The 20th Anniversary of Tupac Shakur’s Death.

By Jessica Golich

Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, had a career that resulted into a masterpiece full of albums that served as a majority of the 90’s children’s bibles. Whether ruthlessly fusing fresh rap gospel and cold-blooded street themes with serenading his mother while fulfilling his dreams, 2Pac’s cultural impact on society and the music industry, in general, is eternal and will never die or subside. 2Pac’s music was heard by millions and influenced social change through messages interlaced within his bars stemming from raw, violent, forward-thinking, political, historical, or uplifting sentiments that all came through equally powerful. The cultural force began his career by dropping his 1991 smash-hit debut studio album, ‘2Pacalypse Now’ which focused on addressing inner-city living, poverty, police brutality, African American culture, and teenage pregnancy. 2Pac went on to sell over 75 million albums throughout his career and even made a name for himself on the big screen. On September 7th, 1996, Tupac Shakur was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada and rushed to University Medical Center of Southern Nevada. He would pass away six days later. Twenty years after his death however, 2Pac’s reign is still as palpable and influential to this day. In honor of the 20th anniversary of the passing of Tupac Shakur, let’s take a journey through twenty of the West Coast King’s greatest verses of all time.

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  1. “I heard a rumor I died, murdered in cold blood dramatized

Pictures of me in my final stages, you know mama cried

But that was all fiction, some coward got the story twisted.”

“Ain’t Hard To Find” / Album – ‘All Eyez on Me’

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  1. “Even though you was a crack fiend mama, you always was a Black queen mama.”

“Dear Mama” / Album – ‘Me Against The World’

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  1. “They say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice

I say the darker the flesh, then the deeper the roots.”

“Keep Ya Head Up” / Album – ‘Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z’

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  1. “The message I stress: to make it stop study your lessons

Don’t settle for less – even the genius asks his questions

Be grateful for blessings. Don’t ever change, keep your essence

The power is in the people and politics we address”  

“Me Against The World” / Album – ‘Me Against The World’

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  1. “I died and came back

I hustle with these lyrics as if it’s a game of crack

Thuggin’ is in my spirit, I’m lost and not knowing

Scar’d up, but still flowing

Energized and still going”

“Heartz Of Men” / Album – ‘All Eyez on Me’

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  1. “I’m not a killa, but don’t push me

Revenge is like the sweetest joy next to gettin’ pussy.”

“Hail Mary” / Album – ‘The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory’

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  1. “Never surrender, it’s all about the faith you got

Don’t ever stop, just push it ’till you hit the top

And if you drop, at least you know you gave your all to be true to you, that way you can never fall”

“Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z” / Album – ‘Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z’

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  1. “I see no changes, all I see is racist faces

Misplaced hate makes disgrace for races.”

“Changes” / Album – ‘Greatest Hits’

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  1. “Keep a vest for protection, from the barrel of a Smith & Wesson

And all my niggas in the pen, here we go again

Ain’t nothin’ separatin’ us from a Mack-10.”

“Nothing to Lose” / Album – ‘R U Still Down?’

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11. “Words bein’ known to explode on contact

Extreme at times, Blinded by my passion and fury

Look at me laugh at my competition’s flashin’ my jewelry

You’d stay silent if you niggas knew me.”

“Life Of An Outlaw” / Album – ‘The Don Killuminiti: The 7 Day Theory”

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  1. Don’t it make you get teary? The world looks dreary

When you wipe your eyes, see it clearly

There’s no need for you to fear me

If you take your time and hear me

Maybe you can learn to cheer me.”

“Ghetto Gospel” / Album – ‘Loyal to the Game’

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  1. “I hear Brenda’s got a baby

But Brenda’s barely got a brain

A damn shame, the girl can hardly spell her name.”

“Brenda’s Got a Baby” / Album – ‘2Pacalypse Now’

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  1. Now, as I kneel and pray, I hope the Lord understand

When he’s gone, devolve, I become a dangerous man.”

“Still Ballin” / Album – ‘Better Dayz’

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  1. “I’ve been knowin’ you for years

We was high school peers, in junior high

I was itchin’ to kill, and you was ready to die”

“This Life I Lead” / Album – ‘Better Dayz’

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  1. “I’ve been trapped since birth, cautious ‘cause I’m cursed

And fantasies of my family in a hearse

And they say it’s the White man I should fear

But it’s my own kind doin’ all the killin’ here.”

“Only God Can Judge Me” / Album – ‘All Eyez on Me’

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  1. “Everybody got they own thang, currency chasin’

Worldwide through the hard times, worrying faces

Shed tears as we bury niggas close to heart

Who was a friend is now a ghost in the dark”

“To Live & Die in L.A” / Album – The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory’

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  1. “Finger tips on the hips as I dip

Gotta get a tight grip, don’t slip

Loose lips sink ships, it’s a trip.”

“I Get Around” / Album – ‘Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z’

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  1. “It’s war on the streets and a war in the Middle East

Instead of war on poverty, they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me.”

“Changes” / Album – ‘Greatest Hits’

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  1. “Bow down, pray to God, hoping that he’s listening

Seeing niggas coming for me through my diamonds when they glistening.”

“Hail Mary” / Album – ‘The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory’

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  1. And I realize Momma really paid the price

She nearly gave her life to raise me right

And all I had to give her was my pipe dream of how I’d rock the mic and make it to the bright screen

I’m trying to make a dollar outta fifteen cents

It’s hard to be legit and still pay the rent

And in the end, it seems I’m heading for the pen

I try to find my friends, but they’re blowing in the wind.

“Keep Ya Head Up” / Album – ‘Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z’