Album Review | Makaveli the Don – Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

This album was released on November 5th in 1996, the same year as All Eyez on Me. Just like with the first few Pac albums I reviewed, I actually listened to this one before writing about it. Before listening, I was legitimately expecting it to be my favorite 2Pac album just based off of the one song I’d already heard from it. Y’all probably already know which song that is because it’s one of the most popular songs he ever made. The album is technically called “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory,” but it was supposed to just be called Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, so that’s what I refer to it as. Basically, some important people fucked up and misread the artist name and album title. Pac wanted his new alias to be Makaveli the Don. I guess it was all just written out as “makaveli the don killuminati the 7 day theory” and whoever was in charge of that shit just didn’t speak English very well. It really bothers me because “The Don Killuminati” makes no sense. It’s not that big of a deal though. Anyway, the album was released two months after Pac’s death, so it’s technically a posthumous release, but I’m pretty sure he had already finished making the album before he died. It’s not one of those situations where the record label just splices together a bunch of unfinished recordings to make a Frankenstein monster of an album. This is the last album I’ll be reviewing for the 2Pac marathon. I’m probably never gonna listen to any of the other posthumous albums like Pac’s Life. It seems like kind of a bullshit record. So yeah. This is the last one.

1. Bomb First (My Second Reply) featuring E.D.I. Mean & Young Noble produced by Big D the Impossible & Makaveli

As I said, I was expecting this to be the best 2Pac album, so I was really shocked when I heard this track. I don’t like it at all. My main issue with it is the production. I think the beat is fucking terrible. It sounds awful to me. It might actually be the worst beat I’ve ever heard in a Pac song. It’s really a shame because the other aspects of the song really aren’t bad. I’m not crazy about the featured verses from E.D.I. Mean & Young Noble, but Pac did his thing on that first verse. As the “Second Reply” part of the title signifies, this is pretty much a sequel to Hit ‘Em Up, one of the most famous diss tracks of all time. I think that song is awesome, so I was looking forward to hearing the sequel, but it just did not work for me. Again, I like the first verse from Pac, but aside from that it’s not very good to me at all. They dissed a lot of niggas on this track, which is kinda cool I guess. None of the lines really stood out that much to me though. They dissed Nas, Jay, Biggie, Mobb Deep, Xzibit, and probably some other people that I’m forgetting. Overall, I actually think the song is very mediocre. Like I said, the only aspect of it that I really like is the first verse from Pac. I’d probably like the song if the production wasn’t so shitty, but I just can’t fuck with this one.

2. Hail Mary featuring Kastro, Young Noble, Yaki Kadafi & Prince Ital Joe produced by Hurt-M-Badd

This is obviously the song I was referring to in the preamble to this review. It’s easily one of my favorite songs that Pac ever made. It’s probably not my number 1 favorite Pac song, but it’s definitely up there. I’d have to give it some thought to decide which song of his is my favorite. Anyway, I’m gonna start off by talking about the production. That beat is fucking incredible. It’s a really dark instrumental that I’d expect to hear in a Gravediggaz song or something like that. I really like the first verse from Pac a lot too. That opening line from the first verse is super iconic. Krizz Kaliko borrowed it as the opening line for his verse on my favorite Tech N9ne song, Dysfunctional. Pac’s second verse is dope too, and even the members of the Outlawz who showed up for the final part of the song did a good job. I liked the small contribution from Prince Ital Joe during the final recital of the hook as well. Speaking of the hook, that’s definitely my favorite part of the song. It’s probably the best hook Pac ever did to be honest. It’s catchy as hell. It’s kind of a strange melody, but it just sounds really great. The remix from Eminem, 50 Cent & Busta Rhymes is really dope too. It’s a Ja Rule diss, and they murdered that dude. Eminem’s contributions weren’t really anything special, but 50 Cent & Busta did a great job. Busta’s verse sounds a little strange. The mixing’s a little off. It’s like he used a shitty microphone or something. It was cool to hear him diss someone though. I’ve never heard him go at someone like that. Well I guess he did do that verse for Eff Grandad. That was technically a diss. This one is more serious though. Lil Wayne also made a remix to this song with Juelz Santana for Dedication 6: Reloaded. It’s an altered version of the beat though. Dizzy Banko reproduced it and basically made it into a Trap beat. It’s a pretty great remix, but Pac’s version is still superior to me. I like the way Wayne was rapping more, but I prefer the original beat along with the hook. So yeah, the song is amazing. I have no issues with it. It’s dope af.

