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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 1995 | Interscope

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Recorded following his near-fatal shooting in New York, and released while he was in prison, Me Against the World is the point where 2Pac really became a legendary figure. Having stared death in the face and survived, he was a changed man on record, displaying a new confessional bent and a consistent emotional depth. By and large, this isn't the sort of material that made him a gangsta icon; this is 2Pac the soul-baring artist, the foundation of the immense respect he commanded in the hip-hop community. It's his most thematically consistent, least-self-contradicting work, full of genuine reflection about how he's gotten where he is -- and dread of the consequences. Even the more combative tracks ("Me Against the World," "Fuck the World") acknowledge the high-risk life he's living, and pause to wonder how things ever went this far. He battles occasional self-loathing, is haunted by the friends he's already lost to violence, and can't escape the desperate paranoia that his own death isn't far in the future. These tracks -- most notably "So Many Tears," "Lord Knows," and "Death Around the Corner" -- are all the more powerful in hindsight with the chilling knowledge that he was right. Even romance takes on a new meaning as an escape from the hellish pressure of everyday life ("Temptations," "Can U Get Away"), and when that's not available, getting high or drunk is almost a necessity. He longs for the innocence of childhood ("Young Niggaz," "Old School"), and remembers how quickly it disappeared, yet he still pays loving, clear-eyed tribute to his drug-addicted mother on the touching "Dear Mama." Overall, Me Against the World paints a bleak, nihilistic picture, but there's such an honest, self-revealing quality to it that it can't help conveying a certain hope simply through its humanity. It's the best place to go to understand why 2Pac is so revered; it may not be his definitive album, but it just might be his best. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 1998 | 2Pac Greatest Hits

Greatest Hits is a strange release. Sure, Tupac Shakur had more than enough hits to make a terrific compilation, but its appearance in the fall of 1998 felt a bit like another opportunity to milk his catalog, simply because of the plethora of releases, from previously unheard recordings to interview discs and bootlegs. Even with these misgivings taken into account, it has to be said that Greatest Hits does its job well. Given that it runs 25 tracks and two CDs, some may argue that it does its job a little too well, but the fact of the matter is, this contains all of his big hits, from "Keep Ya Head Up" and "Dear Mama" to "California Love" and "I Ain't Mad at Cha." Some may argue that it would have been more effective if it was sequenced in chronological order, but this remains the best place for casual listeners to get all the 2Pac they need. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released December 3, 2007 | Interscope

The separately packaged two-part Best of 2Pac series released in 2007 absolutely pales in comparison to the double-disc Greatest Hits collection previously released in 1998. Whereas that first collection had been fairly definitive, featuring 25 songs from the late rapper's prime, including all the key hits as well as the non-album favorite "Hit 'Em Up," The Best of 2Pac features four fewer songs, and of the 21 songs spread across two packages (less than an hour of music per disc), about a quarter are posthumous productions or remixes. For every classic like "California Love," there's a latter-day remix such as the newly produced version of "Dear Mama" on the Thug release or the "previously unreleased" song "Dopefiend's Diner" on the Life release. This posthumous material may be worthy of release, but a "best-of" collection sure isn't the place for it, especially one as skimpy as this, where the two separately packaged Thug/Life CDs could easily be combined into one single-disc collection if the latter-day productions and remixes were cut. Truth be told, The Best of 2Pac is yet another in a long line of posthumous cash-ins apparently overseen by 2Pac's mother. With the well-compiled Greatest Hits double disc still on the market, there's no need for a lesser collection such as this (though a single-disc definitive best-of collection would have been welcome). The Best of 2Pac is simply more product to stock at your local big-box retailer (two separately sold products, in this case), and it's no wonder that, like many of its posthumous predecessors, it was released during the holiday shopping season. Clearly, 2Pac has become a cash cow for those who control his catalog; too bad the product being milked annually is almost without exception of poor quality and appears to be hastily or indifferently assembled. © Jason Birchmeier /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 1997 | Interscope

