California Love

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"California Love"
Single by 2Pac featuring Dr. Dre & Roger Troutman
from the album All Eyez on Me (UK Version)
A-side "How Do U Want It"
Released December 28, 1995 (1995-12-28)
Format 12" single, CD single
Recorded October 1995
Genre West Coast hip hop, G-funk, Gangsta rap, Golden age hip hop
Length 4:45 (Single version)
6:25 (Album version/Remix)
Label Death Row, Interscope
Writer(s) Tupac Shakur, Andre Young, Joe Cocker, Woodrow Cunningham, Norman Durham, Mikel Hooks, Ronald Hudson, Christopher Stainton, Larry Troutman, Roger Troutman,[1] J-Flexx [2]
Producer(s) Dr. Dre
Certification 2x Platinum (RIAA)
2Pac singles chronology
"Temptations"
(1995)
"California Love"
(1995)
"2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted"
(1996)
Dr. Dre singles chronology
"Keep Their Heads Ringin'"
(1995)
"California Love"
(1995)
"No Diggity"
(1996)
Music video
"California Love" on YouTube
Music video
"California Love (Part 2)" on YouTube
Audio sample
file info · help

"California Love" is a hip hop song by 2Pac featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman. The song was released as 2Pac's comeback single after his release from prison in 1995 and was his first single as a Death Row Records artist. This is perhaps 2Pac's best-known song and his most successful, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks (as a double-A side single with "How Do U Want It"). The song was nominated for a posthumous Grammy Award as a Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group (with Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman) in 1997.

A popular remix version of the song appeared on his 1996 double album All Eyez on Me, the first double album in the history of Death Row Records.

The original version of the track was not available on any of Shakur's studio albums due to it being intended for Dr. Dre's shelved album The Chronic II: A New World Odor (Poppa's Got A Brand New Funk). But it can now be found on Shakur's compilation of Greatest Hits and on the United Kingdom version of All Eyez on Me.

The original version also exists in extended form and is 6:29 in length. This particular version was never released to the public and is now only available on 12" promo vinyl records.[3] Aside from the extended track being on limited quantities of vinyl promo records, very few uploads to YouTube exist of the original, 6:29-length extended song. [4]

Writing, samples and background[edit]

"California Love" was one of two songs produced by Dr. Dre on All Eyez on Me—the other one being "Can't C Me". The first version of the song has three verses featuring Dr. Dre's rapping. The only copy of this session is now in the possession of DJ Jam, Snoop Dogg's personal concert DJ. 2Pac first heard Dr. Dre's session while at Dre's in-house studio and asked Dre to put him on the song. Dre did and also did an additional remix of the song. The original was released as a double-A side single together with "How Do U Want It" and intended for the Dr. Dre album The Chronic II, while the remix was included on 2Pac's All Eyez on Me. The song was made and written in Dr Dre's in house studio, 2Pac came in and wrote his verse straight away; it took him just 15 minutes to write his verse. The weekend after the song was completed the video was then recorded.

The original version contains a sample taken from Joe Cocker's 1972 song "Woman to Woman". The remix version contains a sample taken from Kleeer's 1984 song "Intimate Connection". The chorus, "California knows how to party", was sung by Roger Troutman using his characteristic talk box and was taken from the 1982 song "West Coast Poplock" by Ronnie Hudson & The Street People which was written by Larry Troutman and Roger Troutman. In the song where Troutman sings "shake it, shake it baby", he interpolates the chant he used on his 1982 Zapp single, "Dance Floor".

The chorus mentions Los Angeles, the neighborhood of Watts and the city of Compton. Pac and Dre mention the following other California cities in their verses and the outro: San Diego, Bay Area (includes San Francisco and Oakland), Long Beach, Sacramento, Pasadena, Inglewood and Hollywood.

Music videos[edit]

Two versions of music video exist. The first video (directed by Hype Williams)[5] was inspired by the film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and takes place in a desert in the year 2095. The casting includes actor Chris Tucker[6] (then-known only for his role in the 1995 film Friday) playing the evil tribal chief's yes-man, Tony Cox as the dwarf soldier and Roger Troutman (formerly with the band Zapp) carrying a talk box. The shooting took place in the Thunderdome set[6] known from the movie. It ends with a cliffhanger cut by a "To Be Continued" closing. An alternative version, featuring the remix song re-cut, removes the final caption and features 2Pac and Dr. Dre naming West Coast towns.

