Tupac Amaru Shakur has made music the platform to address the social issues that plagued him and his community growing up, using a hauntingly powerful voice and lyrical style that would influence hip-hop for the years to come.
Although 2Pac passed away at the young age of 25, both the controversy and the influence he wielded has made him one of the most significant rappers to ever drop a verse. To experience and appreciate his music, here are some 2Pac vinyl records you definitely must listen to.
The last album 2Pac would release was "All Eyez On Me," released in February 1996, a few months before the unfortunate drive-by incident that would kill him in September. It featured guest performances from Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, E-40, Method Man, K-Ci and Jojo, and more.
Listen as 2Pac's rap weaves with the brothers K-Ci and Jojo with "How Do U Want It" or his signature collaboration with Snoop Dogg, "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted." His last album debuted right at the top of the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/ Hip-Hop Albums chart, spawning one of his most iconic songs "California Love," with Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman.
This is Tupac Shakur's fifth posthumous studio album, containing remixes of previously unreleased songs the rapper recorded himself before his passing. The album, released in the US back in 2004, was produced by Marshall Mathers III, Slim Shady himself.
With blessing from Tupac's mother, Eminem produced the album, using unusual techniques in the process. Listen to Tupac's singles remixed and edited by Em and Luis Resto, such as "The Uppercut," "Ghetto Gospel," and "Thugs Get Lonely Too."
"Me Against The World" was released in March 1995, in the middle of Tupac's incarceration. His upcoming sentence and troubles against the law heavily inspired the tracks in this album, which has been hailed as his most introspective work. Released at a controversial time, the album immediately sat at the top of the Billboard 200 for a month.
"Dear Mama," his tribute and a love letter to his mother, Akeni Shakur, is widely regarded as a landmark single, with the Library of Congress exalting the song as a moving and eloquent homage not just to Akeni, but to all mothers struggling to maintain a family in face of social problems.
Another posthumous album, the tracks in this compilation work are not arranged chronologically and are instead sorted in a way to highlight 2Pac's career. His 21 hits in the album came together with four previously unreleased tracks, including the signature song "Changes." The album is among the rare hip-hop albums to earn a diamond certification in the US.
Not for children: the double-vinyl compilation contains mostly explicit versions of his hits. Uncover originally sanitized parts from "How Do U Want It" and "Trapped" with Shock G, or a posthumously remixed "All Bout U." The 1998 compilation album also marked the first release of his songs "Unconditional Love," "God Bless the Dead," "Troublesome '96," and "Changes."