, film. Here are 15 2Pac songs. No particular order, just ones that come to mind.

  1. Dear Mama
  2. Panther Power
  3. Holla if you Hear Me
  4. Trapped
  5. Brenda's Got a Baby
  6. Wonder Why They Call You Bitch
  7. Blasphemy
  8. Pain
  9. So Many Tears
  10. White Manz World
  11. Me Against the World
  12. Keep Ya Head Up
  13. I Ain't Mad at You
  14. Never Call You Bitch Again
  15. R U Still Down?
By no means is this list exhaustive. It's only 15 of the MANY songs the brotha recorded for himself and us. I left out, "Smile," "Life Goes On," "Letter to my Unborn", "They Don't Give a Fuck About Us," and these are just some with social commentary. Plus, the titles make an interesting read.

Rest in Peace, 2pac. "Only God Can Judge Me."



Hip Hip November 25, 2011 at 2:00 AM  

15 2Pac songs... hmm actual interesting :) Thanks!

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