G Mack of the California Hip Hop group Above The Law appeared on Yumouth’s Smoke A lot Radio where he discussed hearing Dr. Dre’s solo version of California Love, which later became Tupac’s first single on Death Row records.
“Dre had played Above The Law the beat, the original one, you know with them in the desert, with Chris Tucker riding in the desert,” recalls Go Mack during the interview. “He’s like ‘listen to this law’. And he played it. Its like what you heard with Dre by himself, three verses.
Dr. Dre had completed a solo version ‘California Love’ which was leaked a year ago. This particular version was intended for Dre’s up-coming solo project. Listen to the leaked version here.
“I’m back under ya cap with Zapp / Droppin’ them bomb-ass raps that hit ya like pimp-slaps / So everybody on the dance-floor, the wallflowers got to go, grab yourself a skirt and flow / ‘Cause it’s a grownup party and I’m glad that ya made it / ‘California Love,’ ladies gettin’ faded,” Dre rapped on the unreleased solo version.
The same beat on Dre’s solo version was used for Tupac’s version of the hit song. The California anthem was released as a single but not on the ‘All Eyez On Me’ album, and was accompanied by a part 1 music video featuring actor and comedian Chris Tucker.
The original ‘California Love’ with Tupac featuring Dr. Dre also appeared on Tupac’s 1998 Greatest Hits double album, which also featured the hit single ‘Changes’.
According to Go Mack Dre told him he was thinking about making it into a single. That idea would soon change, when Tupac got out of prison.
“Dre called Pac to the studio, and played the s***, and was like, ‘Listen to this’. And, he played with his s*** on it, and was like, ‘You got something for this’. And, Pac was like, ‘Yeah. I just wrote it.’ He went in and spit that s***,” said Go mack.
In an interview conducted by MTV News on November 10th 1995, Tupac spoke about asking Dre for beats as Shakur was getting gearing up for his comeback album.
“I was like Dre I want some beats. I want some beats right now. Dr. Dre you know you owe me this, I’m new on Death Row, fresh outta of jail. You know you ain’t gone be finished with your album no time soon.”
“I had the song done, but I didn’t have the album done for it to come out, so we putting it on his [Tupac] album,” Dre told MTV News during the set of part 1 of the ‘California Love’ music video.
At the end the world of Hip Hop was blessed with two versions of Tupac’s California Love. Although the verses were the same for Tupac and Dre on both versions, the remix featured a slower mellowed out beat compared to the original.
The remix would appear on Tupac’s Death Row records debut album ‘All eyez On Me’, and would also have its own music video (part 2), starting off with Tupac waking up from a dream (Part 1 of the ‘California Love’ music video).