Greatest Hits is a double disc greatest hits album for late rapper2Pac, released by Amaru/Death Row/Jive/Interscope Records in 1998. The album's non-chronological sequence highlights 2Pac's career; the 21 popular hits, some slightly re-edited for legal reasons, are accompanied by four previously unreleased songs: the dead friends tribute "God Bless the Dead", the dedication song "Unconditional Love", the tough talk "Troublesome '96", and the album's single "Changes" also helped earn 2Pac the first and only posthumous Grammy Award nomination since for Best Rap Solo Performance. Some tracks have alternate mixes, while "California Love" makes its first proper album appearance after only being available as a single prior.
Of the new material, the raw-sounding "God Bless the Dead" has been the subject of the most speculation, owing to its subject matter: an apparent eulogizing of "Biggie Smalls"—a mysterious feat, since Tupac was killed six months before Biggie Smalls. The song has been misinterpreted as a clear and direct homage to Biggie. It actually pays homage to Biggy Smallz aka Big Dric of the Live Squad. It was produced by fellow Live Squad member Randy "Stretch" Walker. He is the subject of Tupac Shakur's controversial tribute song “God Bless the Dead”. This person should not be confused with The Notorious B.I.G., who went by a similar name: Biggie Smalls. In addition to this, Biggy Smallz is often mistaken with Deon Evans, also known as Big D the Impossible. Evans (who is still alive) is a producer who had worked with Tupac Shakur on his earlier albums 2Pacalypse Now and Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.
Tupac Shakur's two-CD Greatest Hits collection debuted at No. 3 with 268,000 and stayed in the Billboard 200 for 77 weeks. It topped the R&B charts in the United States for 2 weeks in a row. On October 16, 2000 it had been certifed 9x platinum then on June 2011 it was certified by the RIAA for shipments of over 10 million copies, the late rapper's first ever RIAA Diamond award. The album is one of the best selling albums of all time in America. The album was certified Platinum by BPI by 16 August 2002 which makes it his highest selling album in the UK.
In terms of subject matter and attitude, 2Pac was without a doubt one of the most versatile rappers of all time, which is why two discs are necessary to encompass the scope of his music. His songs hit every inch of the emotional spectrum, and his affirmation that such contradictory feelings can exist within a single human consciousness is the reason why 2Pac’s music endures. There are few songs that express empathy as deeply as “Keep Ya Head Up” and “Dear Mama,” and by the same token, there are few songs that express spitefulness and rage with the fervor of “Hit ‘Em Up.” In “Hail Mary,” “Trapped” and “How Long Will They Mourn Me” Pac offered visions of death and disquiet, but then he could turn around for an all-out celebration of his home in “California Love.” It’s not just the range of expression that makes Pac important — it’s the depth of his delivery. He put all of himself into the lust of “How Do U Want It,” the self destruction of “Me Against the World” or the poignant optimism of the previously unreleased song “Changes,” which became a huge hit after Pac’s passing precisely because it gives equal voice to the warring sides of his inner self.