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Tupac Shakur’s Top 10 Billboard Hits

Tupac's fearlessness and resilience is what kept the late rapper atop the Billboard charts from the beginning of his career in 1992 until long after his death in 1996 at 25. Roll through his catalog…

Tupac‘s fearlessness and resilience is what kept the late rapper atop the Billboard charts from the beginning of his career in 1992 until long after his death in 1996 at 25. 

Roll through his catalog and both his own tracks (“Dear Mama,” “Keep Ya Head Up,” “Brenda’s Got A Baby”) as well as songs he featured on (Scarface‘s “Smile”) entered the Top 10 of the Hot Rap Songs chart. Beloved Tupac cuts “Hail Mary,” “Changes” and “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” are omitted from this list because the songs had to be commercially available as a single to qualify for the chart. 

Revisit his Top 10 Billboard hits below.

2Pac’s top 10 Hot Rap Songs hits chart is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart, through the Sept. 3, 2016, ranking. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology over the years, certain eras are weighted to account for different chart turnover rates over various periods.

10. “Stop The Gunfight”
Trapp feat. 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G.
Peak Position: 9
Peak Date: 5/3/97

During the highly publicized East Coast versus West Coast rap beef, Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. appeared on the 1997 Trapp cut “Stop The Gunfight,” the album’s title track that peaked at No. 9 on the Hot Rap Songs chart. Tupac was shot on his way to a boxing match in Las Vegas and died six days later (Sept. 13, 1996) in the hospital. Biggie was then killed in a drive-by shooting the following March. Both murders remain unsolved. 

9. “So Many Tears” 
Peak Position: 6
Peak Date: 7/15/95

“So Many Tears” appeared on Tupac’s third studio effort, 1995’s Me Against The World. With death as a recurring theme on the LP, ‘Pac rhymes about his inner demons and the violent circumstances of his environment, eerily rapping a year before his death, “And f–k the world cause I’m cursed, I’m having visions/Of leaving here in a hearse, God can you feel me?”

8. “Do For Love” 
2Pac feat. Eric Williams
Peak Position: 2
Peak Date: 3/28/98

Ever the master storyteller, Tupac offers three different tales in each verse on “Do For Love” featuring singer Eric Williams. The track, which peaked at No. 8 in August 1993, finds ‘Pac waxing poetic about looking for commitment with a girl he didn’t expect to fall for while his ex claims that she is pregnant with his baby as he finds her cheating. “Do For Love” was featured on Tupac’s sixth studio album R U Still Down? Remember Me, released in 1997. 

7. “Brenda’s Got A Baby/If My Homie Calls” 
Peak Position: 6
Peak Date: 7/15/95

Tupac’s 1991 debut 2Pacalypse Now hosted the emotional track “Brenda’s Got A Baby.” Reaching No. 6 on the Hot Rap Songs chart with its B-side “If My Homie Calls” in 1995, the rapper painted an unpretty picture of a 12-year-old girl impregnated by her cousin and the harsh realities of being raised in a corrupt home in the ghetto. 

6. “I Get Around”
Peak Position: 8
Peak Date: 8/14/93

The West Coast classic may have offended a few with its explicit lyrics when it debuted in 1993 but hip-hop heads can’t deny “I Get Around” gets everyone up from their seats to this day. ‘Pac teamed with the group that introduced him to the hip-hop game, Digital Underground for the second single from his Strictly 4 My N.I.-.-.A.Z LP. The track landed at No. 8 on the Hot Rap Songs chart. 

5. “Smile”
Scarface Feat. 2Pac and Johnny P
Peak Position: 4
Peak Date: 7/12/97

Scarface chose a collaboration with Tupac for the lead single off his fourth album The Untouchable similar to Keyshia Cole with “Playa Cardz Right.” Scarface’s decision earned him his highest charting single to date. In less than a month from its debut on June 21, 1997, “Smile,” featuring the later rapper and Johnny P, peaked at No. 4 on the Hot Rap Songs chart.

4. “Thugz Mansion”
Peak Position: 4
Peak Date: 2/1/03

Released as a posthumous single, “Thugz Mansion” — which arrived in two versions: one with Nas and J. Phoenix, the other with Anthony Hamilton — floated to No. 4 on the Hot Rap Songs chart in 2003. The emotional track found Tupac describing heaven from a gangster’s perspective. 

3. “Keep Ya Head Up”
Peak Position: 2
Peak Date: 12/4/93

The leader of the “Thug Life” movement always shared a message through his songs with the hope to strengthen someone’s spirit and his own. “And when he tells you you ain’t nothin’ don’t believe him/ And if he can’t learn to love you you should leave him/ Cause sista you don’t need him,” Pac raps on the motivational track. “Keep Ya Head Up,” off Pac’s second studio album, Strigtly 4 My N.I.-.-.A.Z., marked Pac’s peaked at No. 2 on the Hot Rap Songs chart. 

2. “Dear Mama/Old School”
Peak Position: 1 (five weeks)
Peak Date: 3/11/95

Tupac had made references to “Dear Mama” in previous works till one day, the song’s producer, Tony Pizarro, suggested ‘Pac make it into its own song. Once Pizarro pulled up  “In My Wildest Dream” by The Crusader‘s Joe Sample, Tupac quickly penned an ode to his mother, Afeni Shakur. “Dear Mama” and its B-side “Old School” topped the list in 1995.

1. “How Do U Want It/California Love”
2Pac feat. K-Ci & JoJo
Peak Position: 1 (eight weeks)
Peak Date: 6/22/96

Two months before his passing, Tupac experienced his first No. 1 hit on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot 100 Songs. “How Do U Want It,” featuring R&B duo K-Ci and JoJo also rocked the Hot Rap Songs chart — with its B-side “California Love” — at No. 1 for eight weeks.