3. Toss It Up featuring Danny Boy, Aaron Hall & K-Ci & JoJo produced by Demetrius Ship & Reggie Moore

This is another song that I really wasn’t fucking with at all. The production is pretty good, but the content is really what prevents me from enjoying the song. I also just didn’t really care for the featured vocalists at all. The first verse from Pac in which he basically just describes having sex with a woman wasn’t enjoyable for me. I think Aaron Hall, Danny Boy & K-Ci & JoJo are good singers, but I didn’t like their contributions to this song. The melody of the hook wasn’t very good to me, and, just like with Pac’s first verse, the content doesn’t appeal to me at all. K-Ci sounded decent on the third verse, but aside from that I didn’t care for any of the features. The final verse from Pac was kinda cool, but not really good enough to save the song for me. He was dissing Dr. Dre, which is kinda interesting. I’m pretty sure he was just mad at Dre for leaving Death Row. I may be wrong about that. This is easily my least favorite song on the album up to this point. I actually think it’s a bad song. The production was cool, and the final verse was solid, but aside from that I’m not feelin’ it. It’s wack to me.

4. To Live & Die in L.A. featuring Val Young produced by QDIII

I thankfully like this song quite a bit. It’s basically a sequel to California Love. The production’s pretty nice, and I actually think Val Young sounds really great on the hook. She did a really good job. The content isn’t particularly interesting to me personally, but I think Pac did a great job with it anyway. It seems like a pretty good description of the city. I just feel like the song sounds really happy. Not in a bad way though. I like how cheerful and celebratory it sounds. I don’t really have that much to say about the song. Nothing stands out as being particularly amazing or bad. It’s just a really solid track. I fuck with it. It’s dope.

5. Blasphemy featuring Prince Ital Joe produced by Hurt-M-Badd

I really love the production on this track. It makes me wish Hurt-M-Badd was a more popular and prolific producer. All his work on this album is really good to me. The way this song starts with the creepy ass preacher is really uh… Hmm… I can’t think of the right word. Unsettling? Yeah, I guess that’s what I’m trying to say. The first verse from Pac is pretty solid. I mainly like it because of his aggressive delivery. I really like the hook from Prince Ital Joe a lot too. All of the verses from Pac on this track are dope. The final verse is definitely my favorite one though. He was kinda shitting on hypocritical preachers and the pope for not being genuinely righteous people.

Should we cry when the Pope die? My request:
We should cry if they cried when we buried Malcolm X
Mama, tell me, am I wrong? Is God just another cop
Waitin’ to beat my ass if I don’t go pop?

It’s a really dope song. I don’t have any major gripes with it. I streamed it on Apple Music and I feel like the sound quality was kinda shitty. Maybe it’s just me though. I didn’t have similar issues with any of the other tracks on the album, so I’m not sure what that’s about. It doesn’t matter though. The song’s dope.

6. Life of An Outlaw featuring Young Noble, E.D.I. Mean, Kastro & Napoleon produced by Big D the Impossible & Makaveli

The production on this track is kinda shitty to me honestly. I guess Pac just really wasn’t a very good producer. This beat actually kinda reminds me of the melody from Chop Suey by System of a Down. I don’t like the hook on this song. It’s not the worst hook I’ve ever heard. It’s just not really that good to me. The melody isn’t very enjoyable, and it’s not like Pac’s singing is gonna impress anyone. Not that he was really trying to impress people with his vocals. Actually I don’t even know if that’s Pac. According to Wikipedia this song features uncredited vocals from someone named Bo-Roc. That’s probably who did the hook. My point still stands though. It’s not a very good hook. The verses from Pac are fine. They’re not really bad. They just don’t really do much for me. They’re just kinda there. I’m completely indifferent towards his rapping on this song. The other verses are… Does anyone actually like the Outlawz? I feel like people just tolerate them because they like Pac so much. As far as I can tell nobody would give a fuck about them if they weren’t all over Pac’s albums. They’re not very good. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not like they’re the worst rappers I’ve ever heard. They’re painfully mediocre, and super uninteresting. I have to be honest; they kinda sucked on this track. Overall, this song isn’t very good to me at all. I really don’t like a single aspect of the song. I dislike the beat, I think most of the features are wack, and Pac’s verses did absolutely nothing for me. This is probably my least favorite track on the whole album up to this point. I think it’s wack.

