It featured three singles: "Brenda's Got a Baby", "Trapped", and "If My Homie Calls". Among the notable tracks are "Bury Me a G", "Cradle to the Grave", "Pour Out a Little Liquor" (which also appears on the soundtrack to the 1994 film Above the Rim), "How Long Will They Mourn Me? As a result of criticism of gangsta rap at the time, the original version of the album was scrapped and re-recorded with many of the original songs being cut.The album contains ten tracks because Interscope Records felt many of the other recorded songs were too controversial to release.In the documentary Tupac: Resurrection, Shakur says, "Jada is my heart. The type of relationship we had, you only get that once in a lifetime." A poem written by Shakur titled "Jada" appears in his book, The Rose That Grew from Concrete, which also includes a poem dedicated to Pinkett Smith called "The Tears in Cupid's Eyes." During his time in art school, Shakur became affiliated with the Baltimore Young Communist League USA.

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Many people in Shakur's life were involved with the Black Liberation Army; some were convicted of serious criminal offenses and imprisoned, including his mother.

His godfather, Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, a high-ranking Black Panther, was convicted of murdering a school teacher during a 1968 robbery, although his sentence was later overturned.

She had been imprisoned since 1977 for killing a state trooper in 1973.

She lived as a fugitive for several years before gaining asylum in Cuba in 1985.

The songs "Trapped" and "Brenda's Got a Baby" were widely noted for their poetic qualities but also offered strong critiques of unjust social policies.

Dan Quayle criticized the album after a Texas youth's defense attorney claimed he was influenced by 2Pacalypse Now and its theme of police brutality before shooting a state trooper.

His stepfather, Mutulu Shakur, spent four years at large on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list beginning in 1982.

Mutulu was wanted for having helped his friend (no relation) Assata Shakur (also known as Joanne Chesimard), Tupac's godmother, to escape from a penitentiary in New Jersey in 1979.

Although Shakur began recording in 1987, his professional entertainment career did not take off until the early 1990s when he debuted in Digital Underground's "Same Song" from the soundtrack to the 1991 film Nothing but Trouble, and also appeared with the group in the film.

The song was later released as the lead song of the Digital Underground extended play (EP) This Is an EP Release, the follow-up to their debut hit album Sex Packets. After his rap debut, he performed with Digital Underground again on the album Sons of the P. In November 1991, Shakur released his debut solo album, 2Pacalypse Now.

He set him up as a roadie and backup dancer with the hip hop group Digital Underground in 1990.