Fifteen years after his untimely death, many are still talking about Tupac Amaru Shakur. Today, June 16, would have been his 40th birthday had he survived the wounds he suffered that ill-fated Las Vegas night.

It’s hard to imagine a 40-year-old Pac.

The bravado, the swagger, the self-reflective, sometimes contradictory rhymes seemed born of a man who knew his days were numbered. The intensity with which Pac spit, lived life, and loved (and hated) poured from his gut with each and every lyric he’d ever written.

To this day, the legend of Tupac continues to grow. Many still cling to the idea that he is alive (in Cuba of course)—Newport in one hand, Heineken in the other—haunting a studio, and still putting out mixtapes.

His fans—excuse me, fanatics—treat Pac as a modern-day prophet. And in many ways he was. Opening our eyes to the perils of teen pregnancy, the plight of political prisoners, and the dangerous realities of the streets.

As hip-hop grew, so did Pac’s influence on a generation. Years after his death, many youngsters (who weren’t even born in ’96) are fans of Pac, finding solace in his words as if they were alive to witness him first hand.

Like Miles Davis, Coltrane, Run DMC, Tribe Called Quest, Muddy Waters, Billie Holiday, and so many others before him, people will continue to celebrate, study, and revel in the experience that was Tupac Amaru Shakur for generations to come.

Check out one of my favorite Tupac joints. What’s your favorite Tupac song?

  • DRM

    Keep ya head up – 2Pac – It has a positive message that is still relevant today.

  • http://thevinylbridge.blog.com Paris Chanel

    I have soooo many favorites from Pac. Hmmm…I’m gonna have to pick two. I’ll say “Brenda’s Got A Baby” (that song is so freakin’ deep) and “Dear Mama” (it always stays on my playlist).

  • binks

    Ditto! I can listen to that song all day

  • thelivingpoet

    luv 2pac going to be hard to figure out what fav song by him. hail mary maybe

  • L. Dean

    Well I have quite a few actually… Keep Ya Head up, Dear Mama, Picture Me Rolling, & Brenda’s Got a Baby.

  • http://blog.blackstudentmidwife.com damidwif

    brenda’s got a baby

    whatz your phone number

  • http://blog.blackstudentmidwife.com damidwif

    i wonder if heaven’ got a ghetto

    dont know if that’s the title, nor am i sure if it is a real song since it had lyrics from another one of his songs

  • QueenofNewcastle

    Keep Ya Head Up.
    I AInt Mad At Ya.
    I Get Around.
    Hail MAry.
    Smile
    Until The End of Time

    Going to listen to some Tupac right now.

    Happy Birthday Tupac.

  • Alexandra

    Happy Bday !!! I agree with most of the songs listed already.

  • O’Phylia

    This! That song is what kept me going through middle school.

  • Andie

    Absolute favorite is “Smile”…second fave is “How Do You Want It”…third is “Dear Mama”…also loved several of his other songs.

  • lola289

    I never even cared that much about Tupac while he was alive, but after listening to his music, watching the documentaries and films…I do believe he was a prophet.
    He would be a leader today had he still lived. :-/

  • Bridget

    Those are my 2 favorites too! Dear Mama still brings me to tears to this day. When I hear those strings-oh boy!

  • B

    If My Homies Call
    Keep Ya Head Up
    Hold On, Be Strong
    Dear Mama
    Do For Love
    Changes
    Brenda’s Got a Baby

    Happy b-day, lil homie.

  • D-Chubb

    “Holla If Ya Hear Me”

    Incendiary!! The Panther speaks!

  • Alivia

    Happy Birthday! R.I.P.
    You are not forgotten. “So Many Tears”

  • Rakel

    I love Tupac and Biggie I always wonder how hip hop would be different if they didn’t pass away. It’s hard to pick my faves but: keep your head up, smile, dear mama, brenda’s got a baby, I ain’t mad at cha, I get around, and until the end of time. I also really love his poetry. I think my fave PAC poem is I cry.

  • http://sisterescape.blogspot.com/ Le Chele

    Do you guys believe the guy who is claiming to have shot Tupac the first time he got hit?

    http://sisterescape.blogspot.com/2011/06/tupac-back-who-shot-ya.html

  • EmpressDivine

    Most of the ones listed above and add: Lord Knows, No More Pain, It Ain’t Easy, They Don’t Give a F**K About Us, Shed So Many Tears, Life So Hard

    Hell…can u really just choose one?

  • Amaru

    Too many to name. Depending on my mood:
    1. Dear Mama
    2. Brenda’s Got A Baby
    3. Keep Ya Head Up
    4. Temptations
    5. Ghetto Gospel
    6. Changes
    7. Life goes on
    8. Letter To My Unborned Child
    9. Happy Home
    10. Better Dayz, etc.

  • 2pacian

    Dear Mama, California, Hit’Em Up, Hail Mary, Picture Me Roling, All Eyez On Me…

  • 2paclypse

    Trying to pic my favorite 2pac song is more difficult trying to understand the movie Inception. Just too many to pick.

  • http://globetracer.wordpress.com She Traces

    It is hard to imagine a 40 year old Tupac, just like its hard to imagine a 31-year old Aaliyah (August 25th will be 10 years!). My cousin was a hardcore fan, all he listened to was Pac mixtapes and songs that were never heard on the radio. Amongst the most memorable ones: Wonder why they call u b(*#$, What’s your Phone #, Shorty wanna be a thug.

    I personally love: Letter to my unborn.

  • MissRae

    My favs are : So many tears, I wonder if heaven got a ghetto, California Love, All about you, I get around, Playa Cardz Right and R U Still Down

  • ThatWhiteDude

    Keep Ya Head Up, Brenda’s Got A Baby,Dear Mama, Temptations, All Eyez On Me, Picture Me Rollin’…

  • Charlie Schneider

    The question should have been “What’s your Top 40 2pac songs”? Naming just one favorite Pac song is so tough.

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