The second video is based on the remix version of the song from the album All Eyez on Me and is a continuation of the video's story. The premise is that the desert scenes of the previous videos were merely a nightmare 2Pac was having. When he wakes up, he finds himself in his bed beside a woman. He calls Dr. Dre, who tells him to get over to his summer house because he's throwing a house party. The rest of the music video takes place as if it were a home video celebrating 2Pac's welcome to Death Row and features several cameos, notably Roger Troutman who is now playing the piano, and guest appearances from DJ Quik, Big Syke, Danny Boy, Jodeci, Deion Sanders, B-Legit and E-40.

The first video can be found on the DualDisc of All Eyez on Me and the second video can be found on Tupac: Live at the House of Blues DVD. The first music video of California Love was shot November 10, 1995 and the second video of California Love was shot 18 days after the first California Love video was shot. It also won the 1996 MOBO Award for Best Video.

Accolades[edit]

The first video was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Best Rap Video in 1996. It achieved number 9 of the top 10 on MTV's 100 Greatest Videos Ever Made list in 1999. In April 2005 it reached the Bronze medal spot on MTV2 and XXL's 25 Greatest West Coast Videos. It also achieved number 1 on the French MTV's 100 Greatest Rap Music Videos in 2006 (featured from 23 till 30 of July). It went number 51 on VH1's countdown of the 100 Greatest songs of the 90s.[7]

  • The information regarding accolades attributed to California Love is adapted from Acclaimedmusic.net.[8]
Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Ego Trip United States Hip Hop's 40 Greatest Singles by Year 1980-98 1999 22
Blender The 1001 Greatest Songs to Download Right Now! 2003 *
rap.about.com 50 Great Hip Hop Songs 2001 6
Rolling Stone The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time 2004 346
Bruce Pollock The 7,500 Most Important Songs of 1944-2000 2005 *
Rolling Stone The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (Updated 2010) 2010 355
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame The Songs That Shaped Rock (Additions 2011) 2011 *
Slant The 100 Best Singles of the 90s 17
TIME The All-Time 100 Songs *
Pause & Play Songs Inducted into a Time Capsule, One Track at Each Week *
Gary Mulholland United Kingdom This Is Uncool: The 500 Best Singles Since Punk Rock 2002 *
Paul Morley Words and Music, 210 Greatest Pop Singles of All Time 2003 *
Q The 1001 Best Songs Ever 118
The 1010 Songs You Must Own 2004 *
Giannis Petridis Greece 2004 of the Best Songs of the Century 2003 *
Technikart France Top 20 Songs per Year 1991-2011 2012 13
Village Voice United States Singles of the Year 11
Face United Kingdom 3
Melody Maker 24
Vox 8

Song versions[edit]

There are several different versions (and duration lengths) of California Love recorded and released by 2Pac.

  • California Love [Official/"Full" Original Track] - 6:29 (the unmodified, uncut original track, released only on promo vinyl records)
  • California Love [Remix/"Full" Original Track] - 6:26 (the unmodified, uncut remixed track)
  • California Love ["Original"] - 4:45 (the "original" released track, shortened down from 6:29 to 4:45)
  • California Love [Short Radio Edit] - 4:05 (modified version of the cut "original" track [shorter, modified outro])
  • California Love [LP Instrumental] - 4:15 (instrumental version of the "original" track)
  • California Love [Short Remix Edit] - 4:07 (remixed version of the "original")
  • California Love [Remix Instrumental] - 4:12 (instrumental version of remix)

Some tracks listed above are available through iTunes and other music providers, while others are from CD discs only believed to be released in the UK. The "official/original" track can only be found on promo vinyl records or through YouTube.

