I don’t think that there is a more memorable Tupac music video outside of Tupac’s “To Live and Die in LA”. Though Pac was born in New York, his last recorded album featured an ode to the metropolis that he loved the most: Los Angeles.
Look, I’m not gonna lie. There were certain members of the streets at that time weren’t feeling as obliged to Pac’s California Love, as the song altruistically intended. Regardless of that, Pac praises the particularities of the city of Angels, ranging from it’s ethnicities to the notorious street gangs. I remember when I first heard this song: I was riding with my boy Darius in downtown Chattanooga to a meeting: He had just purchased a new white BMW, and boy let me tell you: that shit was clean! Especially to a brotha’ with no car, unless you count the Used 2007 PT Cruiser waiting in the rafters for me. (Yuck!) I remember the tan leather seats, the sexy carbon fiber surrounding the stereo system, the acceleration, and most importantly the ineffable quality and smoothness of Tupac MF Shakur rapping to the beautifully remixed cadence of “Do Me Baby.” I remember thinking what a beautiful marriage that this was: Pac’s gruff, intense voice against that funky west coast beat and Val Young’s chorus, paying homage to a city that I had only dreamed of visiting as a boy raised in the most destitute county in Tennessee.
So yeah, this song and music video is the shit. I played this song literally as soon as I arrived in Los Angeles for the first time in 2017. Cruising down the 405 freeway in our rented White Dodge Challenger, a wave of ineffable joy washed over me as Tupac’s ballad drowned our speakers.
The locations from the music video were not an easy find. Especially to a couple of newcomers, but my fiancé and I discovered a fucking goldmine of locations once we moved to downtown Los Angeles and were just walking around.
I am going to post what we presently have, and when we get the chance to hit the other locations, this post will be updated with more cool photos and hopefully a youtube video later, we’ll see.
This location is in downtown Los Angeles at the criminal courthouse. Not much has changed since 1996, except the addition of the gate behind me. But I was standing in the exact same spot, and you can too! This was also the courthouse that OJ Simpson had his infamous trial in; actually Snoop too. Back in 1994 Snoop and OJ were simultaneously in court in downtown Los Angeles.
Another location that I had looked high and low for, but grew increasingly despondent, and effectively ended my search after a while. But like I said before, you live here long enough and you start to know the lay of the land. I realized that the opening sequence of his music video where he was selling oranges was in my back yard. Wanna know something else cool? Right across the street from where Pac was standing, rapper Nipsey Hussle filmed Hustle and Motivate music video 22 years later. I thought that was interesting.
Court House Location: 210 W Temple St. Los Angeles, CA 90012
Opening Sequence (Tupac Selling Oranges): Corner of Merrick St and East 4th Street, Los Angeles 90013