Digital Underground’s Money-B Reveals The Secret History Of Tupac’s “I Get Around” (Video)
In 1993, Tupac Shakur dropped Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…, his sophomore solo LP and the home to singles “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” “Keep Ya Head Up,” and “I Get Around.” Featuring Shock G and Money-B of Digital Underground, “I Get Around” has over 39-million views on YouTube, making it one of the late icon’s most popular records, and certainly one of his more lighthearted, party-friendly anthems. Much has been made public about the song’s history, particularly for Heads familiar with the 2009 book How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, in which the song’s producer Shock G divulges some backstory.
But he is not the only Digital Underground cohort to have a memory bank full of anecdotes about the song’s fascinating history. In speaking with VladTV, Money-B (the rapper responsible for such quotables as “Your home girl you went to school with, that’s cool / But did she tell you about her sister and your cousin? / Thought I wasn’t”) provided his own recollections of the months of work leading up to what would become a breakout smash for the late Tupac.
“By the time we recorded ‘I Get Around,’ Tupac had moved to L.A. so he was gone,” recalls Money-B. “The original beat to ‘I Get Around’ was supposed to be a Digital Underground song,” he says before adding that he and Pac had been “riding around with that beat for about six months” before anything ever became of it. But despite the amount of time, he says they both knew the record “was a hit but nobody wanted to f*ck it up.”
“We didn’t know what we were gonna do with it,” he admits. What changed its course forever was Shock G’s decision to give the beat away Saafir, a fellow Digital Underground member who would then sit on the beat for some time. According to Money-B, Tupac approached Shock with “Yo, I gotta turn in my album in October. You got somethin’ for it?,” at which point the beat in question – that so many had had in their possession for so long without ever being able to do something with it – was placed in Shock G’s hands. “He actually took the track away from Saafir and gave it to Tupac,” he recounts. “The interesting thing about that is, Saafir and Tupac was beefing at the time…they was feudin’.”
However, Pac reportedly then turned around and approached Digital Underground members to be on the track. Says Money-B, “one thing about Tupac is he’s always thinking ahead. So, what he did was he wrote the whole song just in case, ’cause he really wanted us on it, so he’s like ‘Just in case you guys don’t even have time to write it, just go to the studio and say what I wrote.'” But, as he and Vlad soon discuss, that is not what happened (however, the three-verse, Tupac-written version of the song was placed on, according to Money-B, on Death Row’s Greatest Hits compilation album “or some sh*t like that”; “I think it’s called the ‘I Get Around (Remix),’ he says).
But on the famed album version of the song, shares Money B, “Shock actually says the verse that Tupac wrote, but Shock kinda just altered it, just a little bit.” It’s then that he goes into detail about his own experience recording his verse for the record. He says the verse that Pac had written for him “was some sh*t like ‘I’m from the O, my fo-fo makes sho’ your kids won’t grow,’ and I’m, like, ‘the f*ck is he talkin’ about?” With a laugh, he goes on to admit that, at the time, he told Pac “I’m not sayin’ this sh*t,” and went on to pen the verse that Heads all know and love.
“When I was goin’ home [from the studio], Pac called me and was, like ‘Did you do your verse?’ and I was, like, ‘Ni**a, I just killed you on your own song.” Two weeks later, he says, he got a call from his late friend who said “Yeah, you was right.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Money B discusses arguing for “I Get Around” to be Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…‘ first single in place of “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” Tupac’s trysts during the making of the video for “I Get Around,” and much more.