In this installment of UIM’s new feature entitled Memory Lane, we take a look at one of the most influential rappers of the 20th century Tupac Shakur, and his double disc album, All Eyez on Me.
This past Tuesday, millions of fans and hundreds of radio stations paid tribute and celebrated what would’ve been Tupac’s 44th birthday through playing his classic songs and albums, I know I did. All Eyez on Me, which was released in 1996 as Pac’s fourth studio album, is certified Diamond. Yes that’s right, as of July 2014, All Eyez on Me is certified DIAMOND. The Diamond distinction is only held by a handful artists and bands in history, so of course this is easily the best album that Pac ever put out musically and in sales.
To put this even more perspective, this single album produced pretty much 90% of Tupac’s biggest hits that STILL get spins on radios around the country to date. All Eyez on Me was released after Pac himself was released from prison and is where he moved away from the more socially-conscious lyrics from his previous albums, and emerged with the grit of the street by presenting and living the mantra of Thug Life.
There are so many areas that Pac takes you to on this album, one place would be to the dance floor with the tracks “How Do You Want It” w/ K-Ci & Jo-Jo of the R&B group Jodeci, along with the remix to the west-coast anthem, “California Love”. Outside of that, he serves you up with tracks that remind you of the life and death struggles of the streets through the sorrowful “Life Goes On”, “I Aint Mad At Cha”, and the passionate “No More Pain” which was produced by Devante Swing, also of Jodeci. You could definitely argue that the most recognized track outside of “I Ain’t Mad At Cha”, would be “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” with Snoop Dogg; appropriately titled in homage to themselves in reference to their recent legal troubles. Then you have the bold proclamations of Pac on the title track of “All Eyez on Me”, and possibly my favorite song of the double disc, the first song of disc 1, “Ambitionz Az a Ridah” that lets you know who he is and what he has become. With so many hits to name, even the ones mentioned that weren’t released as official singles, I charge YOU to go back, listen, and reminisce on this album.
With a mixture of party songs, tracks that exudes with the passion of Thug Life, to the pain attributed to said-Thug Life environment, every minute of this album was a certified classic.
R.I.P. Tupac Shakur, gone but never forgotten.