2Pac’s Lyrical Themes and Influence on Rappers

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Rap music is one of the most diverse genres you can possibly come across, and we know that some of the most highly-respected rappers of all time (including the great 2Pac) have a history of creating impressive and almost poetic lyrics. Rap has a wide variety of different subgenres which may have their own lyrical themes, but in 2Pac’s music, there are certain themes we see time and time again.

Legends of rap including 2Pac and Biggie Smalls gave us some of these themes, and others date back even further than that, to the very first rappers in the 1980s.

Relationships and Heartbreak

2Pac had some songs that really tugged at the heartstrings, with tracks like Unconditional Love leaving a lump in the throat, and plenty of other lyrics dealing with love and romance (sometimes indirectly). Different hip-hop subcultures and subgenres have their own themes, and some focus more on the emotional aspects of life, including relationships. Rap songs talk about things like the excitement of meeting somebody new and falling in love, the journey through love, or even heartbreak.

Rappers don’t hold a monopoly on this, of course, and musicians of all kinds focus on relationships and heartbreak, which is a tale as old as time. Since music began (even before recording lyrics was common) songs were written inspired by the feelings of love and relationships.

Hip-hop breakup songs are something that potentially helps people through tough times, too. Heartbreak inspires musicians and artists of all kinds and has given us some of the best rapping we’ve ever seen. Stereotypically, some people think that rappers tend to deal with shallow topics, but they couldn’t be more wrong, with loads of rappers diving into matters of the heart, and 2Pac was one of the best at doing so.

Background and Identity

2Pac is associated with West Coast Rap and has a strong sense of identity running through the music, including talking about his upbringing and family in tracks like Dear Mama. Rap music tends to come from certain locations around the world, and this can form a strong sense of community and identity, though people may think of America as the home of rap, there are a lot of other subgenres all over the world, including rap scenes in the UK, Asia, and elsewhere around the globe.

Rappers tend to have a strong idea of where they are from and the background they have, including the rappers who pioneered the genre and the people who forged a path for them to follow. Lots of musicians, producers, and people who made rap what it is today have come from difficult paths and this helps to build a strong sense of identity and community within the rap scene.


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2Pac even famously wrote a song that is entitled “Fame” and this is something he and many other rappers talk about a lot. Rappers tend to talk about fame in one way or another, some of them don’t seem to be too pleased about fame, while some other rappers are keen to be as well-known as popular. All Eyez on Me is one of 2Pac’s tracks that deal with fame and the attention this brings.

Rappers in the 1990s including 2Pac and Biggie had a mixed relationship with fame, fame usually means success for rappers, which means that they are getting sales, living the life that they want, and getting people to come to their shows, but fame isn’t always the most simple thing, and fame-based tracks like Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems by 2Pac’s contemporary, The Notorious B.I.G., show that it can be a double-edged sword for some.

Casinos and Nightlife

You probably already know that there are a huge number of rappers who like to get involved in the nightlife scene, and many rappers talk about their exciting nights out, often painting an image of jumping in a limo and heading to a casino or nightclub. 2Pac was no different, and many of his songs talk about the nightlife of the 80s and 90s, he even rapped on a track with Snoop where the lyrics were “My dream is to own a fly casino”.

A lot of rappers are known to walk the walk as well as talk the talk, such as Drake, someone who is a big fan of 2Pac and his influence, and even owns jewelry once owned by the star. Drake is also not afraid to share betting slips and other examples of nightlife and online betting including playing cash casino games.

Hitting the nightclub after a show, or heading to the casino, is part of a stereotype about rappers, but it is certainly something loads of musicians get involved with, including 2Pac, there are even specific music and rap-themed casino games in some instances! Casino gaming and nightlife being such a big part of rapping and the culture, it is inevitable that this creeps into the lyrics.


Music can cover virtually any subject you can imagine, but there are themes associated with certain genres, and most people who listen to rap music will know that things like heartbreak, fame, nightlife, and more can lead to some of the most interesting topics for rapping. 2Pac is seen as one of the founding fathers of the genre, along with many of the early 90s stars, and his lyrics have been the foundation of a lot of rapping themes.

Without flow and a well-produced track behind it, of course, it isn’t worth much, but the best rappers tend to be known for their great lyrics which are relatable for the average member of society; one of the reasons they can be so popular.

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