By Amanda Wicks

One of Tupac’s early collaborators, DJ King Assassin, shared the original demo version of “Dear Mama” today (May 6) in honor of Afeni Shakur’s recent passing on May 2.

Related: Hip-Hop Community and Friends Mourn Afeni Shakur

In a note accompanying the track on Ambrosia for Heads, King Assassin explained the difference between the demo version and what would go on to be Tupac’s huge hit from his 1995 album Me Against the World.

King Assassin explained how the hook was especially different. “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,” he wrote. “The sample was ‘Wouldn’t be a damn thang without a woman,’ which was taken from the original song by  Ice Cube featuring Yo-Yo, ‘This Is A Man’s World’ with the scratching done, of course, by yours truly DJ King Assassin.”

The very next day, though, they had to redo the song. Tupac told King Assassin they couldn’t get clearance to use Yo-Yo’s part. “[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,” King Assassin wrote.

Listen to the original version below:


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