When Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur Davis, passed away this week, many took the time to revisit his 1995 single “Dear Mama.” Collaborator DJ King Assassin took things a step further and shared an early version of the song, which features an alternate sample from Ice Cube’s protegé, Yo-Yo.
“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,” DJ King Assassin says. “The sample was ‘Wouldn’t be a damn thang without a woman,’ which was taken from the original song from Ice Cube’s ‘This Is A Man’s World,’ with the scratching done, of course, by yours truly DJ King Assassin.”
Sample clearance issues got in the way and forced them to remove the sample, however.
“The day after we had finished up on everything we were in Echo Sound in L.A. when Tupac comes in the studio very upset and proceeds to explain to us that we had to take out Yo-Yo’s part because a person by the name of Pat Charbonet would not give us the clearance to use that part in the song,” he continues. “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.”
Listen to the original version below as well as the official track that landed on his third studio album, Me Against The World.