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Thug Life: Volume 1 is the first album by the group Thug Life, started by rapper Tupac Shakur, and was released on September 26, 1994. The album was originally released by Shakur's label Out Da Gutta Records. Due to heavy criticism on gangsta rap at the time, the original version of the album was scrapped and re-recorded with many of the original songs being cut. It has been said that 2Pac created two other versions of this album, with many of the songs still remaining unreleased.
The group featured Big Syke, Macadoshis, Mopreme, The Rated R and Tupac Shakur. Among the notable tracks on the album are "Bury Me a G," "Cradle to the Grave," "Pour Out a Little Liquor" (which also appears in the soundtrack to the 1994 film Above the Rim), "How Long Will They Mourn Me?" and "Str8 Ballin'."
The album only contains ten tracks because Interscope Records felt many of the other recorded songs were too controversial to release.
Although the original version of the album never came to fruition as the album went through a number of changes, Tupac performed the planned first single from the album, "Out on Bail" at the 1994 Source Awards. Although the album was originally released on Shakur's label Out Da Gutta, Amaru Entertainment, the label owned by Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, has since gained the rights to it. Thug Life: Volume 1 was certified Gold. The track "How Long Will They Mourn Me?" appeared later in 1998 from 2Pac's Greatest Hits album.
It has sold 478,419 copies in the United States as of 2011.