2pac – The Sessions

2pac - The SessionsAfter the recent release of mixes and albums with Tupac featuring the entire music industry and their mama, “The Sessions” finds its way to the public. It consists of 2Pac’s actual recording sessions (filmed originally on video by associate – Gobi) onto audio recording; making for live intros and opinions on tracks being worked on at the time. Recorded during ‘Pac’s infamous “One Nation” sessions (July ’96), this is a double disc not available in stores, and retails at $130.

*Note: This is not CDQ Tupac material, it is raw studio sessions and should be viewed as just that.*

 

[Disc 1]

1.) The *****es Session I: Tupac can be heard hear calling out one of the homies, with his now infamous phrase “Goat mouth mutha*****a!”, while “*****es” aka “International” (from Pac’s Life) original production can be heard in the background. Interesting way to open up the album.

2.) The Medicate Freestyle Session feat. Kadafi, Storm, Napoleon: This is a 20 minute long freestyle session featuring ‘Pac’s lil homies – The Outlaw Immortalz. Great song, just based on the fact it gives a glimpse at the talent these artists actually had. And while it does get a little repetitive after a while, it’s a gem to hear these artists together as Storm has retired, and Kadafi passed on only 5 months after this was recorded.

3.) N E W Jerz: Kadafi is just yelling “NEW JERZ!” here. Skip.

4.) The Brotherz At Armz Session I: This unreleased “One Nation” album cut, features ‘Pac and the Boot Camp Clik going back and laying their vocals over the course of 9+ minutes. Raw track, as you can hear the instrumental being looped with different effects being added.

5.) The Brothaz At Armz Session II: Blended in from the previous track, this features ‘Pac and the homies talking and expanding on the song, while the instrumental is still being looped and completed, showing that ‘Pac did, indeed, rap over the very basics of an instrumental, while letting engineers and mixing take place later.

6.) The Let’z Fight Session: At a solid 9 minutes, this is the infamous “Let’z Fight” session. Portions of the video of this recording have leaked to the net, as the verse has now been releaed on “Realest Killaz” featuring 50 Cent. This however is completely different, as you get to hear a drunken Pac fumble words and lace his adlibs, as the Boot Camp Clik perform their 16’s. Great, great track.

7.) The Military Mindz Session I: To anybody that’s heard the instrumental used on the Original Version of this song, you’ll know how much better it is then the released version. This track features ‘Pac performing his famous outro, over the pounding production, with Boot Camp right there with him. Classic track.

8.) The Coast II Coast Session: This track was released to the net as “Thug Nigga” with Greg Nice, and actually contains 2Pac’s acapella’s on here, making for a track worthy of remixing. This is once again, them just running the track back, live in the studio with Smif N Wessun in the background.

9.) That’s Sick (Interlude): Pointless skit, blended in from the last track.

10.) The *****es Session II: Featuring the Outlawz and Boot Camp Clik going “Puerto Ricoooo”, with 2Pac’s “World Wide Dimepiece” verse being used, this is another preview of what a classic track this would’ve been. Snoop Dogg is featured on the outro.

11.) Too Much Hennessey (Outro): Although Pac is notably absent, this is The Outlawz clowning around, drunk as *****, and enjoying every minute of it.

12.) When Thugz Cry (Alternate Original): Hailed as a bonus track, this track (when compared to UTEOT’s remix) is perfect. A very mellow beat, and smooth singing, allow ‘Pac’s harsh lyrics to bounce over the production perfectly. Great way to close out the first disc.

[Disc 2]

1.) The Military Mindz Session II: A continuation of the last track, featured on Disc 1, these are added vocals and layers over the already pounding instrumental.

2.) Kadafi & Kastro Freestyle: A very entertaining freestyle, making it apparent this was originally recorded on video, as Kastro and Kadafi trade verses about fellow Outlaw – Storm, and how she’s “creeping up behind them”. Enteraining, and shows the youth and talent that both of these ‘Lawz had.

3.) The Lastonesleft Session: I expected more out of this track. This is, however, just ‘Pac and the homies listening to a studio cut of the track with nothing more then what has already been leaked for some time. Good song, but not recommended as the quality is subpar.

4.) Back To Thugz Mansion (Interlude): A very random, but entertaining video cut of Kadafi, obviously drunk as hell, calling two cabs for three people while freestyling to the infamous “Hit Em Up” track. He also tries getting a girl to go back to ‘Pac’s place at Wilshire for a little something.

5.) The East Coast War: An amazing 14 minute session, the first part of this segment features an interviewer asking ‘Pac what it would take for him to get together with the East Coast, and with him replying he would if America had community centers built. Cut to Kadafi, who is high once again, giving what sounds like his first real interview, being only 18 years of age at the time. Great interview, taken directly from Gobi’s home videos.

6.) Basket Case Instrumental: The instrumental to Greg Nice and 2Pac’s unreleased and previously unheard track, “Basket Case.”

7.) Basket Case aka ’96 Sho Shot: Featuring the instrumental heard on the previous track, this 47 second clip features an unheard Tupac verse, adding on to speculation that “One Nation” was, in fact, finished and completed, being that there are so many tracks done. Good verse, and will hopefully get treated well on a future release.

8.) 2Pac’s Studio Philosophy: Although this video has been used on countless do*****entaries (“We don’t have the time or the luxury, to just sit here…we dont have it. I knocked my whole album out, doing like three songs a day. Get them niggaz on the track, get that beat poppin, and lace it!”), it’s great to hear it in full quality, with ‘Pac showing his more humorous side, clowning Gobi after his speech.

9.) The Troublesome ’96 Session: Much like “Lastonesleft”, this is just Troublesome ’96 played in the background, leading some to believe this track was intended for “One Nation”, as most of these songs were.

10.) Reincarnation: Undoubtedly the track on the album. It’s well known Tupac had habits of taking unreleased songs (from his Thug Life era), and re-recording them for Deathrow. Examples are “When I Get Free”, etc. This is no different. However, putting a twist on “Only Fear Of Death”, this song is much more relaxing and actually quite sad when hearing what great potential ‘Pac could’ve reached with songs like these.

“My only fear of death, is reincarnation…
I use my last breath, to reach the whole nation
How can they call me murderer for my spoken words?
This composition be my prophecy, I hope it’s heard…”

Great, great track. Classic in every aspect.

11.) Secretz Of War (Outro): Just somebody shouting. More a skit; skip it.

12.) M.O.B. (Original): A lot different then the released version. Featuring all the same vocals however, this track is above average.

13.) Just Like Daddy (Dramacydal Version): No where near the original version, this track is noteworthy for Edi’s appearence and verse alone. Otherwise, skip.

So, in conclusion, if you are a fan of Tupac then this album is for you. If you don’t appreciate the way his music’s been handled, and want to hear the Sessions as they were recorded, then this album is also for you. Although, the price is steep, the album is clearly worth it, as you get to hear ‘Pac in a light you’ve never heard him before. Great album.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

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