Tupac Shakur

"...Pour out some liquor."

Eleven years ago to the day, rap lost one of its brightest stars. 2Pacs' passing was surreal then, and in the wake of everything that has followed, it's just as mystifying and complex today.

We could go on about what Pac did for music, his people, the country and the world but we're not gonna go that route. Instead, we're gonna honor him with one of his lesser known jewels, "Pour Out A Little Liquor" (recorded under the name Thug Life) off the Above The Rim Soundtrack. In what would be his first step towards the Death Row camp, "Pour Out A Little Liquor" not only seems to fit the day, but also stands as one of my favorite pieces of work by one music's most multifarious individuals.

After the first five seconds, you already know it's a great song. From the rolling bassline, to the simple and effectively funky guitar riff the canvas was primed, and Pac went to work with a full palette. There is no question his heart was behind this one, as he depicts a story, I assume an autobiographical, of the loss of a childhood friend. Pac constructed the song perfectly, building off a wild and carefree childhood, recalling back on memories with vivid detail, and ending with the sobering harshness that resulted from it all.

As is the case with so much of his music, Pac's delivery is straight forward with undeniable conviction. The smoothness of his wordplay flows with fluidity of the beat and story perfectly, and in 3 minutes and 31 seconds, Pac presents all the elements of a classic. We miss you Pac.

Thug Life - Pour Out Some Liquor

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