7. Just Like Daddy featuring E.D.I. Mean, Yaki Kadafi, Young Noble & Val Young produced by Hurt-M-Badd

I pretty much knew that I wasn’t gonna fuck with this song as soon as I read the title. Lemme go ahead and get the positives out of the way. Well, I really don’t know why I pluralized the word “positive” because the only thing I like about the song is the production. I guess the hook isn’t too terrible. It’s not particularly bad, but it’s not great. E.D.I. Mean begins the first verse by rhyming the word “younger” with itself. My main issue with this song is really just the content. At the beginning of the song, E.D.I. Mean claims that this track is “for the ladies.” How come whenever Hip Hop artists made songs “for the ladies” in the 90s they were always trash? I guess the only way they knew how to appeal to women back then was to make wack ass love songs with soft beats & R&B hooks. Method Man was one of the few artists who managed to pull the formula off. There are probably more examples that I just can’t think of right now. Anyway, this song in particular is kinda weird to me since they’re trying to blur the lines between fathers and sexual partners. I’ve only been called daddy once, and it was by a gross, mentally deficient white woman. It made me quite uncomfortable. Maybe I would’ve been into it if I was actually attracted to her, but I’d rather just not be referred to as somebody’s daddy. It’s weird to me. Most of this song is performed by members of the Outlawz, which obviously isn’t a good thing. If you pretend Pac isn’t here, I feel like each verse gets progressively worse. Young Noble is probably my least favorite member of the whole group. I do not like that dude at all. This is probably my least favorite song on the whole album. I think it’s really bad. I don’t fuck with it at all. It’s pretty terrible to me honestly.

8. Krazy featuring Bad Azz produced by Big D the Impossible

This song thankfully actually has one of the best beats on the album in my opinion. It’s kind of jarring how much better this instrumental is than almost every other beat on the project. It’s really a great beat. The electric guitar that comes in during the hook sounds surprisingly good to me. The first verse from Pac is really dope too. It’s kind of an emotional song.

Dear mama, don’t worry, I’ma watch for snakes
Tell Setchu that I love her, but it’s hard today
I got the letter that she sent me, and I cried for weeks
This what came out when I tried to speak

Usually when Pac tries to get more emotional I feel absolutely nothing, but this song is pretty heartfelt. Both of his verses were pretty good. I definitely liked the first one more than the second one, but they were both good. I wasn’t familiar with that Bad Azz guy, but he was okay I guess. I just don’t really like his voice at all. It’s kinda Mac Miller-ish. It’s the kinda voice that instantly loses my attention and puts me to sleep. His verse was fine though. I could’ve done without it, but it doesn’t ruin the song for me. Overall, I think this is one of the better songs on the album for sure. It’s pretty dope.

9. White Man’z World featuring Danny Boy produced by Big D the Impossible

The previous track segues really smoothly into this one. In fact, all of the song transitions on this album are really well done. The production on this particular song is pretty solid. It’s definitely not gonna blow anyone away, but it’s a lot better than most of the other beats on the album. I really wanted to like this song more than I actually do. I think the content is pretty cool, and the verses from Pac are heartfelt. I really just cannot fuck with that hook from Danny Boy though. It’s frustrating because I think he’s a good singer. It’s just that the melody isn’t very good, and it doesn’t even seem to fit over the beat. It sounds really discordant when paired with this instrumental. It doesn’t sound good to me at all. Overall I think this is an okay song. I like the beat, and as I said the verses from Pac are pretty good. That hook really ruins it for me though. I’m never gonna listen to this song again. It’s decent though.

