In 1995, Tupac’s released his follow up to 1993’s STRICTLY 4 MY N.I.G.G.A.Z. on Interscope Records.
1/”If I Die 2Nite”
Mid-tempo track reflecting about the consequences of living the Gangsta lifestyle. Pretty good way to open the album.
2/”Me Against the World” (featuring Dramacydal)
Another reflective track about life, rapped over a smooth R&B beat.
3/”So Many Tears”
My favorite song from this album. Tupac raps about his dead homies, and his own fears and paranoia about life. I love it.
Tupac doing his thing, rapping about ladies and sex, but not too vulgar.
A good fast track about the pressures that young Black males face in America.
6/”Heavy in the Game” (featuring Richie Rich)
A fast track about street life. It’s okay, but kinda generic.
Another fast street life track. A little better than the last.
Tupac’s ode to his mother. He doesn’t make her out to be a Saint, admits her flaws, but explains why he loves her unconditionally. All over a slow mellow R&B track. Brilliant.
9/”It Ain’t Easy”
Another slow mellow track about Black life.
10/”Can U Get Away”
A love song, Tupac wondering if he’s found the right woman.
Tupac celebrating the pioneers of hip-hop, from Rakim to Dougie Fresh. I dig this one.
12/”Fuck the World”
Tupac somehow manages to be both angry and optimistic at once in this song, with a chorus by Shock G.
13/”Death Around the Corner”
Another fast track about the horrors of Gangsta life.
14/”Outlaw” (featuring Dramacydal)
A slow Gangsta track.
With this album, Tupac once lived up to the promise shown on his first album, 2PACALYPSE NOW . While not being overtly “political,” he nevertheless managed to artfully straddle the line between celebrating the Gangsta lifestyle, while also reflecting on how destructive it can be. And the fact that he was in jail when this album was first released (& debuted @ #1), just makes it even more poignant, as he was suffering those very consequences. I think it’s interesting to speculate on how his music would have advanced, if he had gone forward from the themes he expressed on this album, as opposed to the more unapologetic Gangsta persona he adopted @ Death Row Records. But I’ll get to that later.
ME AGAINST THE WORLD is available via iTunes