Now for those of you who read the post we made a couple weeks ago about Blender magazine's article about Tupac being one of the moist overrated rappers, you can consider this part 2 of that even though it was written 3 years ago over at ByronCrawford.com. Now keep in mind that this article is very well written and makes some good points and the author is very convincing even though he's obviously bias. Someone with a weaker mind will read this article and will be completely convinced that Tupac was overrated, whack, trash etc. But I'm a Journalist too and I know when I'm reading a Mind F**k article and since I'm one of the writers of the number 1 site hip hop music, it's only right that I place this note before you actually read this article…..ok get to reading you stans.
For some reason, a few readers of this site have labeled me as being a hater of the late Tupac Shakur. I know, I know, I’m from the East Coast and happened to be down with P. Diddy and the Bad Boy crew (no homo) during the middle of the East/ West coast beef, but I never saw myself as a hater. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite hip hop songs ever is “Hit Em Up” where he basically told me “f**k you too” for being down with Bad Boy. Anyways, I was extremely saddened by Mr. Shakur’s untimely demise back in 1996 and even commemorated his death by purchasing all of his cd’s that I didn’t own at the time. At the time of his death, there was a lot of talk about how dude was a poet, a leader of our generation and so on and so on. Of course I associated all this talk with the type of sentimental s**t that’s said upon someone’s passing. As time passed though, I became intrigued by how dude was becoming some type of legend. I also became annoyed as f**k.
Last week, I was going through all my songs on my ipod and since all of 2pac’s material came up first, I decided that I would give dude a second chance and listen to his music, just in case I had been unfairly judging his status as a hip hop icon. I listened to his first lp, “2Pacalypse Now”, released in 1991, and believe me when I emphatically say that that album sounds like pure effin garbage and I’m somewhat pissed off that I shelled out some of my hard earned cash on this piece of possum s**t. There’s like no decent sounding track on it and I can’t decipher what’s worse, his feeble attempt to rhyme or the piss poor sub par production. Even the “breakout” hit single “Brenda’s Got A Baby” was pure kaa kaa, but being that that was like the first rap song dedicated in it’s entirety to every hood rat ghetto single mother across the country, it was deemed to be prolific by every baby momma alive. Eff that, that s**t was weak by any hip hop classic standard. “2Pacalypse Now” got a expeditious delete from my library and I realize I must have been pretty effin amped up a year ago, upon getting a new ipod , what with me importing trash like this unto my itunes library.
Next up was his 2nd Lp, “Strictly For My N.I.G.G.A.S” released in 1993. First and foremost, the title deserves a huge NO HOMO sticker on the cd cover, what with some gay a*s title like that. Secondly, I don’t know if the periods embedded in “N.I.G.G.A.S.” is supposed to mean something encoded or some strange Tupac form of Ebonics, whatever, I couldn’t give a rats scrotum about it’s meaning as it’s just plain stupid, then and now!!! The only song on that album that comes even close to being hot is “I Get Around”, but I always saw that as being a Digital Underground song featuring Pac as their weed carrying side artist. What with his first LP being all whack, the Underground decided they would help their lil homey out, similar to how Jay Z helps his lil homey Memphis Bleek out every now and then. Production on that song was tight, Pac’s flow improved dramatically overnight, but Shock G stole the show with his classic line “I’m Shock G, the one who put the satin on your panties.” The rest of the album really really really sucked much moose cock and once again I was pissed that I spent some cash on this vile piece of cat vomit. As I expeditiously deleted this crap from my library, I realized that I must have really been emotional when dude died, what with me including this s**t in my music collection. Now I know this lp was released shortly after Pac’s “stunning” acting debut “Juice”, and a whole bunch of people got caught up in his portrayal of the “Bishop” character, but to me, his character suffered from a severe case of bi-polar based mental issues and since I actually knew cats like that back in the day in Brooklyn, I wasn’t impressed since they were all mental b***h made n****s until they had a gun in their hands. In addition, since “Juice” was Pac’s movie, why was the hottest song on the actual soundtrack “Know The Ledge” by Eric B. and Rakim? Sheet, Pac’s music was nowhere on the whole effin cd!!! A lot of people bought into it, but I for one didn’t sip the “juice”.
Next up was “Me Against The World” released in 1995. Now I gotta hand it to that n***a Pac, the hype surrounding this album’s release was incredible and effin unheard of at the time. First, dude got all shot up with five hot ones in his a*s (no homo) in a New York studio in 1994 and SURVIVES!!! He then checks himself out of the hospital for “security” reasons and also, because he has to make it to court on a rape charge. I remember the image of Pac getting wheeled out of the courthouse days after being shot, all bandaged up with his middle finger pointed straight to the heavens and thinking “What a gully a*s crazy muh fucker this dude is turning into!” He then gets sentenced to a bid in jail and starts blaming like the entire East Coast for all of his misfortunes and I’m feeling really sorry for dude, what with his little a*s getting all plundered (no homo) all Oz style behind bars. Then the single “Dear Mama” comes out and it’s the first time dude has great production, rapping skills are intact and he’s saying some s**t EVERYBODY can relate to. That song right there is genius in the same way Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday” is geniuos, its an effin holiday song that will get played like forever and ever. An effin Mother’s Day song!!!! The only other song on there that’s worthy of a playback is “Old School” what with its tight production and Pac’s improved rhyme cadence. The rest of the album is ehh, lukewarm, not as bad as his prior two releases, but decent enough, especially since the hype behind it made it damn near impossible not to wonder what this crazy a*s n***a was talking about!!! Other than the two aforementioned songs, the rest of the lp got deleted from my library.
