Note: This review was written in October of 2018.
This album was released on March 14th in 1995. This is 2Pac’s first classic album. I’m gonna be honest… 2Pac doesn’t really excite me as an artist. I think he’s a pretty good rapper, but I’m not really anticipating this album that much. I mean, I’m sure it’ll be great. I’ve heard a couple songs from it that I liked. I don’t know why I’m not that interested in 2Pac as an artist though. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he’s the most boring answer to the question “who’s your favorite rapper?” Hmm… Maybe “boring” isn’t the right word to use. Lemme put it like this… If somebody asks you who your favorite rapper is, “2Pac” is the most politically correct answer you can possibly give. None of that shit matters though. I think this is gonna be a great album. There’s a reason I’ve been putting it off for so long though. It’s 15 tracks, which is a pretty standard length, but overall the album is more than an hour long. Hopefully there aren’t any underwhelming songs like there were on his first couple of albums.
1. Intro produced by Tony Pizarro & Jill Rose
The production on this track is pretty goddamn nice to be honest. This is just an introductory skit though. It features some news reporters talking about the Quad Studios shooting that took place on November 20th in 1994. I saw somebody say that this is one of the best intro tracks they’ve ever heard on a Hip Hop album. Yeah… Nah… It’s not that good. It’s certainly not bad, but I don’t get the hype. It’s just a cool intro. Nothing about it really stands out in a great way. It’s a solid opener though. I don’t mind it at all. With that said, I’m never gonna listen to this track again.
2. If I Die 2Nite produced by Easy Mo Bee
The intro transitions into this track really smoothly. This is one of the few songs from this album that I’ve already heard. The production from Easy Mo Bee is pretty dope, and the way Pac alliterates certain letters—specifically the letter P—is really nice. The first verse was cool. It wasn’t amazing or anything, but I enjoyed it. The hook’s super simplistic, but it gets the job done I guess. I definitely liked the second verse more than the first one. The third verse was pretty solid too. One thing that’s always stood out about Pac is his obsession with his own death. A lot of people believe that he kinda spoke his murder into existence. I personally don’t really believe in that kinda stuff, but it’s certainly interesting to think about. Anyway, I enjoyed this track. It’s a pretty good opening song. I fuck with this shit. It’s dope.
3. Me Against the World featuring Yaki Kadafi & E.D.I. Mean produced by Soulshock & Karlin
The production on this song is really great honestly. It sounds pretty melodic. The female background vocals actually sound pretty good too. The first verse from Pac was solid. Yaki Kadafi’s verse wasn’t as good, but it wasn’t bad. E.D.I. Mean definitely had a better verse. The final verse from Pac is definitely the best verse in the song in my opinion. He rhymes the word “question” with itself three times, but overall the verse is pretty good. I like this song more than the previous one, but I’m still not really amazed. This is a good song though. I fuck with it.
4. So Many Tears produced by The D-Flow Production Squad
Crooked I recently tweeted that this is his favorite 2Pac song. I think it’s a pretty good track, but I really hope this doesn’t end up being the best song I hear from Pac. Well, I already know that’s not the case because I don’t think it’s as good as the best songs from his previous couple of albums. It’s dope though. The production is pretty nice. The harmonica that comes in during the simplistic hook kinda rubs me the wrong way though. I just don’t really like the way it sounds to be honest. It doesn’t really affect my overall enjoyment of the song that much though. All the verses are pretty emotional. He talks about being suicidal in the third verse. That’s probably the most relatable verse I’ve ever heard from 2Pac. At the end of the third verse he’s literally begging God to kill him and send him to heaven. I like the song overall, but it’s probably my least favorite track on the album so far to be honest. It’s good, but it’s far from great in my opinion. I enjoyed it though.
5. Temptations produced by Easy Mo Bee
The beat on this track is really great. This is probably my favorite beat on the album so far. The content of this song doesn’t really interest me that much, but I think Pac did a pretty decent job with it. He’s basically rapping to a girl about how he wants to be romantically involved with her. The sung hook from Easy Mo Bee isn’t bad. None of the verses from Pac are really that great, but they get the job done. The best aspect of this song in my opinion is Easy Mo Bee’s production. The beat is really dope. This song isn’t that great. I enjoyed it though. It’s pretty good.
6. Young Niggaz produced by Moe Z.M.D.
The beat on this track is pretty solid. It’s not amazing or anything, but it’s good. The first verse from Pac was cool. I’m not sure who that is singing the hook, but he sounds pretty nice. The second verse wasn’t bad.
Told my momma if I did die, just put a blunt in my casket
Let me get my dead homies high
Huh… That’s… I’m sorry, y’all, but that’s… That’s fucking stupid. I mean, obviously rappers have said much dumber shit than that, but for whatever reason that line just stands out to me. I guess it’s not really that big of a deal though. The third verse was definitely the best one in the song. This is another pretty good song. I’m still not blown away by anything on this album, but I enjoyed this track. It’s dope.
7. Heavy in the Game featuring Richie Rich produced by Mike Mosley & Sam Bostic
The production on this track is nothing special. It’s not bad at all, but I’m not really that impressed by it. The first verse from Pac was alright. The content of this song just isn’t really that interesting to me. He’s just rapping about making money. The uncredited vocals from Eboni Foster are fine. The woman with the Jamaican accent speaking between the verses is kind of irritating to me honestly. It’s not too bad though. Richie Rich’s verse was pretty good. The final verse from Pac was cool too. I don’t know though… This isn’t a bad song at all. I just don’t think it’s that good personally. Nothing about it really stands out in a good way to me. I probably won’t be listening to it again. It’s decent though.
