Almost 17 years after 2Pac Shakur was tragically gunned down, news broke last week that 2Pac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, is working on releasing more never-before-heard music from the late rapper. As we wait for new music from the West Coast legend whose legacy only continues to grow after his death, here are other great posthumous hip-hop records worth a listen.
The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Eminem “Dead Wrong”
Three years after The Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down, Bad Boy Records released Born Again, a posthumous album filled with Biggie verses and additional vocals from the likes of Lil’ Kim, Nas and Mobb Deep. One of the album’s standout cuts is “Dead Wrong,” an unreleased demo verse coupled with viscous bars from Eminem.
In 1998, 2Pac’s unreleased song “Changes” was remixed for his Greatest Hits collection. The song, which samples "The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby and the Range, is an introspective, soulful number that quickly became a fan favorite.
Big Pun “It’s So Hard”
Big Pun’s “It’s So Hard” was released two months after his death. For the music video featuring Donell Jones, all of the rapper’s famous friends from Diddy and Jennifer Lopez to LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes made cameos.
Lil Wayne (feat. Static Major) - “Lollipop”
Lil Wayne’s career exploded with the arrival of “Lollipop” and the subsequent Tha Carter III. The song’s feature singer, Static Major of the R&B group Playa, died just two weeks before its release.
2Pac “Hail Mary”
“Hail Mary” has become such a staple in Pac’s catalogue that it’s hard to believe that it, and other songs from his Makaveli: The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory came out after his death. In fact, The Don Killuminati is one of Pac’s most commercially successful albums to date.
Big L “Flamboyant”
Big L was working on his second album, The Big Picture, when he was tragically gunned down. The Harlem rapper’s album was released posthumously and included the classic “Ebonics” as well as “Flamboyant.” A true rap effort, The Big Picture showcased production from the likes of DJ Premier, Lord Finesse and Pete Rock and features from 2Pac, Fat Joe and Big Daddy Kane.
Aaliyah “Miss You”/ Jay-Z “Miss You”
Aaliyah’s “Miss You” was originally intended for her self-titled album but was later released on her posthumous I Care 4 U compilation. The sad song was especially poignant given the singer’s tragic passing the year before. In the video, Aaliyah’s friends like Missy Elliott and DMX make cameos. Jay-Z sampled the track for his own Aaliyah tribute in 2003.