To Live and Die in LA was Tupac’s dedication to all things Los Angeles. From naming various places of interest around the Californian city to shouting out gangsters affiliated with Death Row, this song certainly had it all.
Tupac, born in New York then moved to the west coast, soon fell in love with Los Angeles. On this song, Tupac raps; “To live and die in L.A it’s the place to be. You’ve got to be there to know it, what everybody wants to see.”
Although, at the time, the media consequently focused on Los Angeles in a negative way, concentrating on the violence taking place in the area. While in contrast, ‘Pac had other ideas of showcasing the positivity and diversity of the city.Cost me more to be free than a life in the pen, Making money off of cuss words, writing again, Learn how to think ahead, so I fight with my pen – #tupac Click To Tweet
In the song, Tupac questions if the city would be the same without Mexicans, bringing people from different cultural backgrounds together, uniting L.A.
To Live and Die in LA was the second single released from The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. Producer QDIII came up with the beat and played it to Tupac. According to QDIII, after listening to the beat three times, Tupac already wrote his lyrics for the entire song!
To Live and Die in LA Music Video
The music video for To Live and Die in LA, filmed in Los Angeles on July 23rd 1996, was directed by J. Kevin Swain. It opens with shots of the city, with Tupac selling fruit on the street corner. This was ‘Pac’s idea, as it was a big thing in Los Angeles at the time. He gets picked up by a group of girls in a low-rider. They carry on through the city and finally onto Roscoe’s Chicken, where a food fight takes place.