Contact Us

Tupac’s Original “Dear Mama” Featuring Yo-Yo Surfaces

Tupac’s 1995 single “Dear Mama” is one of the most important songs in his entire discography. But it turns out that the version fans all know and love is not the original. DJ King Assassin, who was Tupac’s DJ and part of the Me Against the World recording sessions, revealed that the world had not yet heard the original version of “Dear Mama.”

That all changes today (May 5) as DJ King Assassin has released the OG track. It turns out that the original featured a different hook with use of some Yo-Yo vocals..

“The original version of ‘Dear Mama’ was far different than the version that was released, as far as the hook was constructed,” DJ King Assassin explained. “Originally, the hook was a sample of a song from the legendary rapper and friend of both of ours named Yo-Yo, from Ice Cube’s [Da] Lench Mob. The sample was ‘Wouldn’t be a damn thang without a woman,’ which was taken from the original song from Ice Cube’s ‘This Is A Man’s World,’ with the scratching done, of course, by yours truly DJ King Assassin. The day after we had finished up on everything we were in Echo Sound in L.A. when Tupac comes in the studio very upset and proceeds to explain to us that we had to take out Yo-Yo’s part because a person by the name of Pat Charbonet would not give us the clearance to use that part in the song, so we had no choice but to take it out and that’s where even the Richard Pryor excerpt, which you will hear, is completely off the released version of the song.”

In light of Afeni Shakur’s passing, it feels particularly special to hear this unreleased version of “Dear Mama.” Tupac’s ode to Afeni is just as powerful as it was 20+ years ago.

30 Albums That Will Make You Appreciate Hip-Hop

Subscribe to XXL on

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for XXL Mag quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!