Opinion
By Séamus Smyth

5. It’s All About You feat. Nate Dogg & The Outlawz

Three was never company for Mr. Shakur as he frequently invited his friends to drop verses on some of his hottest tracks. 2-Pac almost always had the standout verse, yet on “It’s All About you,” everybody brought their A-game. The legendary Nate Dogg laid out one of his most memorable hooks, a considerable feat considering the number of high-profile rap songs he was featured in. In classic Tupac fashion, he didn’t spend the entire track degrading and insulting his latest prey. He revealed his flaws and focused on both his disappointment and triumphs. It’s literally robbery how often this patent that Tupac pioneered was stolen by the biggest hip-hop stars that arrived in the 2000s.

4. 2 of Amerikaz’s Most Wanted feat. Snoop Dogg

Besides how this track spewed hip-hop venom like a thugged-out VelociRaptor, it featured Snoop Dogg in his absolute prime. What will always maintain Snoop’s original gangster status is that he was always viewed as a peer of Tupac’s rather than a follower. Snoop has fallen deep into the pop-music abyss since Pac’s demise, but at this glorious period in time, Snoop and Pac were not only two of America’s most wanted, but were two of the 90’s most beloved cultural icons.

 3. Do for Love

When rap reached an unimaginable level of popularity in the mid 2000’s, it was almost a requirement that a rapper had at least one or two decelerated jams on the record. Tupac pioneered the rap slow jam in the 90’s and again the rest merely followed the recipe. Nobody was as real as Tupac as the man was as transparent as a ghost. It was why he couldn’t shy away from rapping about subjects as diary-friendly as the complications that derive from relationships. He was a rapper by definition but he had the same unmistakable ability to swoon the soul as Marvin Gaye. His songs were able to keep the heads nodding, but also caught the hips swinging, a simultaneous movement that very few rappers have managed to capture.

 2. Live and Die in L.A.

He was the unofficial flag bearer of the West Coast for his entire career and “Live and Die in L.A” was Shakur’s swan song. Throwing up West coast W’s was an hourly event for him, as he had a fixation for his state that would lead to grand rivalries and hostile audiences on the opposite side of the country. Tupac wasn’t “California Dreamin’” because he was already living it. It’s astonishing that such a young man could already be requesting where his tombstone be placed, but that was just one more way 2-Pac was able to showcase his dedication and loyalty to the City of Angels.

 1. Keep Ya Head Up

Throughout his career, he delivered brilliant insight into society’s most troubling and daunting issues that although were repeatedly neglected, he made everyone with a beating heart begin to reflect. No song captured his advocacy and wisdom like “Keep Ya Head up.” Rap often is punished with associations with female abuse, despite its eternal Lord, Tupac Shakur being a true ambassador of the equal treatment of women. Through a number of standout tracks, he demonstrated that his insight into the role of mothers and women in society was unparalleled. He could have released a dozen other gun-raising, shooter-toasting anthems, but instead offered a sentimental appeal for the women in the most undesirable circumstances to march on for one more day.

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