"Ghetto Gospel" is a song by rapperTupac Shakur, which was originally released as the second single on his posthumous 2004 album Loyal to the Game. It samples Elton John's 1971 track, "Indian Sunset". The single topped the charts in the United Kingdom (for 3 weeks), Australia, Czech Republic, and the Republic of Ireland. The song was written by Tupac Shakur as an outcry to "end the war on the streets", addressing the futility of racial difference and dissidence, particularly under the unifying banner of poverty. He also pays tribute to murdered black activists Malcolm X and Bobby Hutton in the song.
Eminem removed part of Shakur's first verse ("We never really went through that, 'cause we were born B.C., you and me before crack...".) The words "Lord, can you hear me speak" and "and pay the price of being hellbound" at the end of the song are originally Tupac's fourth verse. There are parts of the song in which Tupac's voice seems to be accompanied by a digitally added, lower toned voice: "before its ruined" from the end of the first verse and "I set goals, take control" and "Before we find world peace" from the second verse. The sudden change of tone in his voice when these words are spoken are possibly the result of multiple layers of time/pitch stretched vocals.
Tupac recorded this song twice. The initial recording has two unreleased verses by Tupac (4 Verses in total). 2Pac re-recorded the song at a later date only using his first two verses while giving away his other verses to a rapper named Jesse The Kid for MTV's Christmas album. This is the reasoning why Tupac's second verse ends differently on the Eminem produced remix when compared to the original version that is leaked online. Tupac provided adlibs on Jessie The Kid's verses, and this gave Eminem the ability to use "hit em with a little ghetto gospel" as an intro and "lord can you hear me speak, we are paying the price for being hellbound" as an outro. During a 2Pac-Forum.com interview with original producer Deon Evan's it was confirmed that the original 4 verse version was recorded over by the 2 verse version, which made it impossible for Amaru or Eminem to remix. However, a mixdown of the original 4 verse version was sourced through various dats.
The Loyal to the Game version was produced by Eminem, but the original was leaked a couple of years later. It has a faster tempo, extra third and fourth verses and is about 4:30 in length. It also doesn't contain the "Indian Sunset" sample, but builds on a sample of Tracy Chapman`s song "Crossroads" instead. The original version of the track was produced by Big D The Impossible, a regular producer from 2Pac's first two albums: 2Pacalypse Now and Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z..
"Ghetto Gospel" was the only song on Loyal to the Game with an accompanying music video on YouTube. Neither 2Pac nor Elton John appeared in the video. Towards the end of the music video, the actor (J. D. Williams) is shot but then appears at his own funeral, fueling rumors that the rapper's death was faked. At the end of the video there is a message from his mother, Afeni Shakur, saying "Remember to keep yourself alive, there is nothing more important than that".