MMD October 8, 2014 0

Tupac is one of the most beloved artists in the history of hip-hop. In his life, he wore many hats, from MC, to thug, to revolutionary. If there’s one thing you have to give ‘Pac, it’s that he was truly fearless as an artist and as a man and that came through in his music. Murdered at 25 year of age, it’s hard to believe Tupac only had 8 solid years of making music. Having been gone for nearly 20 years, ‘Pac is still a force within hip-hop and beyond. Besides the long list of posthumous albums that have been released, major universities have offered classes on the writings of Tupac. Many didn’t understand Tupac’s cause, exactly what he was fighting for but as the years pass sit seems to make more and more sense. One can only imagine what a 43 year old, mature Tupac would have been able to get accomplished had he been alive today. There’s a lot in Tupac’s music and to absorb it all could take a few listens. We at MMD have picked out Tupac’s 10 greatest verses ever.

1. Pour Out a Little Liquor/Thug Life Vol.1

Like most of ‘Pacs music this track was filled with emotion. You could almost feel the pain he’s feeling after losing a friend to the streets. The imagery is crazy and evokes real feeling. This is also a very underrated ‘Pac track.

I started young kickin’ dust and, livin’ rough

You watch your mouth around my mama you couldn’t cuss man

I had a down ass homie though, we ran the streets

And on the scene at the age of fourteen

I packed a nine and my nigga packed a forty-five

We drinkin’ forties, lil’ shorties livin’ naughty lives

You couldn’t stop us, long as I got my glock, fuck the coppers

Hangin’ on the block, slangin’ rocks and makin’ profits

I couldn’t fuck with the school life, I was a fool

I’ll play that motherfucker for a tool man

Tonight’ll be the night that’s what we think

Hustlin’ in the rain felt no pain cause we drinkin’

Playin’ them hoes like manure

First let my nigga fuck and then I fuck that’s how we do it

It’s two niggas comin’ up out the hood

Livin’ life just as good as we could

But since a bitch can’t be trusted

Hoes snitched to the po-lice, now my nigga’s busted

The cops whoopin’ on my nigga in jail

Tryin’ to get a motherfucker to tell

And couldn’t nobody dis my nigga

Damn, I miss my nigga

Pour out a little liquor

2. Dear Mama/ Me Against the World

This song made people think. How could somebody who’s always so angry make such a heartfelt song? You could feel the love ‘Pac had for his mother. It was genuine and easily one of his best.

Pour out some liquor and I reminisce, ‘cause through the drama

I can always depend on my mama

And when it seems that I’m hopeless

You say the words that can get me back in focus

When I was sick as a little kid

To keep me happy there’s no limit to the things you did

And all my childhood memories

Are full of all the sweet things you did for me

And even though I act crazy

I gotta thank the Lord that you made me

There are no words that can express how I feel

You never kept a secret, always stayed real

And I appreciate, how you raised me

And all the extra love that you gave me

I wish I could take the pain away

If you can make it through the night there’s a brighter day

Everything will be alright if ya hold on

It’s a struggle every day, gotta roll on

And there’s no way I can pay you back

But my plan is to show you that I understand

You are appreciated

3. Hail Mary/ The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

Tupac went to another level when he became Makaveli. The songs were deep and somber. Hail Mary, which ‘Pac reportedly wrote and recorded in a matter of minutes was a standout which says a lot given that the whole album was dope.

I ain’t a killer but don’t push me

Revenge is like the sweetest joy next to getting’ pussy

Picture paragraphs unloaded, wise words bein’ quoted

Peeped the weakness in the rap game and sewed it

Bow down; pray to God hoping that he’s listenin’

Seein’ niggas comin’ for me, to my diamonds, when they glistenin’

Now pay attention, rest in peace father

I’m a ghost in these killin’ fields

Hail Mary catch me if I go, let’s go deep inside

The solitary mind of a madman who screams in the dark

Evil lurks, enemies, see me flee

Activate my hate; let it break, to the flame

Set trip, empty out my clip, never stop to aim

Some say the game is all corrupted, fucked in this shit

Stuck, niggas is lucky if we bust out this shit, plus

Mama told me never stop until I bust a nut

Fuck the world if they can’t adjust

It’s just as well, Hail Mary

4. I Ain’t Ma at Ya/ All Eyez On Me

Another touching track, this song found Tupac talking to a friend who had changed up his path in life. This was another video where he predicted his own death.

