Dear Mama

Tupac Shakur, 1995

With the title "Dear Mama," the song takes the form of a letter. Why do you think Tupac wrote the song like this?

"Dear Mama" is an autobiographical song. According to the lyrics, what challenges did Tupac and his family face when he was growing up?

According to the lyrics, how did Tupac's mother help him deal with these challenges?

What does Tupac do now, as an adult, to show his mother his gratitude?

Listen to "In All My Wildest Dreams" and "Sadie." Do you think Tupac sampled these songs for any particular reasons?

"Dear Mama" recorded by Tupac Shakur on Greatest Hits, © 1998. Available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.


For more information on Tupak Shakur, visit his official website. The official video may be viewed on YouTube.

Rights have not been secured to reprint the words for this song. Please consult this online source

Dear Mama single cover

Cover for Tupac's single of "Dear Mama."

Tupac Shakur was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1971. His father left the family when Tupac was five, after which his mother, Afeni Shakur, worked hard as a single parent to raise him and his half-sister in the face of many difficulties, including drug addiction and poverty. In 1986 she moved the family to Baltimore, Maryland, in search of better job opportunities. Tupac attended the Baltimore School of the Performing Arts before leaving home at age seventeen and moving to Oakland, California. Before his career took off, he made ends meet by selling drugs, a part of his life addressed in many of his songs. Shakur died in 1996 at the age of twenty-five when he was shot while in a car at a stoplight in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Dear Mama" is an autobiographical song and a tribute to his mother. Tupac addresses the struggles that his mother faced and admires how she cared for him and his sister throughout it all. "Dear Mama" samples two songs: the slow and reflective "In All My Wildest Dreams" (1978), by pianist, composer, and jazz artist Joe Sample, and "Sadie" (1974), a song in memory of mothers by the R&B group the Spinners. Tupac raps the verses and the chorus is sung by Reggie Green and Sweet Franklin.

In 2010, "Dear Mama" became the third rap song to be included to the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry.


Creative Commons License
Voices Across Time is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at