Shortly after 2Pac died, there were rumors that hundreds of unreleased songs remained in the vaults; a mere two months after his death, the first posthumous record, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, appeared. Death Row released the record, and shortly afterward, 2Pac's mother, Afeni Shakur, gained the rights to all of his unreleased recordings from both the Interscope and Death Row labels. She founded the Amaru label and released the double-disc R U Still Down? (Remember Me) in late 1997. Culled from 2Pac's unreleased Interscope recordings between 1992 and 1994, including several tracks that have had backing musical tracks "reconstructed," R U Still Down? doesn't have the aura of exploitation that haunts the Makaveli album. For the most part, Shakur sounds good, spinning out rhymes that are alternately clever or startling, although he eventually begins repeating himself. As for the music itself, it's pretty much standard-issue gangsta rap that never deviates from the course. There are enough hidden gems to make R U Still Down? worthwhile for hardcore 2Pac fans. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2001 | 2Pac - Until The End of Time

The fourth album released in the wake of 2Pac's 1996 death, Until the End of Time certainly offers plenty of music, two discs' worth to be precise, yet doesn't offer too many highlights besides the chilling title track. As with many of 2Pac's posthumous recordings, the songs here seem overdone, too often dressed up with layers upon layers of production, choruses of background vocals, and a seemingly endless parade of guests. All of this over-production obscures 2Pac's performances, which somehow remain remarkable no matter how deep into the vault Afeni Shakur and Suge Knight have dug. Songs like "Letter 2 My Unborn," "When Thugz Cry," and the title track are just as heartfelt as "Keep Ya Head Up," "Dear Mama," and "I Ain't Mad at Cha" had been, but unfortunately they're marred by radio-oriented production that's too glossy for such stark, literate lyrics. The title track is somewhat of an exception, though. It's one of 2Pac's most desperate, spirited performances ever -- the voice of a man face to face with his own fate -- and it's accompanied by an anxious yet lulling interpolation of Mr. Mister's 1985 pop hit "Broken Wings" that is far more affective than you'd imagine. Note, however, that there are two versions here of the title track (the best one being the original one, which features RL on the hook), as there are also two versions of a few other songs. These nearly interchangeable remixes function as little more than filler, particularly since the production throughout Until the End of Time is rarely noteworthy. What at first seems like an epic recording, offering 19 tracks in total, consequently seems as overdone as the production. Had this album been pared down to the length of a single disc, it could be an exhilarating listen; as it stands, though, Until the End of Time is a mishmash -- too short on standouts like the title track and too loaded with dressed-up, guest-laden over-production -- that you'll find yourself fast-forwarding through far more often than you'd prefer. © Jason Birchmeier /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 31, 2013 | Black Sheep Music

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 1993 | Interscope

On 2Pac's debut album, 2Pacalypse Now, the rapper showed himself to be a supremely passionate man, brimming over with ideas and anger and ready to voice his political and social opinions, call things like he saw them. This same kind of energy and lyrical acumen is found on his sophomore release, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., a record that, while it begins exploring the MC's more gangsta side ("Last Wordz," for example, which features verses from Ice Cube and Ice-T), still includes the provocative, reflective lines on which he first made his name as a solo artist, and which he continued even as he became more and more popular (and, for some, more and more frightening). "Keep Ya Head Up," one of his biggest hits, and his tribute to black women, especially single mothers, is deeply thoughtful and poignant ("And since we all came from a woman, got our name from a woman, and our game from a woman/I wonder why we take from our women, why we rape our women, do we hate our women?"), expressing opinions that aren't often equated with hardcore rappers, while tracks like "I Get Around" brags about his sexual conquests. But this was what 2Pac was, anyway, a juxtaposition between tough and sensitive, social consciousness and misogynistic boasting, and Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. shows this. The angry protest songs calling out police and politicians, reminiscent of Public Enemy -- and with Bomb Squad-esque beats to boot (albeit a lesser version of) -- the screw-the-world mentality, the soft introspection, the preaching-but-not-proselytizing, and the party anthems are all here, and though the production sometimes suffers, especially in the middle of the album, where it's utterly forgettable, the record shows a continually developing MC, with increasingly complex lyrical themes, well on his way to becoming nearly unstoppable. © Marisa Brown /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2002 | Interscope

