Tupac Shakur’s Original Version of ‘Dear Mama’ Surfaces Online
Since the death of Tupac Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur, fans have used the late rapper’s classic song “Dear Mama” in remembrance of the former Black Panther activist. Now comes word that an earlier version of the 1995 song was recorded but hasn’t seen the light of day.
2Pac’s early collaborator DJ King Assassin has blessed us with the original version of “Dear Mama,” and it features a Yo-Yo vocal sample on the chorus.
DJ King Assassin explained in a letter why the original song was scrapped via Ambrosia for Heads:
The original version of ‘Dear Mama’ was far different than the version that was released, as far as the hook was constructed.
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.”