8. Lord Knows produced by Brian G, Tony Pizarro & Moe Z.M.D.
The beat on this song is slightly better than that of the previous track, but it’s still not that impressive to me. The first verse from Pac was really dope though.
I smoke a blunt to take the pain out
And if I wasn’t high, I’d probably try to blow my brains out
The uncredited female vocals on the hook aren’t bad. I just finished listening to the whole song. It’s pretty solid. It’s definitely not one of my favorite tracks from a musical standpoint. The production and hook aren’t anything special, but I think this track contains some of the more entertaining verses on the album. This is a good song. I fuck with it.
9. Dear Mama produced by Tony Pizarro, DF Master Tee & Moses
This is easily the most famous song from this album. As you can clearly see from the title of the track, it’s a song dedicated to Afeni Shakur. The production is pretty solid. The entire first verse is pretty much just Pac talking about how much of a burden he was to his mother when he was younger. The sample they flipped for the hook sounds good. The second verse was definitely better than the first one in my opinion. The third verse was pretty good too. None of the verses really blew me away, but I think 2Pac did a good job putting together a heartfelt song dedicated to his mother. I enjoyed this track. This is dope to me.
10. It Ain’t Easy produced by Tony Pizarro
This song probably has my favorite beat on the whole album so far to be honest. It’s really smooth, and slightly melodic. The first verse from 2Pac was pretty average lyrically, but he rode the beat well. The hook is simplistic, but it works. The second verse is solid. The third verse is good too. Huh. You know, I really don’t have much to say about this song. It’s got a very simplistic structure. None of the lyrics really stand out that much to me. I think it’s one of the best songs on the album so far though. It’s just really solid. I don’t have a single gripe with it. I really like the production, and Pac sounded great over it. This is dope.
11. Can U Get Away produced by Mike Mosley
This is a decent song, but it’s not something that I’d want to come back to personally. The production isn’t that impressive to me, and I don’t really care for the content. The entire song is 2Pac trying to get with some girl who’s already in a relationship with another man. I mean, I can definitely relate to that, but it’s not something that I care to hear about in a song. The sung hook from the uncredited female vocalist was fine I guess. I’m pretty indifferent towards it actually. I don’t think this is a bad song, but I just didn’t really enjoy it that much personally. It’s kinda boring to me. It’s decent though I guess.
12. Old School produced by Soulshock, Jay-B & Ezi Cut
This was the first song I ever heard from this album, and it’s definitely my favorite track so far. It’s all about Pac’s love for old school Hip Hop. The Grand Puba sample that they flipped for the hook is pretty catchy, and I really like the production too. I love Pac’s flow on the opening verse. He shouts out a shit ton of legendary Hip Hop pioneers, including LL Cool J, Grandmaster Caz, Big Daddy Kane, De La Soul & Treach among others. The second and third verses aren’t as great to me, but they’re still pretty good. I love this song, but I definitely prefer the remix that Cookin’ Soul did in 2014. The original is still really great though. This is definitely one of Pac’s best songs in his discography up to this point. It’s dope af.
13. Fuck the World produced by Shock G
This track has a decent beat. It sounds like it has some Funk influence. It’s kinda cool, but it’s not super impressive. The first verse is fine. The sung hook from Shock G is okay I guess. The second verse wasn’t bad. Ehhh… This is another kind of underwhelming song. I don’t think it’s bad, but it doesn’t really stand out in any way. I’m never gonna listen to this again. The production was kind of stale, and none of the verses really impressed me. It’s an okay track though.
14. Death Around the Corner produced by Johnny “J”
The beat on this track is actually pretty dope, and I like the way Pac is flowing over it on the first verse. It sounds like they flipped a movie sample for the hook. It’s not bad. I can definitely relate to the lines about smoking too much weed and being paranoid in the second verse. I really love how aggressive his delivery is on the final verse. That was really nice. This is actually a pretty goddamn good song. I don’t really have any issues with it. I mean, the sample they used for the hook is kinda weird, but it’s not bad. This shit is dope to me.
15. Outlaw featuring Dramacydal produced by Moe Z.M.D.
The production on this track is pretty great. It’s one of the more downtempo songs on the album. The first verse is cool. The hook’s really simplistic, but it gets the job done. The second verse from Pac was the best verse in the song to me. I didn’t really mind the third verse from all the original members of The Outlawz. I don’t really have much to say about this track. This is another track that people list as one of their favorite 2Pac songs, but it’s not that much better than any of the other tracks in my opinion. I like it though. It’s dope.
This is a good album. I wouldn’t call it great though. I honestly like 2Pacalypse Now more than this. I just think the overall attitude and theme of that album is more entertaining. This is definitely a step up from his second album though. I don’t think there are any bad songs on this project. There are just a few songs that aren’t really that enjoyable for me personally. There was only one track on this album that stood out as being amazing. I think it’s a satisfactory release though. It’s dope to me.
Favorite Song: Old School
Least Favorite Song: Can U Get Away
Watch the video below for more thoughts on this album.