The Rock Song Tupac Hid In His Biggest Hit

Almost every artist in the rap scene respects Tupac Shakur and his legacy. Even after his tragic passing on September 13, 1996, he still influences many musicians, even those who don’t make rap music. Among other successful records he released, Tupac is mainly known for his all-time successful album ‘All Eyez On Me,’ the first double-length album in hip-hop history.

As a solo hip-hop artist, Tupac was the first to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in his first year of eligibility. He is a name even rock music listeners know about. As it turns out, the iconic rapper used a rock song as a sample in his most successful hit, which appeared on the ‘All Eyez On Me’ album.

Although the original version of it didn’t appear on any of Tupac’s studio albums, his most significant hit ‘California Love’ ended up being released on the compilation album ‘Greatest Hits’ and on the U.K. version of ‘All Eyez on Me.’ He worked with the famous producer Dr. D.R.E. on this track, and following D.R.E.’s suggestion, Tupac used a sample of a rock song in ‘California Love.’

Despite being known as Tupac’s most successful effort, ‘California Love’ was meant to appear on Dr. D.R.E’s album. When Tupac heard D.R.E.’s session in the studio, he wanted to be in the song — so the two started recording it together. D.R.E. then came up with a brilliant idea that contributed to ‘California Love’s success: using Joe Cocker’s ‘Woman To Woman’ as a sample.

‘Woman To Woman’ is a song sampled by various hip-hop and rap artists, such as Ultramagnetic M.C.s, EPMD, Quasimoto, Maino, Jadakiss, Jim Jones, and Joell Ortiz. However, there’s no doubt that it found the best use in Tupac’s ‘California Love’ and helped the rapper create a timeless hip-hop track that still has a broad audience.