Though it was released on the eve of the busiest year in 2Pac's posthumous career, Better Dayz shouldn't be overlooked -- and with the schedule including a feature documentary (with soundtrack), plus two books and another double album, it might be easy for this one to slip from the radar. A lengthy two-disc set, it benefits from a raft of still-compelling material by one of the two or three best rappers in history, as well as excellent compiling by executive producers Suge Knight and Afeni Shakur, 2Pac's mother. Organizing the set roughly into one disc of hardcore rap and one of R&B jams makes for an easier listen, and the R&B disc especially has some strong tracks, opening with a remix of 1995's "My Block" and including quintessentially 2Pac material -- reflective, conflicted, occasionally anguished -- like "Never Call U B**** Again," "Better Dayz," "Fame," and "This Life I Lead." Most of the tracks are previously unreleased, the rest coming from scattered compilations like Knight's Chronic 2000: Still Smokin' or 1995's The Show soundtrack. It's 2Pac's best album since his death, and bodes well for future material by, and concerning, rap's most legendary figure. © John Bush /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2004 | Amaru

Loyal to the Game, the ninth 2Pac album released by his enterprising mother-turned-executive producer, Afeni Shakur, is one of the more unique entries in the martyred rap legend's extensive catalog. Produced entirely by Eminem, it carries on with the approach the man otherwise known as Marshall Mathers took with his production contributions to the preceding year's Tupac: Resurrection. Eminem had produced a few songs on that soundtrack, most notably the landmark 2Pac-Biggie duet "Runnin' (Dying to Live)," and his work here on Loyal to the Game isn't too much of a departure from the style of that song. In the wake of the song's popularity, Afeni gave Eminem some old tapes, and he went to work, stripping them of their productions, giving them his own trademark backing (characterized by his style of punchy, syncopated, unfunky beatmaking), incorporating some guest raps for secondary verses, and polishing them off with various sorts of hooks. Eminem's efforts here work, yet aren't ideal. On the one hand, there's no questioning Em's integrity. He pens some reverent liner notes, explaining his position (or justifying it, depending on your viewpoint), and Afeni also pens some touching liners, likewise explaining why Eminem of all people gets the green light to produce this album in its entirety. And Em doesn't take his job here lightly. His beats hit hard and are well crafted, most similar to his more hardcore self-productions like "Mosh" or "Lose Yourself." His hooks are also well crafted: he takes the hook himself on "Soldier Like Me"; brings in 50 Cent and Nate Dogg for "Loyal to the Game" and "Thugs Get Lonely Too," respectively; samples Elton John ("Indian Sunset"), Curtis Mayfield ("If There's a Hell Below"), and Dido ("Do You Have a Little Time") for other songs; and lets 2Pac handle his own hooks elsewhere. On the other, more cynical hand, Eminem simply isn't a good fit, and the four bonus tracks here testify to what could have been. Produced by Scott Storch, Red Spyda, Raphael Saadiq, and DJ Quik, these bonus track "remixes" are clearly the highlights of the album (and quite fantastic highlights at that, perhaps alone reason enough to pick up this album). These guys produce beats much more fitting to 2Pac's rhyme style. Sure, Eminem is a great producer, but he produces these 2Pac tracks as if he were producing himself, and 2Pac is a much different breed of rapper than Slim Shady, especially in terms of cadence and delivery. This is all the more evident because the source tapes of these tracks date back to the early '90s, when 2Pac was at his funkiest and least hardcore. (While the dates aren't provided in the credits, the original producers are credited: Randy "Stretch" Walker, DJ Daryl, Live Squad, and Deon Evans, all of whom worked with Pac during his early years, namely the early '90s, just as he was leaving Digital Underground and getting his career off the ground. Various time-specific references within Pac's lyrics are further evidence of this, such as passing references to the L.A. riots.) How much Loyal to the Game ultimately appeals to you will likely depend on how much you like Eminem. After all, this is as much his album as 2Pac's -- a labor of love, no doubt. If you're fond of his lock-step beatmaking and big hooks, you'll find much to like here, for Pac's rhymes are undoubtedly fascinating in any context, even at this early stage of his career. But if you're not down with Marshall Mathers, you'll probably want to pass this one by, though the four bonus tracks alone might make this a worthwhile venture regardless. © Jason Birchmeier /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released March 8, 2005 | eOne Music

