Released 27 years ago today, Tupac’s classic “Dear Mama” forever changed Hip-Hop. The first single from Pac’s Me Against the World album, “Dear Mama,” served as a touching tribute to his mother. The track, produced by Tony Pizarro, samples Joe Sample’s “In My Wildest Dreams” (which many heads will recognize from De La Soul’s second album as well).
What makes the song unique is that it doesn’t simply sing praises. It paints an honest picture of poverty, struggle, and addiction and how, despite these obstacles, Pac’s love for his mother outweighed it all. “And even as a crack fiend, Mama / You always was a black queen, Mama.”
In 1995, the song topped the “Billboard Hot Rap Singles Chart” and peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. And since its release, it has become one of the most acclaimed rap songs ever made. In addition to being cited by artists such as Common, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar (to name a few), it also appears on numerous “Best Hip-Hop Songs” lists. Most prestigiously, though, it was added to the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress in 2009.
The song helped Me Against the World achieve double-platinum status and appeared on the 2Pac Greatest Hits album in 1998.
Tupac is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures in Hip-Hop history; this song is one of the reasons why.