Now we was once two niggas of the same kind

Quick to holla at a hoochie with the same line

You was just a little smaller but you still rolled

Got stretched to Y.A. and hit the hood swole

‘Member when you had a jheri curl didn’t quite learn

On the block, with ya glock, trippin’ off sherm

Collect calls to the till, sayin’ how ya changed

Oh you a Muslim now, no more dope game

Heard you might be comin’ home, just got bail

Wanna go to the Mosque, don’t wanna chase tail

It seems I lost my little homie he’s a changed man

Hit the pen and now no sinnin’ is the game plan

When I talk about money all you see is the struggle

When I tell you I’m livin’ large you tell me it’s trouble

Congratulations on the weddin’, I hope your wife know

She got a player for life, and that’s no bullshitin’

I know we grew apart, you probably don’t remember

I used to fiend for your sister, but never went up in her

And I can see us after school, we’d bomb

On the first motherfucker with the wrong shit on

Now the whole shit’s changed, and we don’t even kick it

Got a big money scheme, and you ain’t even with it

Knew in my heart you was the same motherfucker bad

Go toe to toe when it’s time for roll you got a brother’s back

And I can’t even trip, ‘cause I’m just laughin’ at cha

You tryin’ hard to maintain, then go head

‘Cause I ain’t mad at cha

5. Thugz Mansion/ Better Dayz

One of Tupac’s greatest songs ever finds him imagining what life will be like when he reaches heaven. This particular verse shows that ‘Pac might have been more troubled than people thought but to be able to put those kind of lyrics to music is courageous. This was true poetry.

A place to spend my quiet nights, time to unwind

So much pressure in this life of mine, I cry at times

I once contemplated suicide, and woulda tried

But when I held that 9, all I could see was my momma’s eyes

No one knows my struggle, they only see the trouble

Not knowin’ it’s hard to carry on when no one loves you

Picture me inside the misery of poverty

No man alive has ever witnessed struggles I survived

Prayin’ hard for better days, promise to hold on

Me and my doggs ain’t have a choice but to roll on

We finally found a spot to kick it

Where we can drink liquor and no one bickers over trick shit

A spot where we can smoke in peace, and even though we G’s

We still visualize places that we can roll in peace

And in my mind’s eye I see this place that players go in passin’

I got a spot for us all, so we can ball, at thug’s mansion

6. Ambitionz Az A Ridah/ All Eyez On Me

Tupac spent a lot of time writing some of the deepest lyrics around but sometimes he just needed to be gangsta. This is one of the most bangin’ tracks ever and finds ‘Pac going super hard on a very dope beat.

So many battlefield scars while driven in plush cars

This life as a rap star is nothin’ without heart

Was born rough and rugged, addressin’ the mad public

My attitude was, “Fuck it,” ‘cause motherfuckers love it

To be a soldier, must maintain composure at ease

Though life is complicated, only what you make it to be

Uhh, and my ambitions as a ridah to catch her

While she hot, and horny, go up inside her

Then I spit some game in her ear, “Go to the telly hoe”

You put what money in a Benz, cause bitch I’m barely broke

I’m smokin’ bomb-ass weed feelin’ crucial

From player to player, the game’s tight, the feeling’s mutual

From hustlin’ and prayers, to breakin’ motherfuckers to pay-up

I got no time for these bitches, ‘cause these hoes tried to play us

I’m on a meal-ticket mission, want a mil’, so I’m wishin’

Competition got me ripped, on that bullshit they stressin’

I’m a rhyme though, clown hoes like it’s mandatory

No guts no glory my nigga bitch got the game distorted

Now it’s on and it’s on because I said so

Can’t trust a bitch in the business so I got with Death Row

Now these money hungry bitches getting’ suspicious

Started plottin’ and plannin’ on schemes to come and trick us

But Thug niggas be on point and game tight

Me, Syke and Bogart, wrap it up the same night

Got problems then handle it, motherfuckers see me

These niggas is jealous cause deep in they heart they wanna be me

Uhh, yeah, and now ya got me right beside ya

Hopin’ you listen I catch you payin’ attention

To my ambitions as a ridah

7. California Love/ All Eyez On Me

California Love was ‘Pac’s return to the public eye after a lengthy prison sentence. It was also his initiation to Death Row. With Dre on the beat and contributing a verse this song is a West Coast classic.

