Tupac released his song ‘Dear Mama’ as the lead single off his third studio album ‘Me Against The World‘ on February 21st, 1995.
This heartfelt and emotional tional track, dedicated to his mother Afeni Shakur. Telling the story of her struggle raising him as a single mother. Produced by Tony Pizarro, the song was a huge success and was added to the National Recording Registry in The Library of Congress in 2010.
‘Dear Mama’ has shown the world in Hip Hop that it’s ok to express such feelings. It also influenced a lot of artists including Eminem, Common and Kendrick Lamar. Common called it “the most heartfelt song in hip-hop.”
Michael Eric Dyson, author of Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur, touched on the line which ‘Pac touches on his mother’s addiction. “And even as a crack fiend, mama, you always was a black queen, mama.”
Writing in his book, Dyson says that this line speaks volumes of Tupac’s maturity. “It allows him to value his mother’s even as he names her affliction. His refusal to lie as he praises her is all too revealing.”
The music video for Dear Mama features an appearance by Afeni Shakur herself. At the time Tupac was serving his prison sentence so couldn’t appear in the video.
Speaking on his intentions behind ‘Dear Mama’, Tupac hailed praise Afeni. “Why do you think I wrote ‘Dear Mama’? I wrote it for my mama because I love her and I felt I owed her something deep.”