5 Best Songs from 2Pac’s ‘R U Still Down?’
On September 13, 1996, Tupac Shakur, one of rap's biggest stars, was gunned down on the Las Vegas strip in a drive-by shooting, leaving the rap community in a state of shock. Having signed to Death Row after being bailed out of prison, 2Pac had reached the apex of his career prior to his murder, with his Death Row debut, All Eyez on Me, which has sold over ten million copies to date, and created a firestorm of controversy due to spurring the beef between the east coast and west coast scenes in hip-hop. A month after his death, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, an album which 2Pac had recorded prior to his murder, was released, which was comprised of his last recordings and would be regarded as one of his definitive albums to date.
During his lifetime, 2Pac was one of the more prolific artists when it came to crafting songs, which resulted in numerous unreleased songs after his death, which his family and label would choose to release to help carry on his legacy. The first of these collections, R U Still Down?, was released just one year after his death and would be received to critical acclaim and be a massive commercial success, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with over 549,000 copies sold in its first week. R U Still Down? would eventually sell more than four million copies in the U.S. alone has been hailed as one of 2Pac's most cohesive bodies of work.
In celebration of it's 20th anniversary, we compiled a list of the five best songs from R U Still Down? that are required listening for rap fans young and old.
2Pac puts forth a fiery performance on "Hellrazor," one of the superior deep cuts from R U Still Down? Produced by QDIII and featuring guest vocals from Val Young and late Live Squad member Stretch, "Hellrazor" combines Pac's unbridled fury with a piano and guitar laden backdrop, resulting in on of the finer offerings from R U Still Down?
Bay Area legend Richie Rich joins 2Pac on "Lie to Kick It," a funky number from R U Still Down? that takes phony players and scandalous women to task. Produced by Warren G, "Lie To Kick It," which utilizes sample of "Funky President" by James Brown and "Haboglabotribin'" by Bernard Wright, is among R U Still Down's more high-powered collabs and finds the two collaborators hitting on all cylinders.
2Pac cooks up a anthem for the hustlers with "I'm Getting Money," a lively cut from R U Still Down that speaks to the soul of the streets. Produced by Mike Mosley, "I'm Getting Money" is an uptempo number from R U Still Down? that finds 2Pac running roughshod over the track with words of motivation for those getting it how they live.
2Pac delivers a classic with the R U Still Down? single "Do For Love," a silky composition that cautions of the dangers of falling deep in the depths of love. Produced by Karlin & Soulshock and built around a sample of Bobby Caldwell's "What You Won't Do For Love," 2Pac's take on the original is a display of his lyricism, storytelling, and his ability to convey matters of the heart.
R U Still Down? reaches a crescendo with "I Wonder if Heaven Got a Ghetto (Hip Hop Version)," a track that finds 2Pac pondering on the afterlife amid backing vocals from Charmayne “Maxee” Maxwell of R&B trio Brownstone. Produced by Soulshock & Karlin, "I Wonder if Heaven Got a Ghetto (Hip Hop Version)" is one of the better posthumous selections in 2Pac's catalog and encapsulates the late rapper's artistry in grand fashion.