10. Me & My Girlfriend featuring Virginya Slim produced by Makaveli, Big D the Impossible & Hurt-M-Badd

This track was sampled on Jay-Z’s Blueprint album—particularly the song All I Need. Jay-Z pretty much just recycled this hook. This is definitely a better song. The beat is actually fantastic, and Pac sounds really great over it. His delivery is really aggressive. This song was inspired by Nas’ song I Gave You Power. Pac’s “girlfriend” is a metaphor for his gun. It’s not exactly a subtle comparison, which I guess isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I feel like if you didn’t know his girlfriend was his gun you’d be really concerned by this line…

Picked you up when you was 9

I’m probably overthinking it though. Virginya Slim just speaks in the middle of the song. She speaks from the perspective of the gun, and I really wish she wasn’t on the song. It’s definitely not bad enough to really hurt the song that much for me, but her parts are just really awkward to listen to. If you’ve heard the song you probably understand what I mean. Everything else about the song is really dope though. This is easily one of the best songs on the album in my opinion. Aside from Virginya Slim’s appearance I have no gripes with it. The production and hook are great, and Pac rapped well. This shit is dope af.

11. Hold Ya Head featuring Hurt-M-Badd produced by Hurt-M-Badd

The production on this track is pretty good. As anyone could surmise from the title of the song, it’s another one of those reassuring “Keep Ya Head Up” type tracks in which he tells people to remain hopeful and not give up. I don’t really have any issues with it at all. I’ve seen some people say it’s one of the weaker songs on the album, which is confusing to me because it’s far better than approximately half of the other tracks in my opinion. The production is dope, and Pac rapped very well over it. I even like the sung hook from Hurt-M-Badd a lot too. Like I said, I have no complaints. It’s not super amazing or anything like that. It’s just a very solid track. I fuck with it. It’s dope.

12. Against All Odds produced by Makaveli & Hurt-M-Badd

This is one of the more popular songs on the album, mainly because of it’s content. It’s a diss track in which he disses a whole gang of motherfuckers. The list includes Nas, Dr. Dre, Mobb Deep, Puff Daddy, and Q-Tip among others. That’s all just in the first verse too. I really love how aggressive Pac is on this track. It’s a much better diss than Bomb First in my opinion. The final verse is probably my favorite on the whole album to be honest. He really murdered Nas. The production is really nothing special in my opinion, but the actual rapping here is really great. It’s definitely one of the better songs on the album in my opinion. I think it’s really dope.


Overall, I really don’t think this is a good album. It’s far from bad, and I’m glad I listened to it because there’s a good amount of material here that I enjoyed. However, as a whole, I think it’s just okay. It’s probably the most disappointing “classic” Hip Hop album I’ve ever heard though. In fact, this is probably the only classic Hip Hop album that I don’t really think is good. Oh wait… Never mind. I didn’t like that first Beastie Boys album at all. That’s definitely my least favorite classic Hip Hop album. Anyway, I’m really surprised that there are people saying this is Pac’s best album because I think it’s his second worst project. I legitimately thought it would end up being my favorite album from him before I actually listened to it, so I ended up being really disappointed. Again, it’s not a bad album. There are just too many flaws for me to say I actually like it though. A lot of the beats are kinda shitty to me. Also I was annoyed by all the features. Aside from the last song, every single track has a feature, and a good amount of them frankly suck. However, the album is definitely worth hearing. I can’t say I consider myself a fan of 2Pac, but I’m glad I listened to this because as I mentioned earlier, there are a decent amount of good songs on here. There are a lot of duds though. I only actually enjoyed just over half of the tracks on the album. It’s not bad, but I was disappointed. It’s just okay to me.

Favorite Song: Hail Mary
Least Favorite Song: Just Like Daddy

67

60-69
Grade: C+

2 comments

  1. Dope review, are you going to start reviewing Biggie or Common now that you’re done with Pac? Also check out the 8 mile soundtrack, there’s a Gang Starr banger there

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