‘Do for Love’ musician 2Pac is one of the most iconic hip-hop artists of all time, and his music is still as relevant today as it was 30 years ago. However, before he got the opportunity to rap on a track, the lyricist (real name Tupac Shakur) played a different role in hip-hop.
The rhymer received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame earlier this year. However, before he broke into the music business and created an undeniably awful feud with Biggie Smalls, 2Pac was a nomad who moved from city to city. From New York to Baltimore, Oakland and LA, the emcee found his fame on the West Coast.
While Shakur lived in Oakland, he became part of the alternative hip-hop outfit Digital Underground. Formed by the Oakland rapper Shock G, Digital Underground had a lot of different members coming in and out of the group, and 2pac was one of them.
Most known for their 1990 song ‘The Humpty Dance’, Digital Underground were quite eccentric with their image and took an uplifting approach to performances. Shakur was a backup dancer and hype man for the group in the late-1980s and early-90s.
However, Shakur only joined the outfit in the hope that, while around Shock G and the rest of the crew, one day, he would be able to feature on a track, and eventually, he did. Released in 1990, before Dr Dre had even formed Death Row Records, Pac appeared on ‘Same Song’ by Digital Underground.
During this period, Shakur was still releasing tracks on the underground, but following his appearance on ‘Same Song’ the All Eyez On Me star signed with Interscope and began recording his 1991 debut album, 2Pacalypse Now, which featured the now-iconic track ‘Brenda’s Got a Baby.’ This paved the way for him to get cast in Juice and more.
You can hear the first mainstream track 2Pac ever appeared on in the video below.