Out on bail fresh out of jail, California dreamin’

Soon as I step on the scene, I’m hearin’ hoochies screamin’

Fiendin’ for money and alcohol, the life of a Westside player

Where cowards die and the strong ball

Only in Cali where we riot not rally to live and die

In L.A. we wearin’ Chucks not Bally’s (yeah, that’s right)

Dressed in Locs and khaki suits and ride is what we do

Flossin’ but have caution we collide with other crews

Famous because we throw grands

Worldwide let ’em recognize from Long Beach to Rosecrans

Bumpin’ and grindin’ like a slow jam, it’s Westside

So you know the Row won’t bow down to no man

Say what you say, but give me that bomb beat from Dre

Let me serenade the streets of L.A.

From Oakland to Sac-town, the Bay Area and back down

Cali is where they put they mack down, give me love

8. Keep Ya Head Up/ Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.

Keep Ya Head Up finds ‘Pac reaching out to those stuck in the hood suffering to lend a few uplifting words. In my opinion, in terms of social awareness, ‘Pac was at his best here.

Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice

I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots

I give a holler to my sisters on welfare

Tupac cares, if don’t nobody else care

And uhh, I know they like to beat ya down a lot

When you come around the block brothers clown a lot

But please don’t cry, dry your eyes, never let up

Forgive but don’t forget, girl keep your head up

And when he tells you ain’t nuttin’ don’t believe him

And if he can’t learn to love you, you should leave him

Cause sista you don’t need him

And I ain’t tryin’ to gas ya up, I just call ‘em how I see ‘em

You know it makes me unhappy (what’s that)

When brothers make babies, and leave a young mother to be a pappy

And since we all came from a woman

Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman

I wonder why we take from our women

Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?

I think it’s time to kill for our women

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 that make the babies

And since a man can’t make one

He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one

So will the real men get up?

I know you’re fed up ladies, but keep your head up

9. Pain/ Above the Rim Soundtrack

What’s incredible about this song is the passion in it. The title is fitting because you can truly feel ‘Pac’s pain.

They’ll never take me alive; I’m gettin’ high with my four-five

Cocked on these suckas, time to die

Even as a youngster causin’ ruckus on the back of the bus

I was a fool all through high school kickin’ up dust

But now I’m labelled as a trouble maker who can you blame?

Smokin’ weed helped me take away the pain

So I’m hopeless rollin’ down the freeway swervin’, don’t worry

I’m about to crash up on the curb cause my vision’s blurry

Maybe if they tried to understand me, what should I do?

I had to feed my fuckin’ family, what else could I do

But be a thug

Out slangin’ with the homies

Fuck hangin’ with them phonies in the club

Got my mind on danger

Never been a stranger to homicide

My cities full of gang bangers and drive-bys

Why do we die at an early age?

He was so young

But still a victim of the 12 gauge

My memories of a corpse

Mind full of sick thoughts

And I ain’t goin’ back to court

So fuck what you thought

I’m drinkin’ Hennessey

Runnin’ from my enemies will I live to be 23?

There’s So Much Pain

10. Smile/ The Untouchable

This was a feature on Scarface’s album and this is one of Tupac’s most touching songs. ‘Pac had a soft spot for kids, presumably because of his upbringing and he lets it shine through on this verse.

Our lifestyles be close captioned, addicted to fatal attractions

Pictures of actions be played back in the midst of mashin’

No fairy tales for this young black male

Some see me stranded in this land of hell, jail, and crack sales

Hustle too hard to think of culture

Or the repercussions while bustin’ on backstabbin’ vultures

Sellin’ my soul for material wishes, fast cars and bitches

Wishin’ I lived my life a legend, immortalized in pictures

Why shed tears, save your sympathy

My childhood years were spent buryin’ my peers in the cemetery

Here’s a message to the newborns, waitin’ to breathe

If you believe, then you can achieve, just look at me

Against all odds, though life is hard we carry on

Livin’ in the projects, broke with no lights on

So all the seeds that follow me, protect yo essence

Born with less, but you’re still precious

Just smile for me now

Article By: Jon DaBove

Leave A Response »