Thug Life: Volume 1

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Thug Life: Volume 1
Studio album by Thug Life
Released September 26, 1994
Recorded March 1993 - May 1994
Genre West Coast hip hop, G-funk, Gangsta Rap
Length 42:28
Label Out Da Gutta Records, Interscope Records
Producer Stretch / Thug Music, Nate Dogg, Easy Mo Bee, Warren G, Johnny "J", Mopreme, Syke, Moe Z.M.D.
2Pac chronology
Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.
Thug Life: Volume 1
Me Against the World
Singles from Thug Life: Volume 1
  1. "Pour Out A Little Liquor"
    Released: August 23, 1994
  2. "Cradle to the Grave"
    Released: November 4, 1994
  3. "Shit Don't Stop"
    Released: March 16, 1995
  4. "How Long Will They Mourn Me?"
    Released: June 27, 1995
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars link
Entertainment Weekly A− link
Q 3/5 stars [1]
Select 4/5 stars [2]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5 stars link

Thug Life: Volume 1 is the first and only album by the group Thug Life, started by rapper Tupac Shakur, and was released on September 26, 1994. The album was originally released by Shakur's label Out Da Gutta Records. Due to heavy criticism on gangsta rap at the time, the original version of the album was scrapped and re-recorded with many of the original songs being cut. It has been said that 2Pac created two other versions of this album, with many of the songs still remaining unreleased[citation needed].

The group featured Big Syke, Macadoshis, Mopreme, The Rated R and Tupac Shakur. Among the notable tracks on the album are "Bury Me a G," "Cradle to the Grave," "Pour Out a Little Liquor" (which also appears on the soundtrack to the 1994 film Above the Rim), "How Long Will They Mourn Me?" and "Str8 Ballin'."

The album only contains ten tracks because Interscope Records felt many of the other recorded songs were too controversial to release.[citation needed]

Although the original version of the album never came to fruition as the album went through a number of changes, Tupac performed the planned first single from the album, "Out on Bail" at the 1994 Source Awards.[3] Although the album was originally released on Shakur's label Out Da Gutta, Amaru Entertainment, the label owned by Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, has since gained the rights to it. Thug Life: Volume 1 was certified Gold. The track "How Long Will They Mourn Me?" appeared later in 1998 from 2Pac's Greatest Hits album.[4] In 2014, the song "Bury me a G" was sampled by DJ Mustard to create the theme song for Nelly's reality show, Nellyville.

Commercial Performance[edit]

It has sold 478,419 copies in the United States as of 2011.[5]

Track listing[edit]

# Title Performer(s) Producer(s) Length
1 "Bury Me a G" (feat. Natasha Walker of Y.N.V.) 2Pac/Mopreme Shakur/Rated R/Big Syke/Macadoshis Thug Music 4:58
2 "Don't Get It Twisted" Mopreme Shakur/Rated R/Macadoshis Jay, Mopreme 3:19
3 "Shit Don't Stop" (feat. Y.N.V.) 2Pac/Mopreme Shakur/Rated R/Big Syke/Macadoshis Thug Music 3:46
4 "Pour Out A Little Liquor" 2Pac Johnny "J" 3:29
5 "Stay True" 2Pac/Mopreme Shakur/ Stretch Thug Music 3:09
6 "How Long Will They Mourn Me?" (feat. Nate Dogg) 2Pac/Rated R/Big Syke/Macadoshis Nate Dogg, Warren G, Pro Jay 3:52
7 "Under Pressure" 2Pac/ Stretch Thug Music 4:32
8 "Street Fame" (feat. JMJ) Mopreme Shakur/Rated R/Big Syke Stretch, JMJ 4:00
9 "Cradle to the Grave" 2Pac/Mopreme Shakur/Rated R/Big Syke/Macadoshis Big Syke, Jay 6:13
10 "Str8 Ballin'" 2Pac Easy Mo Bee 5:04

Leftover Tracks[edit]

Title Performer(s) Producer(s) Notes
"Thug Life" (feat. Prince Ital Joe)[6] 2Pac/Big Syke Johnny "J" Unreleased
"Losin It" (feat. Spice 1)[6] 2Pac/Big Syke Unknown Remixed for R U Still Down (Remember Me).
"Is It Cool 2 Fuck?" (feat. Y.N.V.)[7] 2Pac/Rated R/Macadoshis Live Squad Unreleased
"Straight Out Da Gutta"[7] Big Syke/Mopreme/Macadoshis/Rated R Unknown Unreleased
"Runnin' from tha Police" (feat. Dramacydal, Stretch, & The Notorious B.I.G.)[8] 2Pac Easy Mo Bee Released on promotional copies of Thug Life: Volume 1. A review in Q reported, "The album also contains a guest appearance by the wonderfully named Biggy [sic] Smalls, a rising star of the New York rap scene".[1]
"Lie To Kick It" (feat. Richie Rich)[9] 2Pac Warren G Remixed for R U Still Down (Remember Me).


Bury Me a G

How Long Will They Mourn Me?

  • "Don't Stop (Ever Loving Me)" by One Way

Stay True

Str8 Ballin'

Don't Get It Twisted

Pour Out a Little Liquor

Shit Don't Stop

Critical reception[edit]

"Full of machismo and do or die stances," wrote Jake Barnes in Q, "the lyrics' hardcore posturing is perversely undercut by sweet and delicate backings from artists like Curtis Mayfield, George Clinton and The Isley Brothers."[1]

"A shockingly considered, thoughtful rap record," opined Select's Matt Hall. "And a very chilling one."[2]

Album chart positions[edit]

Year Album Chart positions
Billboard 200 Top Hip Hop Albums
1994 Thug Life Vol. 1 42 6

Singles chart positions[edit]

Year Song Chart positions
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Hot Rap Singles
1995 "Cradle to the Grave" 91 25