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Sunday Night Sample - Tupac - Dear Mama (Mother's Day Edition)

For tonight we have a special Mother's Day edition of Sunday Night Sample.

Call your mom on a non-Hallmark holiday. They deserve it.

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1971, Tupac had a difficult childhood, with his father leaving the family when he was just five years old. But his mother, Afeni Shakur, worked tirelessly as a single parent to provide for him and his half-sister, despite facing poverty and drug addiction.

Tupac's talent for music was evident from a young age, and he attended the Baltimore School of the Performing Arts before striking out on his own at the age of seventeen and moving to Oakland, California. But before his career took off, he had to make ends meet by selling drugs, a theme that would be addressed in many of his songs.

One of Tupac's most beloved tracks is "Dear Mama," an autobiographical song that pays tribute to his mother and the struggles she faced.  The song is about Shakur forgiving his mother for abandoning him and thanking her for raising him the appropriate way she could. "Dear Mama" features samples from two classic records: "In All My Wildest Dreams" by jazz artist Joe Sample, and "Sadie" by the R&B group The Spinners. Tupac's verses are complemented by the beautiful vocals of Reggie Green and Sweet Franklin.

SAMPLE - Joe SampleIn - All My Wildest Dreams

SAMPLE - The Spinners - Sadie

The first verse delves into the rocky start of their relationship, with Shakur admitting that his actions as a child did not help. He speaks about how he was kicked out at 17 and how he and his mother would blame each other when things went wrong. Despite the challenges they faced, Shakur acknowledged and appreciated everything his mother did for him.

In the second verse, Shakur rapped about his life without a father figure and how he turned to the thugs for guidance. He started to make a living by selling drugs to help his mother with rent and gifts. This is an important aspect of the song because it shows the impact of absent fathers on children and how the mother takes on the role of both parents.

In the third verse, Shakur pours a cup of liquor and reminisces about his rough childhood. He expresses gratitude for his mother's honesty and realness, acknowledging that she always found a way to help him in any situation.

The message of the song still resonates today, as many single mothers struggle to provide for their children without a father figure. It is difficult for children in poor families to find happiness, and mothers face enormous pressure to provide for their children. In Tupac's opinion, the best thing you can do is appreciate your mother.

In 2010, "Dear Mama" was recognized for its cultural significance when it became the third rap song to be included in the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry. And it's not hard to see why - with its heartfelt lyrics and soulful beats, this track will continue to resonate with listeners for generations to come.

Tupac's own thoughts about the song - 

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And the original unreleased version of the song -

Happy Mother's Day everybody.