Yet another 2Pac release. In all honesty, I think even the most hardcore of ‘Pac fans are losing track of albums circulating from the deceased rapper. This album is the official followup to 2003’s “Nu Mixx Classics”, and features more new production and features from (surprisingly) ‘Pac’s homeboys. The majority of this collection consists (much like “Nu Mixx Classics”) of ‘Pac’s Deathrow material.
1.) Picture Me Rollin feat. Kurupt, Butch Cassidy
If anyone is familiar with the original (and as a ‘Pac fan, how could you not be?), they will notice right off the bat that this is very similar to it’s original version. Danny Boy is replaced with Butch Cassidy, who does a very comendable job on the hook, giving new life to the track. Kurupt also doesn’t dissapoint, providing classic Westcoast flavor and a classic verse. I’m going to go out on a limb, and say this is better then the original. Haters feel free to hate on.
2.) Keep Goin feat. Hussein Fatal
This track features the self proclaimed Outlaw Don – Hussein Fatal, who doesn’t dissapoint in the least. While also providing hook duties, 2Pac provides a classic (although short) verse dissing the Bad Boy camp (whose reference is unfortunatley edited out), taking you back to a time when the beef was hot. Hussein clearly steals the show, however, and proves furthermore why he deserves more credit. Great song.
3.) What’z Ya Phone # feat. Candy Hill
I’ll be the first to admit, I was never the biggest fan of this track. While the original features Johnny J’s signature sound, this is more of a solumn track, with an overdone hook. Candy Hill’s verse is also not on par with ‘Pac’s. And although this track doesn’t really do anything for me, 2Pac’s verses are placed perfectly with the instrumental, giving it a new twist. Decent at best.
4.) Staring Through My Rear View feat. Dwele
Phil Collins classic sample is still provided, in this slightly modified version of the original. Maybe that’s for the better, as this song was/is an undeniable classic. One of the only differences is Dwele provides the hook (and does a good job at that), but this track is slightly in need of the Outlawz. Thankfully, 2Pac’s pristine outro is still in tact, making for another good track.
5.) Hail Mary [Rock Mix] feat. Outlawz
I understand what the producers were trying to do with this song, but it fails in every aspect. ‘Pac’s now famous intro to this song sounds terribly layered, and the beat is just too out there for any fan to appreciate. The Outlawz verse remains the same, but the beat is just too much, making for the first wack remix on the album.
6.) Got My Mind Made Up feat. Outlawz, Kurupt
Much like the original classic that appeared on “All Eyez On Me”, production, for the most part, stays the same. 2Pac sets the track off, and is followed by Hussein Fatal, and Young Noble. Kurupt (who drops arguably the best verse on the entire song) is up next, and doesn’t dissapoint in the least. Good track.
7.) Pain feat. Styles P, Butch Cassidy
The original “Pain” featuring the late Stretch is regarded as one of ‘Pac’s best songs. So topping it, or even making a remix on par with the original, proved to be tough. This song isn’t bad (Butch Cassidy actually does another excellent job on the hook), but in comparison to the original is lackluster. Styles P drops a good verse, but production isn’t exactly great. Average at best.
8.) Lost Souls feat. Outlawz
This is very similar to the original “Lost Souls”, which appeared on the ‘Gang Related Soundtrack’ back in 1997. The only difference is a slight change in the beat, and a new verses courtesy of the Outlawz. If you liked the original chances are you will like this one.
9.) Wanted Dead Or Alive (Gangsta Party) feat. Snoop Dogg
Much like “Hail Mary (Rock Mix)” this track started off with a heavy guitar influence. At first listen it’s wack, but as soon as Snoop’s verse drops, the beat switches tempo. Pac’s hook (“2 of the livest, wanted dead or alive”) sounds good, and makes for another decent remix. However, after a couple listens, it sounds pieced together.
10.) Initiated feat. Boot Camp Clik
2Pac’s “One Nation” comrades show up for the remix of Daz’s original “Initiated.” Production is very east coast flavored, and while Boot Camp drops above average verses, the tempo of Pac’s verse sounds terribly out of place, when compared to the original, which really ends up dragging this track down.
11.) How Do U Want It
When remaking a classic, be sure to do it justice. “How Do U Want It” easily fits the aforementioned category, and while I had doubts about this song, it turned out to be very good. A completely different vibe is used, with the beat being aimed toward the club scene. The only drawback is the hook (not nessescary at all), but other then that, Pac’s verses remain timeless even 11 years after his death.
12.) Picture Me Rollin feat. Outlawz
This, unlike the first track to open up the album, contains Danny Boy’s vocals, and a guest appearence from the Outlawz. Hussein Fatal, once again, drops the best verse on the track. But, with the exception of his verse, the Outlawz lack, failing to really make this a great remix. I expected more out of the end of the album.
In conclusion, this was a very worthy sequel to “Nu Mixx Classics.” While not tampering with Pac’s formula too much, and keeping guest appearences mainly people he actually worked with (what a concept) made this album work in a good way. Album highlights include “Picture Me Rollin”, “Keep Goin”, and “Starin Thru My Rearview.” The only complaint I have with this release is while most remixes are on point, there are a few terrible tracks (“Hail Mary” being one of them), and they are clearly milking Pac’s legacy for every penny it’s worth.
Overall Rating: 3/5