“Thug 4 Life” title has been chosen after the name of the live tour that Pac made with his team, Stretch, Biggie, and other. 2Pac met a lot of people along this year. These tracks are supposed to have been recorded before that tour, after Strictly 4 my Niggaz (end 1992), during that tour, and before or during “Out On Bail” Sessions in Late 1993.
This is at this time (after S4MN) that appears the “Thug Life” concept. In fact, he started to use it far much earlier when he started to rap. The Neighbors started to call him “thug” and he then recorded a song concept called “T.H.U.G. L.I.F.E. (The Hate U Gave Little Infants Fuck Everybody)”.
But it’s later in 1992, that he and his stepfather Mutulu Shakur (father of Mopreme Shakur) wrote down the “Thug Life Handbook”, a code of the street’s life in order to calm down the gangs. (here is link to the the text on the website of Mutulu Shakur : http://www.mutulushakur.com/thuglife.html ; see also : Thug Life code with Mutulu Shakur.
2Pac – Thug 4 Life (1993)
1. Walkin’ Down The Streets of N.Y. (Freestyle)
- From a video of 2Pac in New York for Juice shot in 1991. “I’m in New York” go well with most of the tracks here that often sounds east coast.
2. Open Fire / Akshun
- Faithfully published in R U Still Down (1997, Amaru) without any major changes. Could be from late 92. Akshun also produced “Guess Who’s Back” on S4MN.
3. House of Pain / Stretch
- It’s written “1993/1994(?)” on Live-Squad.com, but Pac, Strech and Big sound earlier than 1994. It doesn’t sound like Thug Life session so I think it could be the first Pac/Biggie song before “Runnin’ [version I]”
4. Hellrazor feat. Stretch (backing) / Live Squad
- Remixed in R U Still Down (1997, Amaru). Promo Hellrazor out in 1993
5. Thug Style / Chris Rosser & Conrad Rosser (Bread & Water)
- Remixed in R U Still Down (1997, Amaru). Recorded in 1993 (cf Live-Squad.com). Was the b-side of the promo Hellrazor out in 1993.
6. Sweet Black Pussy (Freestyle)
- From a video of 2Pac in New York for Juice shot in 1991.
7. Gotta Get Mine feat. Mc Breed / Warren G
- from Mc Breed’s album “The New Breed” (1993, Wrap records).
8. Tha Mind of a Bad Boy feat. Dee Tha Mad Bitch (Bo$$) & ? (chorus) / Assassin
- Published in Assassin’s Hitworks vol. 1 (1996, Liferdef Records). One of the two connexions between Pac & Bo$$ with the one on Thug Life’s Out on Bail Demo. There is a remix of the song without Dee published in The Here After (1999, ZYX). The hook is a ragga thing and is from an unknown artist.
9. Thug 4 Life / Johnny J
- Recorded in 1993 (live-squad.com). This song was supposed to feature Stretch (there is space for his verse).
10. Animosity (Freestyle) feat. Warren G, Richie Rich & Big Syke / Warren G
- Recorded during “Out on Bail” sessions over “Lie 2 Kick It” instrumental.
11. (Don’t Fuck With A) Killa feat. Freddie Fox & Ray Dog (aka Benzino) / Stretch
- It’s writtent “1994(?)” on Live-Squad’s website, but Freddie Foxxx recorded this song in 1993 for his album Crazy Like A Foxxx (published in 2008, Fat Beats). And you also can find a live freestyle between 2Pac & Freddie Fox from 1993.
12. The Upercut feat. Sister Souljah/Yanni (?) / Stretch
- Remixed in Loyal to the Game (2004, Amaru). It’s written date (?) on the Live Squad website. But Pac is nervous as on other tracks of this bootleg. It could be Yanni, the female rapper from Thug Life on this track.
13. Ghetto Ghost / ?
- Remixed in Resurrection OST (2003, Amaru). Maybe a Stretch production because Pac say his name as he was talking to him.
14. Who Do U Luv ? feat. Stretch / Adario Strange
- It is written 1993 on Live Squad’s website.
15. Wassup Wit Da Luv feat. Digital Underground / Shock G
- from Digital Underground – The Body Hat Syndrome (1993, Tommy Boy)
16. Thugs Get Lonely Too / Stretch
- You can hear that song in the “Thugz 4 Life” tour. It was supposed to be published in R U Still Down in a remixed version featuring Tech 9ne.
17. 5 Deadly Venoms (Freestyle) feat. Treach (Naughty By Nature) & Gran Puba (Brand Nubian)
- From the late 92 like says Gran Puba, during or after the recording of the song of the same name.
18. Skank Wit U feat. Don Jagwarr / Brian G
- from Don Jagwarr’s album “Faded” recorded in 1993 (1994, Priority).
19. Keep Ya Head Up [original] / ?
20. Thug Life [solo mix] / ?
- Solo version of the Thug Life’s Out on Bail version recorded at the same period, probably beginning 1993. It could be a later mix that gave back Pac his normal voice instead of the Soulja voice on the original version with Big Syke and Prince Ital Joe.
21. Madison Square Garden Live (Freestyle) feat. Scoob Lover, The Notorious B.I.G., Shyheim & Big Daddy Kane
- Famous live freestyle from 1993 during the Buweiser Superfest that takes place in the beginning of august. According to Mister Cee, the movie Poetic Justice was out one week earlier.
22. When I Get Free (Outro) / ?
- Slightly remixed on R U Still Down (1997) as “When I Get Free I”. 2Pac is rapping with Soulja’s voice so it’s like a sequel for “Soulja’s Story” from 2Pacalypse Now.