Thursday, June 16, 2011
The Tupac 10 - 10 Collaborations of a Legend
It was too hard to come up with 10 great Tupac songs. I tried last year and failed and this year was an equal fail. Instead, I tried to come up with 10 classic collaborations with other artists that I loved. It just showed that Pac had love for a lot of artists and he shined with them as well as he did on his own.
It's crazy that not only would Pac be 40 today, I'm a year older than he was when he died. It's just a reminder that when he was alive, he accomplished more than folks twice his age. He knew he had a legacy ahead of him and it's a shame it was cut short. (It's even sadder if this recent report is true about the infamous 1994 shooting that set off the domino effect that ended with Pac and Notorious BIG dead.)
Here's the Tupac 10 Collabs according to one hip hop head. Feel free to share your own.
1. California Love (w. Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman) - Any explanation needed? 16 years later and it's still the definitive Cali anthem that'll give folks pride.
2. Thug Luv (w. Bone Thugs N Harmony) - One of the hardest beats in hip hop history. Pac didn't try to imitate Bone Thugs' double time flow like Biggie did but his passion fit right in place over this beat. I'll never forget the biggest Bone Thugs fan I know let me hear this for the first time and I lost my mind.
3. Smile (w. Scarface) - Soul from the Hole as Cali and Houston came together for this unbelievable classic. Two of hip hop's most introspective wax poetic in one of the greatest duets in hip hop history.
4. Got My Mind Made Up (w. Kurupt, Daz, Method Man, Redman and Inspectah Deck) - For all the bicoastal beef talk, it's a known fact that Pac was ready to link up with Big Daddy Kane on a record label. Anyways, Kurupt, Meth and Red demolish this track with INS the rebel batting 6th in audio essence. I posted the full version with Deck's verse at the end for those who haven't heard it.
5. Runnin (Dyin to Live) [w. Notorious BIG] - Everyone can remember just how special it was to hear this track when Resurrection came out. It's a painful reminder that nobody won that feud. Hip hop fans, families, the media and so many others lost.
6. 2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted (w. Snoop Dogg) - Pac was hungry coming out of jail. Snoop was hungry after his murder trial. Both were in the mood to party. The result? A classic duet that proved to be the last gasp of Death Row as we knew it.
7. MSG Freestyle [w. Biggie, Shyheim, Scoob and Big Daddy Kane] - If you haven't heard it, please do. Please remember that Pac and Biggie were once friends. Best of all, imagine how live this scene was to have 3 of the greatest on stage and one of the illest teen rappers ever in Shyheim in front of tens of thousands at Madison Square Garden.
8. All About U [f. Snoop Dogg, Dru Down Nate Dogg and the Outlawz] - Classic party jam
9. Last Words [f. Ice Cube and Ice-T] - Noteworthy for being one of the few times Ice Cube and Ice-T were on wax together, this gem from Pac's 93 album is criminally slept on.
10. Still Ballin [f. Trick Daddy] - I know it's a posthumous jam but it still sounds as hard as anything Pac would've done alive. Plus it reminds me how underrated Trick Daddy was in his prime.
Honorable Mention: Staring Through My Rearview f. the Outlawz. Phil Collins never sounded so good since Nas and Bone Thugs sampled him. Happy Birthday Tupac Shakur, keep on living long after you've left this Earth.