Category: thug life

Tupac photographed by Dana Lixenberg, 1994.

Tupac photographed by Dana Lixenberg, 1994.

On this day in music history: July 13, 1996 – …

On this day in music history: July 13, 1996 – “How Do U Want It” by 2Pac hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, with the B-side “California Love” peaking at #6 on June 22. 1996, also topping the R&B singles chart for 3 weeks on July 6, 1996. Written by Johnny J. and Tupac Shakur, it is the biggest hit for the prolific rap artist. Featuring K-Ci & JoJo Hailey of Jodeci on background vocals, it is the second single from Tupac’s fourth album “All Eyez On Me”. Co-written and produced by Johnny J (aka Johnny Lee Jackson), the track is based around samples of Quincy Jones’ classic “Body Heat” and Brian McKnight’s “Up Around My Way”. The single release of “How Do U Want It” also includes the original hit version of “California Love” featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman (of Zapp). When the album is released in February of 1996, it features a remixed version of the track. Entering the Hot 100 at #4 on June 29, 1996, it leaps to the top of the chart two weeks later. The single earns Tupac a posthumous Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group in 1997. “How Do U Want It” also appears in the rapper and actor’s last film (though not the soundtrack album) “Gang Related”, released thirteen months after his death in October of 1997. “How Do U Want It” is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

2Pac and Luke at the 1st annual Source Awards …

2Pac and Luke at the 1st annual Source Awards in New York City on April 25, 1994.

2Pac performing “Out on Bail” during the first…

2Pac performing “Out on Bail” during the first Source Awards

at the Madison Square Garden’s Paramount Theater in New York City

on April 25, 1994.

Photos by Al Pereira

2pac and Treach of Naughty By Nature attend KM…

2pac and Treach of Naughty By Nature attend KMEL Summer Jam at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California

on August 1, 1992.

Photos by Tim Mosenfelder

Tupac Shakur photographed by David LaChapell…

Tupac Shakur photographed by David LaChapelle, April 1996.

David LaChapelle: “Tupac was great, he was very sensitive and is truly a good person. I wrote to his mum when he died and she sent me flowers and gave me his last song, “Ghetto Gospel.” When we did the shoot, he had just come out of prison and every shot has a reason, it’s never random, so this was the idea of the photo shoot, him becoming clean. He had given this interview when he was still in prison and he really opened up and was so honest. I had read it and thought it was so truthful so for the work I did with him, there was this idea of washing away and rebirth. And we did another shoot where he posed as a slave on a cotton field. They traced rapping and rhyming to “call and repeat” during slavery time in sugar cane and cotton fields to pass the time. It’s on the Hotel LaChapelle book. Tupac came to the shoot 2 hours early, which was very unusual for a rapper. So I wasn’t ready for the shoot and he didn’t care. He reminded me of my black friends whom I went to art schools with, he was so cool, open-minded and chill. He wasn’t judgmental. Then later on, I found out that he had gone to an art school. He left behind a big bag of socks and underwear because he had just come out from prison and never picked it up. He died shortly after. I still wear his socks sometimes (laughs).”