Years after his death, Tupac’s life is still felt through his legacy and his lyrics.
The complicated yet brilliant poet advocated for free thinking and self-preservation, and his lyrics always succeeded in one thing: They inspired us to never give up.
The self-proclaimed “thug” may have rapped about life on the street, but he also challenged men to respect their sisters, make changes, be grateful and never settle.
Despite how he left this earth, his music will surely never die. Here are 15 Tupac lyrics to motivate you to face life’s challenges. Remember, keep your head up.
“Through every dark night, there’s a bright day after that. So no matter how hard it get, stick your chest out, keep your head up and handle it.” —“In My Heart”
“Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.” —“The Rose That Grew From Concrete”
“You gotta make a change. You see the old way wasn’t working, so it’s on us to do what we gotta do to survive.” —“Changes”
“Tomorrow I wake with second wind and strong because of pride. I know I fought with all my heart to keep the dream alive.” —“And 2Morrow”
“Here’s a message to the newborns, waiting to breathe. If u believe than u can achieve. Just look at me.” —“Smile”
“Driven by my ambitions, desire higher positions. So I proceed to make Gs, eternally in my mission. Is to be more than just a rap musician. The elevation of today’s generation. If I could make ’em listen.” —“Unconditional Love”
“My mama always used to tell me: ‘If you can’t find somethin’ to live for, you best find something to die for.’ ” —“Something 2 Die 4”
“Don’t settle for less, even a genius asks-es questions. Be grateful for blessings. Don’t ever change. Keep your essence.” —“Me Against the World”
“Never surrender. It’s all about the faith you got: Don’t ever stop, just push it till you hit the top, and if you drop, at least you know you gave your all to be true to you. That way you can never fall.” —“Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.”
“It’s the game of life. Do I win or do I lose? One day they’re gonna shut the game down. I gotta have as much fun and go around the board as many times as I can before it’s my turn to leave.” —“In His Own Words”
“No one knows my struggle, they only see the trouble. Not knowing how hard it is to carry on when no one loves you.” —“Thugz Mansion”
“I make mistakes but learn from everyone. And when it’s said and done, I bet this brother be a better one. If I upset you, don’t stress. Never forget that God isn’t finished with me yet.” —“Ghetto Gospel”
“Strength is overcome by weakness. Joy is overcome by pain. The night is overcome by brightness. And love—it remains the same.” —“Untitled #3”
“I exist in the depths of solitude pondering my true goal. Trying 2 find peace of mind and still preserve my soul.” —“In the Depths of Solitude”
“Even though you’re fed up, you gotta keep your head up.” —“Keep Ya Head Up”