A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

We miss you Tupac

10 of Tupac Shakur’s greatest verses and bars of all time
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Robbie Doctor
Tupac’s most iconic albums in his legendary music catalog.

“Wars come and go, but my soldiers remain eternal.”

It seems no matter how much time flies by, rap draws inspiration from the past. Some things are classic and never forgotten.

Tupac Shakur: rap’s Makaveli, a musical mercenary, the rebel of the underground, the rose that grew from the concrete. His flow, lyricism, charisma, delivery, and reach all contribute to his greatness.

Even 27 years removed, the immortal Tupac Shakur’s words ring truer than ever. We still miss you, Tupac.

On one of “All Eyez on Me’s” many standout cuts, “No More Pain” displays Tupac vehemently spitting a line that echoes his looming legacy today: “When I die, I want to be a living legend; affiliated with this muthafuckin’ game, with no more pain.” Relatable yet almost untouchable it seemed, the potent line is one of many spat that evokes strong diction and raw emotion.

Although some argue about who is the most lyrical on the mic, the fiery rapper managed to draw listeners through his signature deep-rooted, rebellious spirit and ferocious tongue all allowing him to pour himself out through lyrics. To celebrate his life and legacy, we curated 10 of his greatest verses of all time.

This listicle is not a ranking.

 

All About U” feat. the Outlawz, Snoop Dogg & Nate Dogg

“It ain’t a hit ‘til Nate Dogg spits.” If you’ve heard this saying in hip-hop, it’s true. Not only are the features on this track some of hip hop’s icons, but the Daz Dillinger beat paired with the soft hook Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg on the outro and Tupac’s poetic gangsta delivery encompass an all-time classic.

Best bars: “Scandalous time, this game’s like my religion. You could be rollin’ with a thug. Instead you with this weak scrub, lookin’ for some love in every club. I see you starin’ like you want well, baby, if you got it, better flaunt it. Let the liquor help you get up on it. I’m still tipsy from last night. Bumpin’ these walls as I pause, addicted to the fast life.”

 

“Hail Mary”


An iconic yet grim opening, featuring the loud ceremonial bell ringing. It wasn’t only what he said, but how he said it. Tupac could bring a simple line to life with his ferocious flow. On “Hail Mary” he managed to become the voice of the incarcerated without even having to rhyme from behind bars.

Best bars: “Penitentiary is packed with promise makers. Never realize the precious time that b**** ****** is wasting. Institutionalized, I live my life a product made to crumble.”

 

“So Many Tears”

One of his more conscious and reflective songs, “So Many Tears” captivate its listeners with a jazz-inspired instrumental. By the time Tupac begins dropping rhymes, you’re hooked. Sometimes less is more. With a simple hook and few adlibs, this style allows the listeners to focus on the shared pains of living in poverty.

Best bars: “Take me away from all the pressure, and all the pain. Show me some happiness again, I’m goin’ blind. I spend my time in this cell, ain’t livin’ well. I know my destiny is Hell, where did I fail? My life is in denial, and when I die. Baptized in eternal fire, I’ll shed so many tears.”

 

“Brenda’s Got a Baby”

By far one of his more acclaimed releases, it feels like this song hasn’t lost its significance, timeliness or prevalence in today’s society. In the age of higher divorce rates and less marriages, it seems that unstable households are becoming the norm which needs to change.

Best bars: “Brenda doesn’t even know. Just ’cause you’re in the ghetto doesn’t mean you can’t grow (you can’t grow). But oh, that’s a thought, my own revelation. Do whatever it takes to resist the temptation.”

“Loyal to the Game” feat. 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks & Young Buck

Produced by Marshall Mathers, the entire “Loyal to the Game” album was Eminem’s chance to honor and pay homage to one of his rap idols. In an interview with MTV in 2003, he said that he was so moved by Tupac’s life and work that he wrote a letter to Tupac’s mother, asking her to consider letting him produce the late great’s next album.

Best bars: “Now picture me scared of the penitentiary… I’ve been movin’ these thangs since the days of elementary. Now tell me what you need when you see me. I’m stackin’ G’s, buyin’ all the things on TV, believe me! I got some killers on my payroll, and they know! When it’s time to handle business, *****, lay low!”


“2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” feat Snoop Doggy Dogg

Fresh out of jail in the early ‘90s, both Tupac and Snoop Dogg were on a mission to conquer the hip-hop scene on the West Coast. The story goes Tupac had finished recording “California Love” and witnessed someone get jumped in the lobby. Infatuated, he went to the studio across his where he heard Daz Dillenger and Snoop Dogg creating a beat. Impressed with the gangster party-type beat, he told Snoop Dogg what he witnessed outside and said, “Nah, the real gangsta party is outside.”

Best bars: “Now give me 50 feet. Defeat is not my destiny, release me to the streets. And keep whatever’s left of me. Jealousy is misery, suffering is greed. Better be prepared when you cowards f*** with me. I bust and flee!”


“California Love” feat. Dr. Dre & Roger Troutman

His most iconic song, with Dr. Dre producing and dropping a verse, Roger Troutman adding a soulful melody on the hook and Tupac’s fresh-out-of-jail mentality, it was a rap combination the industry was not ready to deal with.

Best bars: “Flossin but have caution we collide with other crews. Famous cause we program, worldwide! Let ’em recognize from Long Beach to Rosecrans. Bumpin’ and grindin’ like a slow jam. It’s West Side! So you know the row won’t bow down to no man!”

 

“Changes”

A Tupac classic that should be observed as one of hip-hop’s most successful political statements. Not because it’s especially radical in its words on police brutality, drugs and gang violence, but because the track was, from music to lyrics, accessible to those who needed it hear it the most. The people unconcerned with the politics challenged by unapologetic artists.

Best bars: “We under, I wonder what it takes to make this. One better place, let’s erase the wasted. Take the evil out the people, they’ll be actin’ right. ‘Cause both black and white are smokin’ crack tonight. And the only time we chill is when we kill each other (Kill each other). It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other. And although it seems heaven-sent. We ain’t ready to see a black president, uh (Oh-ooh)…”


“I Get Around” feat. Money-B & Shock G

One can argue this was the song that put him on the map as a solo artist.You may have heard this instrumental on a commercial or in the background somewhere and you didn’t even realize it was Tupac’s upbeat smoothness.

Best bars: “Fingertips on the hips as I dip, gotta get a tight grip, don’t slip. Loose lips sink ships, it’s a trip! I love the way she licks her lips, see me jocking. Put a little twist in her hips ’cause I’m watching.”

 

“I Gotta Get Mine” by MC Breed

Though he is only featured in this song, he breathes his bold bars of working for what he feels he deserves. First heard for some in the movie “8 Mile,” this song is a sentiment that some share.

Best bars: “I keep my mind on my money, money on my mind. Finger on the trigger, *****, hand on my 9, smokin’ blunts a skunk, making holes in punks and only underground funk pumpin’ out of my trunk. Live the life of a hustler, high ’til I die! Meeting b******, getting riches, miss me with lies. Picture me living out my life as a busta… I’d rather pop out a shot from my Glock and blast m************!”

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Robbie Doctor, Managing Editor
Robbie Doctor is the Managing Editor.

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