1996 was the year “All Eyez On Me” hit the streets. With this lp, the world was introduced to the “new and improved” Tupac Shakur. Now down with the infamous Suge Knight and signed to the most dangerous record label of all time, Death Row Records, Pac was geared to drop a classic, especially since he was now armed with one of hip hop’s greatest producers of all time, Dr. Dre. In addition, Pac single handedly orchestrated the weird but historical East/West coast beef and spit venom in every interview about Bad Boy, Diddy, B.I.G. and almost all things East related. Man, dude was like one unstoppable train wreck, impossible to turn away from. Album wise, dude was at the top of his game with the instant classics “Ambitionz As A Ridah” and“Hearts Of Men” (no homo), but now that dude has demonstrated that he has finally learned how to rhyme, he fucks it up by putting too many corny sounding weed carriers on his album. Yeah, cats like Snoop, Richie Rich and even Nate Dogg I can understand, but what in the eff is a Big Syke and a Rappin 4 Tay doing on this joint? Even “Got My Mind Made Up” featuring Method Man and Red Man sounds forced what with Pac declaring civil war on New York. How the f**k did they end up on that track? Finally, I don’t know whose idea it was to make this lp here a double cd, but with too many cuts and too many effin weed carriers, s**t just got confusing along the way and would’ve been a better (not classic) cd with like only ten songs.
Finally “The Don Killuminati, The 7 Day Theory” recorded right before and released right after his death in 1996. (I in no way count the hundred or so other albums released after this one, since dude is dead and who knows what the f**k type of “studio magic” went into putting those other shits together.) I have to admit, this was really Tupac at his best, with his new character Makaveli sounding all raw and angry, dude really let you know he had gone way the f**k off the deep end and had become one crazy mother fucker!!!! Beats were tighter than anything ever produced for him, dude had rabid venom in his voice like he was infected by rage, and boy did he let everyone have it, from Jay Z on down to his own producer and label mate Dr. Dre!!!! No one was safe from his insane verbal a*s whipping. This was the closest dude had to having a classic album. The reason it fell short? 25 more unknown weed carriers included in almost every effin joint!!!! If I were Pac and had blazing tracks like “Hail Mary” or “Intro/Bomb First”, there’s no way in hell I would allow my whack a*s lackey’s to be featured on those tracks, NO EFFIN WAY!!! That being said, this lp had like four solid joints on it, the two I just mentioned along with “Toss It Up” (no homo), “Me And My Girlfriend” and “Against All Odds” which was the perfect song to end his career with. Throw in my favorite “Hit ‘Em Up” which was also recorded around the time this album was being produced (sans weed carriers off course) and you have a decent discography of like 16 strong records (actually 10 strong records once weed carrier and side artist elements are factored in).
After taking all of this in, I can understand the Tupac hype, which comes down to two points:
1) Tupac, if he deserved any accolade, was that throughout the course of his career, he never let go of his initial acting role in “Juice” and lp by lp, he perfected that role until he eventually and actually became that psycho bi-polar crazy a*s n***a “Bishop”. If anything, he should have been nominated for a new type of Oscar, one where the actor really and truly becomes the character like five years after the movie came out.
2) You know how every chick with mental/emotional issues loves Sade? Well Tupac touched (no homo) every gangbanger, thug and thug wannabe with mental/ emotional issues. I’m sure most of those dudes are pretty eff’ed up in the head what with them losing homey after homey every other week in ‘da hood due to gunfire and gang warfare. Instead of going to see a therapist (which I can’t even imagine those dudes ever doing) ‘Pac became like their Sade. I even remember some dude posting on this site about how he sits in his truck, listens to Tupac and starts crying like a lil b***h. So yeah I get it, Tupac is like a thug’s Sade,, difference being that Sade dropped like 4 classic albums
That being said, the late Tupac Shakur is waaaaaaaay overrated.
Okay the blatant mind f**k is now over, I can sit here and write about half a dozen things he left out like “many tears”, “keep ya head up” not to mention “trapped” all from “Me Against The World”, and all of his songs from “Above The Rim” soundtrack. He left out the 20 or so CDs that were put out via bootleg or his estate, all the tight tracks on different soundtracks (Pain, Loyal to the Game, Starin at the World Thru My Rearview, Never Had A Friend Like Me etc). This is Hop Hop it's not like other Genres you have to take in account all the mixtapes, features, unreleased and underground content as well, just look at Lil Wayne, the first two Carter albums didn't make him the hottest rapper, the Drought tapes did.
This article would have you believe your a zombie and that you only like Tupac because someone told you to or because of the hype as if we don't have eyes, ears and a mind of our own to decide on what we like. Don't get me wrong I'm not a super Tupac fan my top 5 dead or alive is Nas, Jay-Z, Emenim, Busta Rhymes, 4th is always battle between B.I.G. and Pac. Pac usually wins because Biggie only had two albums but then again I switch my list up all the time. The point is that the article is bias and not written from a true song for song, album for album or even bar for bar perspective……
The article was funny to read though with all the no homos and weed carrier talk……
And so I end with Tupac is not the greatest of all time (not a solid and long enough career) but he's definitely not overrated, thats absurd.
Chozen – “The Only One Awake In the World Of Dreams”