Everything about The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory smacks of exploitation. Released only eight weeks after Tupac Shakur died from gunshot wounds, Death Row released this posthumous album under the name of Makaveli, a pseudonym derived from the Italian politician Niccolo Machiavelli, who faked his own death and reappeared seven days later to take revenge on his enemies. Naturally, the appearance of Don Killuminati so shortly after Tupac's death led many conspiracy theorists to surmise the rapper was still alive, but it was all part of a calculated marketing strategy by Death Row -- the label needed something to sustain interest in the album, since the music here is so shoddy. All Eyez on Me proved that Tupac was continuing to grow as a musician and a human being, but Don Killuminati erases that image by concentrating on nothing but tired G-funk beats and back-biting East Coast/West Coast rivalries. Tupac himself sounds uninterested in the music, which makes the conventional, unimaginative music all the more listless. If he had survived to complete Don Killuminati, it is possible that the record could have become something worthwhile, but the overall quality of the material suggests that the album would have been a disappointment no matter what circumstances it appeared under. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2007 | Interscope

The separately packaged two-part Best of 2Pac series released in 2007 absolutely pales in comparison to the double-disc Greatest Hits collection previously released in 1998. Whereas that first collection had been fairly definitive, featuring 25 songs from the late rapper's prime, including all the key hits as well as the non-album favorite "Hit 'Em Up," The Best of 2Pac features four fewer songs, and of the 21 songs spread across two packages (less than an hour of music per disc), about a quarter are posthumous productions or remixes. For every classic like "California Love," there's a latter-day remix such as the newly produced version of "Dear Mama" on the Thug release or the "previously unreleased" song "Dopefiend's Diner" on the Life release. This posthumous material may be worthy of release, but a "best-of" collection sure isn't the place for it, especially one as skimpy as this, where the two separately packaged Thug/Life CDs could easily be combined into one single-disc collection if the latter-day productions and remixes were cut. Truth be told, The Best of 2Pac is yet another in a long line of posthumous cash-ins apparently overseen by 2Pac's mother. With the well-compiled Greatest Hits double disc still on the market, there's no need for a lesser collection such as this (though a single-disc definitive best-of collection would have been welcome). The Best of 2Pac is simply more product to stock at your local big-box retailer (two separately sold products, in this case), and it's no wonder that, like many of its posthumous predecessors, it was released during the holiday shopping season. Clearly, 2Pac has become a cash cow for those who control his catalog; too bad the product being milked annually is almost without exception of poor quality and appears to be hastily or indifferently assembled. © Jason Birchmeier /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 1991 | Interscope

When 2Pac's full-length debut, 2Pacalypse Now, came out in 1991, it didn't have the same immediate impact, didn't instantly throw him into the upper echelons of rap's elite, as Nas', Jay-Z's, or even his biggest rival, Notorious B.I.G.'s did, but the album certainly set him up for his illustrious and sadly short-lived career. Part of its initial problem, what held it back from extensive radio play, is that there's not an obvious single. The closest thing to it, and what ended up being the best-known track from 2Pacalypse Now, is "Brenda's Got a Baby," which discusses teenage pregnancy in true Pac fashion, sympathetically explaining a situation without condoning it, but it doesn't even have a hook, and most of the other pieces follow suit, more poetry than song. The album is significantly more political than the rapper's subsequent releases, showing an intelligent, talented, and angry young man (he was only 20 when it came out) who wanted desperately to express and reveal the problems in the urban black community, from racism to police brutality to the seemingly near impossibility of escaping from the ghetto. He pays tribute to artists like KRS-One, N.W.A, and Public Enemy, all of whom he also considered to be provoking discussion and reaction, but he also has cleanly carved out an image for himself: articulate and smart, not overtly boastful, and concerned about societal problems, both small and large (and though he discusses these less and less as career progresses, he never leaves them behind). Yes, the edges of 2Pacalypse Now can be a bit rough, yes the beats aren't always outstanding, and yes, the MC's flow can be a little choppy, even for him, but it's still a great look at what 2Pac could offer, and a must-have for any fan of his, or hip-hop in general. © Marisa Brown /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released March 8, 2005 | eOne Music

