2Pac’s “Hail Mary” Lyrics Meaning
Released shortly after Tupac’s (1971-1996) death in late 1996, “Hail Mary” is actually one of the songs that has best preserved his legacy and evolution as an artist. The title, as many of us are already aware, is derived from a popular Catholic prayer. Accordingly the track features a number of loose religious references, which some would logically deem to actually be sacrilegious since in some metaphorical ways Pac actually equates himself with Jesus. But for the most part it is easy to conclude that he was doing so more for thematic purposes than actually believing he was a savior.
And whereas there is definitely a spiritual undertone, by and large “Hail Mary” features Tupac portraying the same type of enlightened gangster role that he was generally known for. Or another way of looking at it is that he is definitely streetwise. But at the same time he is also socially-conscious, sympathetic to the plight of his people, critical of the industry he’s in and perhaps most notably well aware of his own mortality.
As with most tracks in which Pac featured his sidekicks the Outlawz, he dominates the song due to having two verses while individually they are only allotted one each. But “Hail Mary” is considered to be one of the songs in which his cronies have dropped some of their more-memorable (as in impressive) verses. And for the most part, Kastro and Young Noble present themselves as devout street thugs. Meanwhile Kadafi (1977-1996) holds down the bridge, in which he focuses on the crew being dedicated to ‘chasing paper’, as in making money, specifically within the context of being performing artists. And once again, a permeating theme throughout is the potential of the rappers meeting an untimely demise in addition to hoping they’d be received favorably into the afterlife.
Prince Ital Joe
“Hail Mary” also features a late reggae artist by the name of Prince Ital Joe (1963-2001). He’s the one that does the chanting near the end of the song, with Tupac providing some adlibbing. And fundamentally, it seems that the idea Ital is putting forth is the artists’ dedication to living their lives in an uninhibited mode despite challenges which may manifest along the way.
So conclusively, this is one of the outstanding songs in Makaveli’s (aka Tupac’s) catalog. Many people read it as the rapper prophesying his own death. And fundamentally, whereas he knows he’s an influential bad boy, he is also hoping that God shows mercy on him due to his shortcomings.
Facts about “Hail Mary”
- The Outlawz were a group of rappers who are best known for serving as Tupac’s minions so to speak. At its peak (i.e. circa the release of this song) the crew consisted of eight members outside of Tupac himself, three of which are featured on this track.
- The three members of the Outlawz who make appearances on “Hail Mary” are Kastro, Yaki Kadafi (1977-1996) and Young Noble.
- This song is famously known for taking the artists a short time, reportedly less than an hour, to complete.
- In addition to writing “Hail Mary”, Tupac also lent to producing the track along with Darryl Harper and another of its co-writers (and primary producer), Hurt-M-Badd.
- The other writers of this song are Prince Ital Joe, Kastro, Yaki Kadafi, Young Noble and another member of the Outlawz, Hussein Fatal (1973-2015).
- As aforementioned, this is one of the more-memorable songs Tupac has dropped. As such, it has been featured on a number of major motion pictures (especially those that were somehow related to Shakur).
- “Hail Mary” first appeared on Tupac’s final album (he released while alive), “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory”. Since then it has been featured on a number of his greatest hits albums as well as the soundtrack of the 2015 movie “Creed” and being featured on the 2017 Tupac biopic, “All Eyez on Me”.
When did “Hail Mary” come out?
“Hail Mary” was released shortly after 2Pac was murdered. It was originally released on 11 February 1997. And BTW, 2Pac died on 13th September, 1996.
The labels behind the original release of “Hail Mary” are Interscope Records and the infamous Death Row Records.