Dear Mama (4:39)

Cover of Me Against the World

From Me Against the World and 7 other releases

“Dear Mama” is a song by American hip hop recording artist 2Pac, released on February 21, 1995 as the lead single from his third studio album, Me Against the World (1995). The song is a tribute to his mother, Afeni Shakur. In the song, Shakur details his childhood poverty and his mother’s addiction to crack cocaine, but argues that his love and deep respect for his mother supersede bad memories. The song topped the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart for five weeks and also peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was certified Platinum by the RIAA on July 13, 1995.

“Dear Mama” has been consistently ranked among the best of its genre, appearing on numerous “greatest” lists. In 2010, the song was added to the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress, who deemed it a work that is “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States.” In a press release, the organization called the song “a moving and eloquent homage to both the murdered rapper’s own mother and all mothers struggling to maintain a family in the face of addiction, poverty and societal indifference.”

The video features an appearance by Afeni Shakur, who re-enacts her reconciliation with a look a like of her son.

The song is often considered Shakur’s most “emotionally resonant” song. Rolling Stone placed “Dear Mama” at number 18 on its 2012 list of The 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time, writing, “The song is the ne plus ultra of hip-hop odes to Mom.”The song was also ranked number four on About.

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