Everything about The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory smacks of exploitation. Released only eight weeks after Tupac Shakur died from gunshot wounds, Death Row released this posthumous album under the name of Makaveli, a pseudonym derived from the Italian politician Niccolo Machiavelli, who faked his own death and reappeared seven days later to take revenge on his enemies. Naturally, the appearance of Don Killuminati so shortly after Tupac's death led many conspiracy theorists to surmise the rapper was still alive, but it was all part of a calculated marketing strategy by Death Row -- the label needed something to sustain interest in the album, since the music here is so shoddy. All Eyez on Me proved that Tupac was continuing to grow as a musician and a human being, but Don Killuminati erases that image by concentrating on nothing but tired G-funk beats and back-biting East Coast/West Coast rivalries. Tupac himself sounds uninterested in the music, which makes the conventional, unimaginative music all the more listless. If he had survived to complete Don Killuminati, it is possible that the record could have become something worthwhile, but the overall quality of the material suggests that the album would have been a disappointment no matter what circumstances it appeared under. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released October 7, 2003 | eOne Music

Poor 2Pac. Since his unfortunate passing away in 1996, his catalog was pillaged annually. Every holiday season brought with it another posthumous release, often courtesy of Suge Knight or 2Pac's own mama, Afeni Shakur. Sure, it was fascinating to hear all the unreleased recordings the rapper left behind as his legacy, and a few gems like "Thugz Mansion" and "Until the End of Time" surfaced; however, these posthumous releases were generally disappointing when you considered what could have been. Suge and Afeni were good at marketing 2Pac's posthumous catalog, no doubt, but they certainly weren't Dr. Dre -- put frankly, they were terrible music-makers, marring otherwise brilliant vocal tracks with outsourced second-rate production. As a result, none of the numerous posthumous albums even approached the quality of those 2Pac made while alive, not even by a long shot. These posthumous productions actually did 2Pac's legacy a disservice, muddling his once solid catalog with an abundance of crap. This unfortunate reality became all the more apparent with the release of Nu-Mixx Klazzics, surely the most frivolous posthumous release to date. Here Suge and his Row Hitters remix ten previously released 2Pac songs, most of which are culled from All Eyez on Me. While this is a plausible idea, it's fumbled here as these "nu-mixxes" are downright dreadful. The vocals of canonical songs like "How Do You Want It" and "Ambitionz az a Ridah" are pasted, as is, over B-grade beats. In fact, make that C-grade -- tha Row Hitters sound more like a middle-of-the-road smooth jazz band with a drum machine than credible gangsta rap producers. Even the harder-hitting tracks like "Hail Mary" and "Hit 'Em Up" sound feeble. It's quite startling, really, how ruinous these remixes are. You have to wonder whether Suge just has bad taste or just doesn't care. Either way, Nu-Mixx Klazzics is pure opportunism -- a brief, unimaginative release intended to cheaply capitalize on 2Pac's continued popularity, especially in the lead up to the highly anticipated Tupac: Resurrection film. Nonessential in every sense of the word. © Jason Birchmeier /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released November 11, 2003 | Amaru

Amid all of the generally disappointing posthumous 2Pac releases, the Tupac: Resurrection soundtrack is a diamond in the rough, an affective listening experience that adds a few new productions to a broad sampling of the rapper's early, underexposed recordings. Intended to complement the corresponding film, Tupac: Resurrection was obviously a labor of love for Afeni Shakur, who became the caretaker of her son's legacy following his murder in 1996. The first couple releases she oversaw, beginning with R U Still Down? (1997), were spotty and somewhat ill-conceived; however, on Tupac: Resurrection she makes some wise decisions. For one, she outsources the new productions to a trustworthy producer on a hot streak, Eminem, who works his magic on a trio of tracks: "Ghost," the powerful album opener; "One Day at a Time (Em's Version)," a thoughtful posse track with Em and the Outlawz; and "Runnin' (Dying to Live)," a fascinating collabo between 2Pac and the Notorious B.I.G. that emphasizes the tragedy of their respective murders rather than the drama of their rivalry. For two, she compiles quite a few previously released yet seldom-heard songs from 2Pac's early years, practically all of them career standouts: "Panther Power," one of the earliest songs Pac ever recorded, dating back to approximately 1989; "Same Song," a Digital Underground song from 1991 that includes a brief yet sharp verse by Pac, his first appearance on a major-label recording; "Holler If Ya' Hear Me," a riotous song from Pac's second album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. (1993); "Bury Me a G" and "Str8 Ballin'," a pair of highlights from the Thug Life album (1994); and "Starin' Through My Rear View," yet another thoughtful song, this one from the Gang Related soundtrack (1996) and built upon an eerie sample of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight"; and more. And for three, she closes the album with "The Realest Killaz," the extremely popular mixtape collabo between Pac and 50 Cent, where the latter absolutely blasts an unnamed rapper (Ja Rule) for blasphemous impersonation while at the same time brashly declaring, "Till Makaveli returns it's all eyes on me." When all is said and done, some may express disappointment that there's so much previously released material here, or perhaps that Eminem is ill-suited as a collaborator, yet it's hard to deny the emotional impact of this soundtrack's journey from the rapper's afterlife present (the new productions) to his brilliant beginnings (the early recordings) and back (the 50 collabo). In a relatively brief 55 minutes, Tupac: Resurrection frames 2Pac's legacy as well as any best-of retrospective could while simultaneously eschewing the obvious hits and bringing several long-buried gems to light in the process. © Jason Birchmeier /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2000 | Amaru

