March 14, 2022

2Pac "Me Against The World" (3/14/95 + The Source)

Uncontrolled rage, frustration and lack of direction pretty much describe Tupac and the focus of his previous albums. Though the material was reflective of the modern madness that constantly surrounds "hip-hop's outlaw," it was also reflective of the direction he and his music were taking. Both albums showed flashes of brilliance and contained incredible hits, but other songs lacked the musical depth of his best songs, radio friendly or not. And as many agree, subject matter and content have never been the problem with Tupac's albums, just the beats and erratic song sequence. True Tupac fans may have noticed his gradual musical progression from one album to the next (including his guest appearances on other albums), and his latest, Me Against The World, follows suit as he releases his best work by far. Lyrically, he was never a slouch, but this time anger, love and 'thug life' philosophy are stronger. Musically, each cut on the album is a tight mixture of hip-hop and dusty soul grooves. "So Many Tears" expresses Tupac's mourning over lost homies and a community falling apart under heavy stress while the beat is freaked with the harmonica of Stevie Wonder's "That Girl." Tupac enlists the help of his long time homie and Oaktown rap legend Richie Rich to relate the everyday lunacy of being "Heavy In The Game." "Temptations" comes off as not quite an apology, but as Tupac's self-recognition of his moral rights and wrongs when it comes to women, indo and 40 oz.'s. On a more sensitive note, "Dear Mama" will be the Mother's Day theme for all the hard-headz who love their mama and recognize the sacrifices that are made through thick and thin. Since 1994 it seems that givin' props to the early influences of hip-hop is a must and "Old School" is Tupac's homage to the likes of Eric B & Rakim, Flash, LL, Run-DMC and so forth. Other notable tracks include "It Ain't Easy," "If I Die 2 Nite," "Young N!ggaz" and the incredible "Me Against The World." Any complaints critics and fans alike had about Tupac's last two albums can be put to rest. Me Against The World is quite simply a manifestation of Tupac's talents becoming completely whole as they are mixed with the tracks that may, for a change, overshadow him. - The Source 4/95

2Pac's career continued to ascend after Me Against... but this is still his best LP.