Nate Dogg - Why
Nate Dogg was pretty close to Tupac, and the two worked together quite a few times in the 90s. Nate Dogg went and recorded "Why" for his friend and fellow musician.
Nas - We Will Survive
Nas breaks this track up into three parts: one for B.I.G., one for Pac, and one for all the fallen soldiers to tie it all together. One of the great MCs of all time left a tasteful tribute on wax with "We Will Survive."
Naughty By Nature - Mourn You Til I Join You
This track appeared on the Ride soundtrack back in 1997, and features some pretty heartfelt lines about Tupac. Treach recalls meeting Tupac on tour with Public Enemy, smoking with him, and much more with this tribute.
"We was two lil niggas both skinny and broke
Happy if we scrap pennies for smokes
Tours over we were out yeah and you called with the news
You was over in New York to film this movie called Juice"
Q-Tip - The Fear in the Heart of Man
This track is from The Rose That Grew from Concrete compilation, where rappers used Tupac's writing to compile new songs. Q-Tip's track is especially rousing, as you may expect, as he drops knowledge about vulnerability before ending with a chant of "Tupac Shakur, we love miss you and we love you."
Off the Snoop Dogg rarity album Death Row: The Lost Sessions Vol. 1, "Life's So Hard" is dedicated to Mr. Shakur. Along with a heartfelt chorus from K-Ci & JoJo, the track boasts some emotional bars from Snoop, who usually refrains from that.
Talib Kweli - Fallen Star
Coming from The Rose Vol. 2, "Fallen Star" is another track written by Tupac but recorded by another great MC. This time Talbi Kweli puts his Brooklyn love into a track that commemorates Pac.
The Bay Area Allstars - The Song Continuez (2pac Tribute)
It's tough to get a few rappers to get together and record a great track, so when dozens of rappers get together, you know it's going to be special. The Bay Area Allstars' Tupac tribute features popular artists like Too Short and E-40 along with tons of lesser-known cats. Each puts their own ingredients in the pot, and the result is delicious.
Written and performed by, in order of performance:
Dem Hoodstarz (Band-Aide & Scoot)
The Pack (Lil' Uno, B., Young L)
James "D-Train" Williams
Isa S. Chu
Mos Def - Can U C the Pride in the Panther
With Talib Kweli popping up earlier in the list, here's the second half of Black Star doing his thing with Tupac's words. Mos Def gets a little political, naturally, in "Can U C the Pride in the Panther."
Maino - Letter to Pac
Hailing from Brooklyn, Maino admittedly took Biggie's side when the two had beef. At any rate, that was put aside eventually and Maino dropped a nice 'letter' to Pac with this one.
RZA will direct an upcoming action-thriller titled "Breakout."
It was nineteen years ago today that Tupac Shakur's life was taken too soon. The rap world would never be the same, and the community really felt the loss.
Dozens of rappers have recorded verses and entire songs to commemorate the fallen MC. You heard some of these tributes on the Rose That Grew from Concrete compilations, where different MCs took unused Tupac lyrics to create songs. You may have also heard cuts like Nas' "God Bless The Dead" where he tips his hat to both Pac and B.I.G.
To pay our respects to Tupac, we've decided to compile what we feel are the best tribute songs recorded for the infamous west coast MC. There will never be another like Tupac Shakur, may he rest in peace.