“To Live & Die in L.A.” is the second single from Tupac Shakur’s final album he worked on during his life, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. It was produced by QD3, son of producer Quincy Jones. The radio edit was recorded the same day and a video was shot. The album version contains a Dr. Dre diss at the end of the song. The clean version has altered lyrics and is longer.
The song was produced by QDIII who was the only outside Death Row producer on the album besides Demetrius Meech Shipp who did “Toss It Up”. QDIII was one of Makaveli’s favorite producers. QDIII told XXL Magazine:
I was in the studio with ‘Pac, I had some records with me, and there was this old song that I played for him to see if he liked the vibe. He felt it and told me to go home and hook up a beat like that. I went home and hooked it up as fast as I could, and I think I came back the same night and he listened to the track three times, and in like 15 minutes he was already done with his lyrics. He went in the booth without telling anyone what the track was about he just laid it in one take–over about three tracks. Then he told Val Young what the concept was, and she went in and laid her chorus vocal in one take, too. After the vocals were done, ‘Pac had Ricky Rouse [Makaveli musician] replace my keyboard bass and guitar parts with live bass and guitar parts, and the song was done–less than two hours total. This song just flowed out of everyone that was a part of it. No one thought twice no one doubted anything. It was full speed ahead until it was done–as if it was guided or meant to be. Ever since recording like that, without thinking twice like that, I have changed the way I look at making music.
The song is played in 2Pac’s Biopic, “All Eyez On Me,” (2017) with 2Pac and Kidada Jones, 2Pac’s fiancee chilling and having fun with 2Pac & Outlaws. Shows 2Pac & Kidada listening to the song, with Kidada saying the song came out real good. (Wikipedia)