|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 3, 1995|
|Format||12" single, CD single|
|Genre||West Coast hip hop, G-funk|
|Length||4:45 (Single version)
6:25 (Album version/Remix)
|Label||Death Row, Interscope|
|Writer(s)||Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Joe Cocker, Woodrow Cunningham, Norman Durham, Mikel Hooks, Ronald Hudson, Christopher Stainton, Larry Troutman, Roger Troutman, J-Flexx |
|Certification||2x Platinum (RIAA)|
|2Pac singles chronology|
"California Love" is a hip hop song by 2Pac featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman. The song was released as 2Pac's comeback single upon 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.
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. 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. 
"California Love" was Shakur's only entry on Rolling Stone's 2004 list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, ranked number 346, and number 51 on VH1's countdown of the 100 Greatest songs of the 90s.
Writing, samples and background
"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 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.
There are several different versions (and duration lengths) of California Love recorded and released by 2Pac.
- California Love [Official/Original Track] - 6:29 (the unmodified, uncut original track, released only on promo vinyl records)
- 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.
Two versions of music video exist. The first video (directed by Hype Williams 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 (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 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 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). 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.
In popular culture
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 
- 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
Charts and certifications
"Love is Paradise" by First Base
|Canadian RPM Dance chart number-one single
March 25, 1996 – April 8, 1996
"Feels So Good" by Lina Santiago
- List of number-one singles in 1996 (New Zealand)
- List of number-one R&B singles of 1996 (U.S.)
- List of Hot 100 number-one singles of 1996 (U.S.)
- List of number-one singles (Sweden)
Notes and references
- Ascap entry for song ASCAP, accessed May 1, 2011
- "Week Ending June 19, 2011. Bad Teenage Dreams - Chart Watch". New.music.yahoo.com. 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2011-10-25.[dead link]
- "Hype Williams: His 10 Greatest Videos: 2". Factmag.com. 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
- Wilson, Elliott (April 2005). "XXL". Pop Shots (Harris Publications). pp. 131–135.
- "Tribal Ink - California Love". YouTube. 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- Kung, Michelle (September 30, 2010). "Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon's ‘History of Rap' Duet: The Full Set List". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Australian-charts.com – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
- "2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Ultratop.be – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- "Ultratop.be – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love" (in French). Ultratop 50.
- "Top Singles - Volume 63, No. 9, April 15, 1996". RPM. Retrieved 2011-02-21.
- "Item Display - RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 28 December 2012.
- "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.
- "2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre: California Love" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
- "Lescharts.com – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love" (in French). Les classement single.
- "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: 0". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
- "Charts.org.nz – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love". Top 40 Singles.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love". VG-lista.
- "Swedishcharts.com – 2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love". Singles Top 60.
- "2 Pac feat. Dr. Dre – California Love – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
- Canada Top 50 Dance Tracks of 1996
- "Billboard Top 100 - 1996". Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- 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.
- "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Gold & Platinum - January 2005". Cria.ca. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- "IFPI Norsk platebransje". Ifpi.no. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved 2011-10-25.