2Pac, the legendary rapper and actor, has had an immense impact on hip-hop culture. Known for his profound lyrics and unmistakable flow, he remains an icon in rap music. Despite his short-lived career due to his untimely death, he left behind a catalog of songs that are still considered some of the best in the genre. What are 2Pac’s top 10 songs?

10. 2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted

A collaboration with Snoop Dogg, “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” is a hip-hop masterpiece. With its funky vibe and smooth beat, the song explores their shared reputation as “America’s most wanted.” This track was a high point in both artists’ careers and provides fans with a solid glimpse into the gangsta rap subgenre that 2Pac helped shape.

9. Ambitionz Az A Ridah

This track is sheer aggression and ambition encapsulated in musical form. Its high energy and raw lyrics make it one of 2Pac’s most iconic songs. Often cited as an exemplification of the ‘Thug Life’ mentality that 2Pac advocated for, it is a perfect display of his passion for life and his craft.

8. Ghetto Gospel

An incredible collaboration with Elton John, “Ghetto Gospel” delves deep into the social and political inequalities in America. 2Pac’s poetic skills are evident in the lyrics, and the use of Elton John’s “Indian Sunset” as a sample adds an extra layer of emotional depth to the song.

7. Hail Mary

“Hail Mary” is a dark and haunting track that examines 2Pac’s complex relationship with religion and death. The song’s atmosphere captures the listener immediately, featuring a beat that is one of the most recognizable in hip-hop history and a chorus that is equally timeless.

6. Life Goes On

One of 2Pac’s more emotional songs, “Life Goes On” laments the death of his friends while contemplating his own mortality. It’s a melancholic yet also inspiring song, backed by a mellow beat that allows the listener space to absorb its heavy themes.

5. Hit ‘Em Up

One of the most controversial diss tracks ever, “Hit ‘Em Up” showcases 2Pac at his most provocative. Filled with harsh lyrics and curses, it’s a direct attack on his rivals, notably The Notorious B.I.G. and Puff Daddy. This track is an essential part of the East Coast-West Coast feud that characterized the hip-hop scene in the ’90s.

4. Brenda’s Got a Baby

One of 2Pac’s most poignant songs, “Brenda’s Got a Baby” narrates the story of a young girl who becomes pregnant and faces various social challenges. This track serves as a powerful social commentary, displaying 2Pac’s deep understanding of the issues facing marginalized youth.

3. Changes

Released posthumously, “Changes” is one of 2Pac’s most influential and well-known songs. It addresses several social issues, including racism and police brutality. The use of Bruce Hornsby’s “The Way It Is” as a sample enhances the song’s message while adding a nostalgic touch.

2. California Love

A hip-hop anthem celebrating love for California, “California Love” is a collaboration between 2Pac, Dr. Dre, and Roger Troutman. The music video, inspired by the film Mad Max, adds to the legendary status of this song.

1. Dear Mama

Unquestionably 2Pac’s most touching song, “Dear Mama” is a tribute to his mother. The song explores his difficult upbringing and the sacrifices made by his mother. It serves both as an homage to her and a reflection on his own life and choices, showcasing the emotional depth and complexity of 2Pac as an artist.