Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. Shakur has sold over 75 million records worldwide. Why has the Bay Area been so influenced by him? He told us the answer, California love.
The way he pours lyrics from his gut, Through his deep voice pleading for all to listen. He always sounds like he means it so bad. Yes, 2pac passed away after making a song about living and dying in L.A., but what about his roots in Marin, Ca, better known as ‘The Jungle’? It was there that he got a dose of game that could last a lifetime.
The industry and fans in general have always seemed to overlook everything in California except for Los Angeles. Meanwhile ‘Pac was yelling “From Oakland to Sactown, the Bay Area and back down!”. One of his first groups when he got to California was called Strictly Dope, the other half of the duo was a young man from Santa Rosa named Ray Luv. A woman named Leila Steinberg managed the two, becoming a guiding force in their life, and instrumental in their musical success.
Tupac would eventually move to Oakland, Where he would create longtime friendships with several rappers. One of these rappers is Richie Rich, with whom ‘Pac would record many songs with, such as “Rather be ya Ni**a”.
On 1995’s #1 album, Me Against The World, 2Pac was mainly working with mentor Shock G, Easy Mo Bee, and Stretch from the Live Squad. However, his production style would change leading up to 1996’s All Eyez On Me. During this time he was molding the Thug Life sound with production veteran J, as well as Bay Area Mob-style producer Mike Mosley.
“In my heart i believe what I’m doing is right, so i feel like I’m going to heaven.” 2pac
Mike Mosley told an amazing story to Sway (in the morning) about how he met Tupac. “What happened was, he came up to me and was like ‘I wanted to meet you. I’m a big fan of Celly Cel. My favorite song is “Bailin’ Thru My Hood” by Celly Cel, which you did. Love that C-Bo; when I was jail, I work out to C-Bo.’ I see he liked all that hood stuff I did. I was like, ‘Man, I want to work with you, ’cause I’ma get a [platinum] plaque workin’ with you.’ He was like, ‘Let’s do it.’” Fast forward and Mosley ended up producing “Can U Get Away” and “Heavy In The Game,” from the #1 album Me Against The World.
Mosley is in an elite class of West Coast producers including Tone Capone, K-Lou, Sean T and also Rick Rock, the Cosmic Slop Shop leader who would go on to make hits for Jay Z, Ice Cube, and Fabolous.
Tupac was great friends with Spice 1, they collaborated on songs together and appeared in each others videos. ‘Pac also made a cameo in an early video from E-40 called “Practice lookin hard”. Mac Mall has shared a story that the beat was too short on E-40’s “Dusted N Disgusted” track for Mall to be on it. So Tupac, being the generous person that he was, cut his verse in half to 8 bars to allow time for Mac Mall to also be able to feature on the song.
One of the most over looked Bay Area collaborations ‘Pac did was appearing on the Young Lay black & Dangerous album. The Khayree produced “Got 2 Survive” is possibly 2pac’s best verse ever. Did we mention he also directed and starred in Mac Mall’s breakthrough video “Ghetto Theme.
Aside from all the hot L.A. acts he had songs with, The track list of “All Eyes On Me” reads like a who’s who of Northern California rap royalty. Features included:
- Dru Down
- Rappin 4 Tay
- Richie Rich
2pac always stayed true to his northern California roots……so what’s the real reason 2pac gets so much California Love ?
In short, Because he went the hardest for what he believed in. Most importantly the Bay area will always love him because he really put the bay on when he had the chance, and when it mattered most.
R.I.Paradise Tupac Amaru Shakur and Afeni Shakur
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