MORE

Z-Trip Pays Tribute to Tupac Shakur With Marvin Gaye Mix

Tupac would have been 39 this year.

Tupac would have been 39 this year.

Yesterday marked the 14th anniversary of the death of Tupac Shakur. The rapper, actor and activist died on September 13, 1996 from gunshot wounds he received six days earlier while leaving a Mike Tyson boxing match in Las Vegas. He was 25.

Every year about this time, the internet teems with remembrances and memorials to the incalculably influential artist. But this year, one memorial stood out with its simplicity and poignancy.

Yesterday, virtuoso deejay and mashup artist Z-Trip released a tribute mix dedicated to Shakur that paired his song "Better Dayz" with Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)." It's a touching conversation between two voices that never met in life, but who can now only communicate through song. Gaye and Shakur shared so much, they both spoke out against structural inequality and espoused the power of personal change, but personally couldn't shake the shadow of trouble that seemed to follow them. They both succumbed to gun violence.

Z-Trip weaves together the sad irony of their lyrical dialogue, as Shakur preaches of hope amid hardship while Gaye gets real with a call to action.

Listen:

<a href="http://ztrip.bandcamp.com/track/better-dayz-z-trips-make-me-wanna-holler-remix">Better Dayz (Z-Trip's Make Me Wanna Holler Remix) by Z-Trip</a>

Better Dayz - Tupac Shakur

Looking for these better dayz

Better dayz

Heeyyy

Better dayz

Got me thinking bout better dayz

Better dayz, Better dayz, Better dayz

Heeyy

Better dayz

Got me thinking bout better dayz

Time to question our lifestyle, look how we live

Smoking weed like it ain't no thang, so even kids wanna try now

Then lie down and get ran through

Nobody watches them clocking, the evil men do

Faced with the demons, addicted to hearing victims screaming

Guess we was evil since birth, product of cursed semens

Cause even our birthdays, are cursed days

A born thug in the first place, the worst ways

I'd love to see the block in peace

With no more dealers and crooked cops, the only way to stop the beefs

And only we can change, it's up to us to clean up the streets

It ain't the same

Too many murders, too many funerals and too many tears

Just seen another brother buried plus I knew him for years

Pass by his family but what could I say?

Keep your head up and try to keep the faith

And pray for better dayz

Better dayz, Better dayz

Heeyyy

Better dayz

Thinking bout better dayz

Better dayz, Better dayz, Better dayz

Heeyy

Better dayz

Got me thinking bout better dayz

Thinking back as an adolescent

Who would have guessed, that in my future years I'd be stressing

Some say the ghetto's sick and corrupted

Plus my P.O. won't let me hang with the brothers I grew up with

Trying to keep my head up and stay strong

All my homies slanging yayo all day long

But they wrong, so I'm solo (so low) and so broke

Saving up for some Jordan's, cause they dope

I got a girl and I love her but she broke too

And so am I, I can't take her to the play she wanna go to

So we argue and playfight, all day and night

Making passionate love till the day light

Plus we bout to get evicted, can't pay the rent

Guess it's time to see who really is your friend

You tell me you pregnant and I'm amazed

So many blessings while we stressing

Looking for them better dayz

Better dayz

Better dayz, Better dayz

Heeyyy

Better dayz

(Oh, better dayz)

Thinking bout better dayz

(I'm looking for better)

Better dayz, Better dayz, Better dayz

Heeyy

Better dayz

(Oh, better dayz)

Got me thinking bout better dayz

Now me and you was real cool, hell on them square fools

Since back in high school we was true, me and you

Only part of us separated we stay faded

Affiliated with gang bangers and still made it

Up in the gym, mess with me, gotta mess with him

Still dressing like grown men, when roll-ing

Out in the dark, smoking newports, gaming marks

Gotta place in my heart, homie stay smart

Locked you up in the pen and gave you 3 to 10

I send you letters with naked flicks of old friends

Hoping you well, I know it's hell

Doing time in the cell you need mail, when you in jail

And me I'm doing cool

I've settled down had a family, working in night school

Every once in awhile, I reminisce

And wonder how we ever came to this

I miss the better dayz

Better dayz, Better dayz

Heeyyy

Better dayz

Thinking bout better dayz

Better dayz, Better dayz, Better dayz

Heeyy

Better dayz

Got me thinking bout better dayz

I send this one out, to all the homeboys down in uh Clinton, locked down

Rikers Island, all them dudes I was uh locked up with

E block, F block L I H

N I C in Rikers Island

Downstate

All the peoples I met along the way

Better Dayz is coming homeboy, keep your head up