Tupac Amaru Shakur, better known by his stage name 2Pac and by his alias Makaveli, is undoubtedly one of the best rappers whose songs have passed the test of time on planet earth.
His death on September 13, 1996, shook the world but twenty-five years after dying at the age of 25, 2pac's songs from 'Changes' to 'Do For Love', amongst others, are still reference points for the newborns as well as those of his generation who wish to 'Keep Ya Head Up'.
Tupac's fearlessness and resilience kept the him atop the charts through his short-lived career, according to Billboard who rated the late rapper's own tracks ("Dear Mama," "Keep Ya Head Up," "Brenda's Got A Baby") as well as songs he featured on (Scarface's "Smile") which entered the Top 10 of the Hot Rap Songs chart.
However, WuzupNigeria includes songs like "Changes", "Hit 'Em Up" and "Letter 2 My Unborn" to the list.
PS: Most of the songs below are based on Billboard's Tupac Shakur's Top 10 Hits.
Recorded in 1992 and released in 1998, 2pac featured Talent and the song is a reflection of the struggle of the black people to date.
The song makes references to the war on drugs, the treatment of black people by the police, racism (explicitly the reconciliation between the black and white people in America).
"Changes" was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance at the Grammy Awards of 2000 and remains the only posthumous song to be nominated in this category. It was also nominated at the MTV Video Music Award for Best Editing in a Video & Best Rap Video in 1999.
9. "Do For Love"
2Pac feat. Eric Williams
Peak Position: 2
Peak Date: 3/28/98
Ever the master storyteller, Tupac offers three different tales in each verse on "Do For Love" featuring singer Eric Williams. The track, which peaked at No. 8 in August 1993, finds 'Pac waxing poetic about looking for commitment with a girl he didn't expect to fall for while his ex claims that she is pregnant with his baby as he finds her cheating. "Do For Love" was featured on Tupac's sixth studio album R U Still Down? Remember Me, released in 1997.
8. "Hit 'Em Up"
Widely regarded as one of one of the greatest diss tracks ever, "Hit 'Em Up" featuring the Outlawz is the B-side to the single "How Do U Want It", released on June 4, 1996.
Hit "em Up's vile insults were served hot to several East Coast rappers, chiefly Shakur's former-friend-turned-rival, Christopher Wallace, also known by his stage name, the Notorious B.I.G (or colloquially, Biggie Smalls).
The song which was recorded in 1996 is pivotal to intensifying the East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry. It's release triggered a response from the East Coast rappers he insulted and Wiki reports that the controversy surrounding the song is due in part to Shakur's murder in a drive-by-shooting only three months after its release.
7. "Brenda's Got A Baby/If My Homie Calls"
Peak Position: 6
Peak Date: 7/15/95
Tupac's 1991 debut 2Pacalypse Now hosted the emotional track "Brenda's Got A Baby." Reaching No. 6 on the Hot Rap Songs chart with its B-side "If My Homie Calls" in 1995, the rapper painted an unpretty picture of a 12-year-old girl impregnated by her cousin and the harsh realities of being raised in a corrupt home in the ghetto.
Scarface Feat. 2Pac and Johnny P
Peak Position: 4
Peak Date: 7/12/97
Scarface chose a collaboration with Tupac for the lead single off his fourth album The Untouchable similar to Keyshia Cole with "Playa Cardz Right." Scarface's decision earned him his highest charting single to date. In less than a month from its debut on June 21, 1997, "Smile," featuring the later rapper and Johnny P, peaked at No. 4 on the Hot Rap Songs chart.
5. "Thugz Mansion"
Peak Position: 4
Peak Date: 2/1/03
Released as a posthumous single, "Thugz Mansion" -- which arrived in two versions: one with Nas and J. Phoenix, the other with Anthony Hamilton -- floated to No. 4 on the Hot Rap Songs chart in 2003. The emotional track found Tupac describing heaven from a gangster's perspective.
4. "Keep Ya Head Up"
Peak Position: 2
Peak Date: 12/4/93
The leader of the "Thug Life" movement always shared a message through his songs with the hope to strengthen someone's spirit and his own. "And when he tells you you ain't nothin' don't believe him/ And if he can't learn to love you you should leave him/ Cause sista you don't need him," Pac raps on the motivational track. "Keep Ya Head Up," off Pac's second studio album, Strigtly 4 My N.I.-.-.A.Z., marked Pac's peaked at No. 2 on the Hot Rap Songs chart.
3. "Dear Mama/Old School"
Peak Position: 1 (five weeks)
Peak Date: 3/11/95
Tupac had made references to "Dear Mama" in previous works till one day, the song's producer, Tony Pizarro, suggested 'Pac make it into its own song. Once Pizarro pulled up "In My Wildest Dream" by The Crusader's Joe Sample, Tupac quickly penned an ode to his mother, Afeni Shakur. "Dear Mama" and its B-side "Old School" topped the list in 1995.
2. "How Do U Want It"
2Pac feat. K-Ci & JoJo
Peak Position: 1 (eight weeks)
Peak Date: 6/22/96
Two months before his passing, Tupac experienced his first No. 1 hit on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot 100 Songs. "How Do U Want It," featuring R&B duo K-Ci and JoJo also rocked the Hot Rap Songs chart -- with its B-side "California Love" -- at No. 1 for eight weeks.
1. "California Love"
2pac feat. Dr. Dre
“California Love” is 2pac's comeback single after his release from prison in 1995 as well his first single for Deathrow Records, and it was a huge success.
The song is one of 2Pac's most widely known and most successful singles, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks (as a double A-side single with "How Do U Want It") and also topping the charts of Italy, New Zealand, and Sweden. The song was nominated for a posthumous Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group (with Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman) in 1997.