Me Against the World

Me Against the World

4.5 11
by 2Pac
     
 

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Tupac Shakur embodied the contradictions, lunacy, poignancy, and tragedy of gangsta life better than any other figure in hip-hop history. This is his most articulate rumination on '90s thug life, from the wistfully uplifting "Dear Mama" to the brutally nihilistic "If I Die 2Night" and "Fuck the World". 2Pac (as he called himself professionally) rapped in a rushed,… See more details below

Overview

Tupac Shakur embodied the contradictions, lunacy, poignancy, and tragedy of gangsta life better than any other figure in hip-hop history. This is his most articulate rumination on '90s thug life, from the wistfully uplifting "Dear Mama" to the brutally nihilistic "If I Die 2Night" and "Fuck the World". 2Pac (as he called himself professionally) rapped in a rushed, urgent style, and he favored musical backdrops with heavy bass lines and loud accents. With a sure sense of rap's history, his "Old School" is a tribute to hip-hop's founders and a touching reminiscence that recalls a simpler time. Still, always controversial -- and self-contradicting -- 'Pac delivers an astonishing balance between levelheaded essays on the evils of ghetto violence ("So Many Tears") and explicit endorsements of violence ("Death Around the Corner"). In a horrifically tragic turn that seemed scripted by his own lyrics, Tupac was killed in a still-unsolved 1996 drive-by shooting, leaving scores of recordings to exemplify what would have been his continued ascendance.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
Recorded following his near-fatal shooting in New York, and released while he was in prison, Me Against the World is the point where 2Pac really became a legendary figure. Having stared death in the face and survived, he was a changed man on record, displaying a new confessional bent and a consistent emotional depth. By and large, this isn't the sort of material that made him a gangsta icon; this is 2Pac the soul-baring artist, the foundation of the immense respect he commanded in the hip-hop community. It's his most thematically consistent, least-self-contradicting work, full of genuine reflection about how he's gotten where he is -- and dread of the consequences. Even the more combative tracks ("Me Against the World," "Fuck the World") acknowledge the high-risk life he's living, and pause to wonder how things ever went this far. He battles occasional self-loathing, is haunted by the friends he's already lost to violence, and can't escape the desperate paranoia that his own death isn't far in the future. These tracks -- most notably "So Many Tears," "Lord Knows," and "Death Around the Corner" -- are all the more powerful in hindsight with the chilling knowledge that he was right. Even romance takes on a new meaning as an escape from the hellish pressure of everyday life ("Temptations," "Can U Get Away"), and when that's not available, getting high or drunk is almost a necessity. He longs for the innocence of childhood ("Young Niggaz," "Old School"), and remembers how quickly it disappeared, yet he still pays loving, clear-eyed tribute to his drug-addicted mother on the touching "Dear Mama." Overall, Me Against the World paints a bleak, nihilistic picture, but there's such an honest, self-revealing quality to it that it can't help conveying a certain hope simply through its humanity. It's the best place to go to understand why 2Pac is so revered; it may not be his definitive album, but it just might be his best.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/10/1998
Label:
Interscope Records
UPC:
0012414163622
catalogNumber:
41636
Rank:
22280

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

2Pac   Primary Artist,Vocals
Kim Armstrong   Background Vocals
Reggie Green   Background Vocals
Puff Johnson   Background Vocals
Ronnie Vann   Guitar
Eboni Foster   Background Vocals
Jill Rose   Vocals
Natasha Walker   Background Vocals
Dramacydal   Track Performer
Richard Serrell   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Paul Arnold   Engineer
Easy Mo Bee   Composer
Jay Lean   Engineer
Eric Lynch   Engineer
Bob Morris   Engineer
Eric Altenburger   Art Direction
Tim Nitz   Engineer
Sam Bostic   Producer
Mike Mosley   Composer
Tupac Shakur   Composer
Kevin "KD" Davis   Engineer
Gregory Jacobs   Composer
Eric Baker   Composer
Tony "D" Pizarro   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Le-Morrious "Funky Drummer" Tyler   Composer

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