Tupac's "Dear Mama": Why This Song Sucks
[Editor's note: Why This Song Sucks determines why particular tracks blow using science. It appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday.]
Song: Tupac's "Dear Mama"
Background: "Dear Mama" is Tupac's most beloved song. It is considered to be one of the greatest hip-hop records of all time. It played in the background while God made love to the thunderbolt that birthed Tom Brady. It went to the Apple Store on Christmas Eve and got its iPhone fixed at the Genius Bar without having an appointment. It is, quite simply, amazing. And it totally sucks.
Atmospherics: Delicate. Sunburnt.
Scientific Analysis: This is a gorgeous song, sure. But this ain't the Why This Song Makes Me Feel All Gooey Inside column. This here, THISRAWBITCHHERE, is Why This Song Sucks, and it's rooted in reason and physics. Which is why we must point out that "Dear Mama" is fat with illogic like Dick Cheney is fat with fat.
"Dear Mama" is a vehicle for Tupac to pay homage to his mother, which is a reasonable enough premise. He even describes her as a "black queen." Unfortunately, that's preceded by an admission that she was addicted to crack cocaine, which is pretty much the first thing they ask you when you apply to be queen, bro.
Get the fuck out of here. And, it unravels further from there. In addition to her rampant drug abuse, she was also a child abuser ("Mama catch me, put a whooping to my backside") and, at one point, a prisoner of the state. (The video starts with Mama explaining how she was locked up while she was pregnant with Tupac). Ernestine Allen was selected as the 2011 recipient of the American Mothers' National Mother of the Year award. I scanned her bio. It listed none of Mama's aforementioned qualities. Matter of fact, it was pretty much the exact opposite. You know which mom mirrored Mama's qualities best? Halle Berry in Losing Isaiah, before she got clean. She didn't win any mothering awards. Sorry, 2pacalypse.