“Picture My Prophecy”: The Best 48 Tupac Songs of All Time

“Picture My Prophecy”: The Best 48 Tupac Songs of All Time

“Our future is our confidence and self-esteem.” ~Tupac Amaru Shakur (June 16, 1971-September 13, 1996)

For me, the question “When did you fall in love with Hip Hop,” made popular by the cult classic movie Brown Sugar, is easily answered. I fell in love with Hip Hop when it became more than entertainment, with the release of Tupac Shakur’s first solo single “Brenda’s Got a Baby.”

Tupac Brendas Gotta Baby“Brenda’s Got a Baby” is a soul stirring song telling the story of a 12-year-old girl who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a child. This song resonated in a real way with me because at the time of its release, I was 12 and my 12- year-old classmate was having a child.


Although my mother was no fan of rap music, the release of a song detailing the dynamics of this real-life situation was timely, and Tupac’s debut rap song became an icebreaker making conversations with my mother less awkward. This memory stuck with me and forever changed how I viewed Hip Hop culture, and rap music specifically. And with that, at age 12, rap music shifted the trajectory of my life.


2Pac Feature

According to his official biography, Tupac Amaru Shakur was a “Rapper. Actor. Activist. Thug. Poet. Rebel. Visionary.” He was born into the Black liberation movement, as the son of leading members of the Black Panther Party, in Harlem, New York.


Beginning at age 12, with his Apollo Theater performance of “A Raisin in the Sun” the performing arts played a pivotal role in Tupac’s life. As a teenager, he moved to Baltimore with his mother and sister, where he was enrolled in the Baltimore School for the Arts. This experience exposed him to poetry, jazz, Shakespeare, and ballet. It also connected he and future entertainer, Jada Pinkett Smith.

In an effort to escape the violence and poverty of Baltimore, at age 17 Tupac moved again, this time to Marin City, California. It was here that he connected with popular Bay Area rap group Digital Underground, and in 1991 released his first major rap feature, “Same Song”. Tupac’s career immediately took off and never came back down.

Although his career only lasted 5 years, cut short by an assassin’s bullets almost 23 years ago, Tupac is one of the most popular artists in history, selling over 75 million albums. More than half of his 11 studio albums have sold at least 3 million copies, with two being certified diamond (surpassing the 10 million mark). In 2009, the Library of Congress added his song “Dear Mama” to the National Registry, and the Vatican featured “Changes” on its official playlist. In addition, to his musical influence, Tupac was a forerunner amongst rap artists transitioning into acting, with 15 film and television credits.


Tupac ActivistIn the decades since his untimely passing, Tupac has been regarded as a legend. Throughout his career, he spoke boldly against injustices, largely ignored by the leaders of the day, which have now become all too common trending topics on social media. In this age of increased social justice and political awareness, Tupac’s interviews and song lyrics are instructive and pertinent. His unabashed honesty and prophetic proclamations are as relevant today as they were when he uttered them in the 1990s.


As we celebrate his 48th birthday, check out my “Tupac Essentials,” his top 48 songs and features of all time. (*Posthumous release)

Nothing to Lose Soundtrack (1991)

Same Song– Digital Underground

Tupac Brenda2Pacalypse Now (1991)

Brenda’s Got A Baby



If My Homies Call

Strictly For My N.I.G.G.A.Z. (1993)

Keep Ya Head Up

I Get Around

THUG LIFE (1994)

Pour Out a Little Liquor

Bury Me a G

Above The Rim Soundtrack (1994)


2pac me againstMe Against The World (March 1995)

Dear Mama

Can You Get Away

Lord Knows

So Many Tears

Me Against The World


Russell Simmons The Show Soundtrack (August 1995)

On My Block

2pac all eyezAll Eyez On Me (February 1996)

Ambitionz Az A Ridah

I Ain’t Mad At Cha -ft. Danny Boy

How Do You Want It -ft. K Ci and JoJo

Hit Em Up (1996 How Do You Want It B-Side)

Thug Passion -ft. Outlawz and Jewell

Life Goes On

California Love ft- Dr. Dre

Picture Me Rollin

All About U -ft. Snoop, Nate Dogg, YGD

2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted ft. Snoop

The Don Killuminati: 7 Day Theory (November 1996)*

Me and my Girlfriend


Hail Mary

To Live and Die in L.A.

Just Like Daddy

White Man’z World

Gridlock’d Soundtrack (January 1997)*

Friend Like Me

The Untouchable (March 1997)*

Smile Scarface ft. 2Pac

Gang Related Soundtrack (1997) *

Starin’ Through My Rearview

2pac r u stillR U Still Down? (1997)*

Do For Love

U R Still Down

I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto

2Pac Greatest Hits (1998)*


Unconditional Love 


2Pac and The Outlawz Still I Rise (1999)*

Black Jesuz  

As The World Turns


Until The End of Time (2001)*

Until The End of Time -ft. R.L.


Tupac InfinityBetter Dayz (2002)*

Thugz Mansion Acoustic  -ft. Nas

Who Do You Believe In



Pac’s Life (2006)*

Pac’s Life ft. T.I. & Ashanti

Playa Cardz Right (Male) ft. Ludacris & Keon Bryce

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