Producer: Tony Pizarro Album: Me Against the World Label: Out Da Gutta/Interscope/Amaru
Pac's mythology begins with the fact that Afeni Shakur was imprisoned during the first eight months of her pregnancy with him. Though she would live to see her child imprisoned and shot, he gave her something to hold on to with this '70s-sample fueled, feel-good song about the struggle. "Dear Mama" would become a critical part of Pac's narrative, introducing her, her history of rebellion, and the role she played in making him who he was.
Always a writer unafraid to speak to his own insecurities and vulnerabilities, Pac was never more courageous than when he penned these lines: “Even as a crack fiend mama/You always was a black queen mama." His ode to the real revolutionary in his life, and what revolution sometimes means, makes for some heart-rending music.
"And there is no way I could pay you back/But my plan is to make you understand/You are appreciated.” Reckless and unpredictable on one hand, poignantly honest and sensitive on the other, this duality was always part of Tupac's magic.