Words Shaheem Reid // This article was originally published in Issue #272


When you think of the greatest MCs ever, Tupac Shakur is on the Mount Rushmore of rap. While other rappers may be more nimble with skating across tracks with intricate flows, some may have had superior wordplay, none invoke emotion like Pac. With literally hundreds of songs in his catalog, Shakur has song for every mood you are going through. We felt him on his roller coaster journey to greatness. Political, social, going to war with his peers, protecting Black women, loving his mother, the passion and articulation in his songs  resonated in volumes with us and it still does. To celebrate his 46th birthday, we went into Pac’s beloved catalog and listed his 46 most powerful records from his the year of his first studio in 1991, until last in 1996.

“Keep Ya Head Up”

Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., 1993

“Hail Mary”

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, 1996

“California Love” featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman

All Eyez On Me, 1996

“I Get Around”

Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., 1993

“Dear Mama”

Me Against The World, 1995

“Ambitionz Az A Ridah”

All Eyez On Me, 1996

“Definition of a Thug Nigga”

Poetic Justice Soundtrack, 1993

“I Ain’t Mad At Cha” featuring Danny Boy

All Eyez On Me, 1996

“All Eyez On Me”

All Eyez On Me, 1996

“Against All Odds”

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, 1996

“2 Of Amerika’s Most Wanted” featuring Snoop Dogg

All Eyez On Me, 1996

“Temptations”

Me Against The World, 1995

“Brenda’s Got A Baby”

2Pacalypse Now, 1991

“So Many Tears”

Me Against The World, 1995

“Cradle To The Grave” with Thuglife

Thug Life: Volume 1, 1994

“Me and My Girlfriend”

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, 1996

“Trapped”

2Pacalypse Now, 1991

“How Do You Want It” featuring K-Ci and JoJo

All Eyez On Me, 1996

“If My Homie Calls”

2Pacalypse Now, 1991

“Hold Ya Head”

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, 1996

“All About U” featuring Nate Dogg, Fatal, Yani Hadati, and Snoop Dogg

All Eyez On Me, 1996

“To Live And Die In LA”

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, 1996

“Pour Out A Little Liquor”

Above The Rim Soundtrack,1994

“Me Against The World”

Me Against The World, 1995

“Outlaw” featuring The Outlawz

Me Against The World, 1995

“Ratha B Ya N____” featuring Richie Rich

All Eyez On Me, 1996

“Holler If Ya’ Hear Me”

Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., 1993

“Hit Em Up” (1996)

“Thug Passion” featuring Jewell, Outlawz and Storm

All Eyez On Me, 1996

“Run Tha Streetz” featuring

Michel’le, Storm and Mulah

All Eyez On Me, 1996

“Bomb First” featuring The Outlawz

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, 1996

“Young Niggaz”

Me Against The World, 1995

“Never Had a Friend Like Me”

Gridlock’d Soundtrack, 1997

“Soulja’s Story”

2Pacalypse Now, 1991

“Check Out Time”

All Eyez On Me, 1996

“Got My Mind Made Up” featuring Daz, Kurupt, Method Man and Redman

All Eyez On Me, 1996

“Part Time Mutha”

2Pacalypse Now, 1991

“Picture Me Rollin”

All Eyez On Me, 1996

“Life Of An Outlaw”

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, 1996

“Blasphemy”

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, 1996

“Loyal To The Game” featuring Treach and Riddler

Above The Rim Soundtrack, 1994

“Str8 Ballin’” with Thug Life

Thug Life: Volume 1, 1994

“My Block”

The Show Soundtrack, 1995

“Krazy”

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, 1996

“Papa’s Song”

Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., 1993

“Violent”

2Pacalypse Now, 1991

now-playing-cta