February 13, 2020

2Pac "All Eyez On Me" (February 13, 1996)

On October 11, 1995, Tupac Shakur was sprung from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York... He started recording almost immediately and four months later, on February 13, 1996, Death Row unleashed Tupac’s fourth solo album, All Eyez On Me... The music Tupac Shakur recorded is among the most personal in Hip Hop history... Tupac’s chaotic personal life had a symbiotic but ultimately self-destructive relationship with his music... Euthanasia was the initial title for Tupac’s Death Row debut until it was wisely changed to All Eyez On Me during the recording process... As he explained to MTV’s Bill Bellamy in December 1995, “It’s called All Eyez On Me. That’s how I feel it is. I got the police watching me, the Feds. I got the females that want to charge me with false charges and sue me and all that. I got the females that like me. I got the jealous homeboys and I got the homies that roll with me. Everybody’s looking to see what I’mma do now so All Eyez On Me.” The album was originally intended for a Christmas release but was pushed back as Tupac continued to record and shoot videos for the album’s singles... Both Tupac’s incarceration and release from prison profoundly affected All Eyez On Me. His strenuous work ethic became even more tireless while he was signed to Death Row. A major reason why is because of Tupac’s legal status. He was on bail pending the appeal of his sex abuse conviction and Tupac knew he would probably have to return to prison if his appeal was denied... Recent events in Tupac’s life outside the prison system also weighed heavily on his mind during the All Eyez On Me sessions. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds during a botched robbery at Quad Studios in NY on the eve of his sex abuse conviction. His morbid premonitions felt realer than ever to him at Death Row and he wanted to make sure there was a vault of recordings “in the event of [his] demise.” Revisit the LP below and continue reading...

All Eyez On Me is a larger than life and highly polished commercial album... It is a 27 track strategy for a takeover of the rap music game... His April 1995 Vibe magazine prison interview detailing the shooting at Quad Studios ruffled feathers in New York and Suge’s friend Jake Robles was murdered in Atlanta in September 1995, allegedly by a bodyguard of Bad Boy Records CEO Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs. Tupac felt betrayed by Combs and The Notorious B.I.G. for their words and actions following Quad Studios and his anger is palpable on All Eyez On Me... The songs of All Eyez On Me combine into one of the most complete displays of Tupac’s lyrical and storytelling gifts... The first disc alone is one of Tupac’s greatest achievements but he did not stop there. The deeper cuts for Tupac’s more devoted fans fill out the second disc. That is where hardcore listeners most feel the love he had for his Northern California roots and can appreciate the least discussed tracks of this seminal album... The album is exceptional in every way a Hip Hop album can be measured and Tupac worked his ass off to help ensure its place in history. - DX (Full article: "Celebrating 2Pac's Magnum Opus.")