The passing of Tupac “2Pac” Shakur‘s mother, Afeni Shakur, has brought many to revisit the rapper’s beloved track “Dear Mama” in remembrance.
Now a version of the song that is said to predate the popular recording has surfaced courtesy of Tupac’s early collaborator DJ King Assassin.
The original version of “Dear Mama” includes vocals from Yo-Yo and some other samples unknown previously. Listen to it here:
“The original version of ‘Dear Mama’ was far different than the version that was released, as far as the hook was constructed,” DJ King Assassin explained in a note with the track via Ambrosia for Heads. “Originally, the hook was a sample of a song from the legendary rapper and friend of both of ours named Yo-Yo, from Ice Cube’s [Da] Lench Mob. The sample was ‘Wouldn’t be a damn thang without a woman,’ which was taken from the original song from Ice Cube’s ‘This Is A Man’s World,’ with the scratching done, of course, by yours truly DJ King Assassin. The day after we had finished up on everything we were in Echo Sound in L.A. when Tupac comes in the studio very upset and proceeds to explain to us that we had to take out Yo-Yo’s part because a person by the name of Pat Charbonet would not give us the clearance to use that part in the song, so we had no choice but to take it out and that’s where even the Richard Pryor excerpt, which you will hear, is completely off the released version of the song.”
DJ King Assassin also spoke to TMZ about the track and said he had been in touch with Afeni Shakur recently and was very surprised by her death. He also said he is working on a Makaveli film about Tupac Shakur’s life.