Twenty-four years ago, Tupac reclaimed his throne and forever changed Hip Hop. After signing with Suge Knight’s Death Row records, Tupac returned from prison with the hit ‘California Love’.
The hit single which featured Dr. Dre was on Tupac’s Death Row records debut album ‘All Eyez On Me‘. The remix version of the song was released on the debut double album, while the original version was released in 1998 on Tupac’s Greatest Hits album.
Out on bail, fresh out of jail, California dreamin’
Soon as I step on the scene, I’m hearin’ hoochies screamin’
Fiendin’ for money and alcohol, the life of a Westside player
Where cowards die and the strong ball
Only in Cali where we riot, not rally, to live and die
In L.A. we wearin’ Chucks, not Ballys (yeah, that’s right)
Dressed in Locs and Khaki suits, and ride is what we do
Flossin’ but have caution: we collide with other crews
Famous because we program
Worldwide, let them recognize from Long Beach to Rosecrans
Bumpin’ and grindin’ like a slow jam
It’s Westside, so you know the Row won’t bow down to no man
Say what you say, but give me that bomb beat from Dre
Let me serenade the streets of L.A
From Oakland to Sac-town, the Bay Area and back down
Cali is where they put their mack down; give me love! – Tupac
California Love original version
As it is well documented California Love was initially not intended for Tupac Shakur. Tupac would explain during an interview, how he would ask Dr. Dre for the song.
California Love solo version intended for Dr. Dre’s album has leaked. The leaked solo version has an unheard Dr. Dre verse which starts off with Dre rapping, “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.”