In popular culture[edit]

  • My American Heart covered this song for the Punk Goes Crunk compilation album.
  • A Swedish rock band Tribal Ink also covered this song for their debut album Surrounded by Freaks.[9]
  • The Glitch Mob remixed the song in 2008.
  • On several compilation albums of Roger Troutman & Zapp you can hear a completely different version form of the song with raps from Big Robb and Dale De Groat. 2Pac and Dr. Dre are not on this version.
  • Coalinga, California death metal/electronics band Faxed Head covered the song on their 2001 album Chiropractic, although changing the name to "Coalinga Love", and altering the lyrics to tell their story of Coalinga.
  • A spoof version with different lyrics was featured in the South Park episode "Night of the Living Homeless".
  • On Phish's Live Phish Volume 17, recorded on July 15, 1998, an improvised jam from the song "Tweezer" becomes "California Love" for a brief segment, before returning to the Tweezer jam.
  • Dubstep artist Rusko has remixed the song, called "Da Cali Anthem".
  • It was performed by Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.[10]
  • The song also appears in films like Iron Man 2, Marmaduke and Valentine's Day.
  • Mike Cronin sang the song nearly 50 times (non-stop) over the instrumental version while broadcasting live on YouNow for nearly 3.5 hours from April 13-14, 2014, breaking any previous records for doing so. It was originally planned for Cronin to sing for 7 hours non-stop (from 11PM on 4/13/14 until 6AM the next morning on 4/14/14). However, he gave up after singing it for nearly 3.5 hours. [11]
  • On May 1, 2014, American hip hop recording artist Kendrick Lamar performed his own version of the song at the 1st annual iHeartRadio Music Awards.
  • The song was used by the NFL's San Francisco 49ers as their entrance song in Super Bowl XLVII, played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 3, 2013, to conclude the 2012 NFL season.
  • It is currently being used by Baltimore Orioles All-Star outfielder Adam Jones as his walk-up song during home games. (Jones is from California himself).

Personnel[edit]

  • Writer – Tupac Shakur
  • Keyboards – Sean "Barney" Thomas
  • Percussion – Carl "Butch" Small
  • Producer, mixing, featuring (Rap) – Dr. Dre
  • Vocals, talkbox – Roger Troutman
  • Background vocals – Danette Williams, Dorothy Coleman, Barbara Wilson
  • Engineer – Keston E. Wright
  • Engineer - Rick Clifford
  • Assistant Engineer: Alvin McGill
  • Production assistant – Larry Chatman
  • Video direction – Hype Williams[5]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"Love is Paradise" by First Base
Canadian RPM Dance chart number-one single
March 25, 1996 – April 8, 1996
Succeeded by
"Feels So Good" by Lina Santiago

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Ascap entry for song ASCAP, accessed May 1, 2011
  2. ^ http://www.hiphop-elements.com/article/read/6/6936/1/
  3. ^ http://www.discogs.com/2Pac-California-Love/release/1607375
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y727WCJ_CIM
  5. ^ a b "Hype Williams: His 10 Greatest Videos: 2". Factmag.com. 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  6. ^ a b Wilson, Elliott (April 2005). "XXL". Pop Shots (Harris Publications). pp. 131–135. 
  7. ^ "Week Ending June 19, 2011. Bad Teenage Dreams - Chart Watch". New.music.yahoo.com. 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2011-10-25. [dead link]
  8. ^ http://www.acclaimedmusic.net/Current/S51.htm
  9. ^ "Tribal Ink - California Love". YouTube. 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  10. ^ Kung, Michelle (September 30, 2010). "Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon's ‘History of Rap' Duet: The Full Set List". The Wall Street Journal. 
  11. ^ http://www.younow.com/MikesiOSHelp/7216079/304438/151/b/April-13,-2014
  12. ^ "Australian-charts.com – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  13. ^ "2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  16. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 63, No. 9, April 15, 1996". RPM. Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  17. ^ "Item Display - RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  18. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  19. ^ "2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre: California Love" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  20. ^ "Lescharts.com – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love" (in French). Les classement single.
  21. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: 0". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  23. ^ "Charts.org.nz – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love". Top 40 Singles.
  24. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love". VG-lista.
  25. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love". Singles Top 60.
  26. ^ "2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
  27. ^ Canada Top 50 Dance Tracks of 1996
  28. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1996". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  29. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade - The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  30. ^ "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Gold & Platinum - January 2005". Cria.ca. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  31. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje". Ifpi.no. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  32. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 

External links[edit]