This album features a large cast of hip-hop personalities reading 2Pac's poetry and writing, much in the spirit of a traditional spoken word album. © Jason Birchmeier /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released September 20, 2005 | Mercury Studios

The 2005 release of Live at the House of Blues is nothing to get excited about, but at least it's a legitimate 2Pac release. Well, sort of. It's legitimate in the sense that it is what it's billed as -- a live recording of 2Pac's July 4, 1996, performance at the House of Blues on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles -- though it's kind of a scam, too, because 2Pac's performance is unfortunately abbreviated at only nine songs. You see, he and the Outlawz were the opening act that night, with Snoop Dogg and tha Dogg Pound headlining. (2Pac does come out for the encore, however, joining Snoop for a performance of "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.") The packaging of Live at the House of Blues, like oh so many posthumous 2Pac releases, is shrewdly misleading. Judging from the cover of the album, you'd think Snoop and tha Dogg Pound were guests here, not vice versa. Oh well, such scamming has become par for the course with 2Pac releases, so just let it be. In regard to the performance itself, it's one of the best 2Pac live performance out there, which is good news for collectors. That said, it's still lousy. For one, the sound quality is good to poor, especially the beats, which are low in the mix. (This sounds like an audience recording.) For two, the Outlawz are very much unwelcome here. These guys detract much more than they add to the performance, always rapping, er, shouting along with, er, over 2Pac when they'd be better off keeping their mouths shut and letting the man work his magic. And for three, hardcore rap like this just doesn't translate well to a live context. It just sounds like a riot, with a lot of amped-up dudes shouting raps over muffled music while the audience roars with unchecked approval. On the bright side, 2Pac does launch a tirade against Nas here, which is pretty curious. The song is called "Troublesome," and it's a long, bitter rap over the beat to "If I Ruled the World." Then comes "Hit 'Em Up," which only furthers the tirade. In the end, if you feel inspired to check this recording out, you're recommended to watch the DVD rather than listen to the CD, because this performance seems more like a spectacle than a musical event. But don't bother doing so unless you're really feeling driven. As with the 2Pac Live release from Death Row a year earlier, Live at the House of Blues taints 2Pac's legacy more than it aids it. It's just an ugly performance, plain and simple, one that furthers the myth of 2Pac as a belligerent, death-wishing thug, certainly not the saintly ghetto poet that many folks would prefer to remember him as. © Jason Birchmeier /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released February 5, 2019 | MATARAM MUSIC

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released August 14, 2007 | eOne Music

Nu Mixx Classics, Vol. 2 (Evolution: Duets and Remixes) is another in a long line of shameless attempts by Death Row to monetize its 2Pac back catalog, in this case by remixing previously released material and incorporating guest raps by the Outlawz and Kurupt. No one needs this album (after all, who out there is itching to hear a "rock remix" of "Hail Mary" with lame hard rock guitars?). All it does is further disgrace the Death Row brand name. Not even the most passionate 2Pac fan will find much, if anything, to enjoy here. Rather, anyone who is a true 2Pac fan should be disgusted by the appropriation of the deceased rapper's legacy for cheap cash-ins like this, where more craft went into the packaging than the music. It's downright maddening that junk CDs like this continue to see the light of day, regardless of whether or not anyone buys them. © Jason Birchmeier /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released November 6, 2012 | Vtribe Media - Affiliated - Modulor