It’s all politics, that’s all it is right? Well for Tupac Amaru Shakur it was more then politics, it was his life! 1995 was obviously not a good year for raps most watched and media hounded individual as numerous conspiracies, betrayal’s, and other types of drama befell 2Pac. Then it happened, someone let the beast loose! Suge Knight bailed 2Pac out of Clinton Correctional in October 1995 and immediately signed him to his label, Death Row Records. What would 2Pac say? What as on his mind? What did 11 months of prision do to Pac? All that would be answered with a title similar to his situation: All Eyez On Me. Rap’s first double album.
1. Ambitionz Az A Ridah
Pac lets it all loose here in this opening track to the double album. It is evident that Pac has a lot to speak on with these 3 longer then usual verses which touch on jealousy, Government involvement in his life, and overall problems that seem to follow the rapper wherever he goes. All done of a dope Daz production complete with violins and guitar licks.
2. All Bout U
The same ***** everywhere we go! 2Pac, Nate Dogg, and the Outlawz get down on this track about seeing the same females constantly. A very dope verse from Fatal complete this song lyrically. Also includes cameo’s from Dru Down and Snoop Doggy Dogg. Bass filled Johnny J. production
2Pac telling tales about pullin tricks on tricks, while Nate takes over the hook. Nice Daz production as well.
4. Got My Mind Made Up
This track has more of a East Coast feel to it as Daz and Pac start it off with G’d up yet MC-like verses, then on to the true MC performances of the track. First off is Kurupt with a metaphor induced verse. Next up is the Ticalian Stallion, Method man and as always with him is Redman to finish it off. Expect this to have the only East Coast vibe on the whole album
5. How Do U Want It.
The raunchiest song on the record complete with the catchy chorus from KC & Jojo of Jodeci.
6. 2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted
The concept definitely reflected the times! Both 2Pac and Snoop Doggy Dogg come correct and real on this track detailing how the federal government wants them out of the public eye. Also a very dark yet gangsta’d out beat provided by Daz. A political club banger… Who would have guessed?
7. No More Pain
Killing them softly over a bounce-music type of beat provided by Devante’ of Jodeci. This song is basically a “warning/flossing/can’t ***** with me” effort by Pac and not the last one to be heard on the album. The chorus which is taken from the Method Man hit “Bring the pain” has a chill effect when spoken by 2Pac.
8. Heartz Of Men
Pac’s most constant flow on the whole album over a DJ Quik beat with exerts from Richard Pryor. Very dope song with good use of wind instruments.
9. Life Goes On
A very emotional song that can break down the hardest nigga living. Like “Dear Mama” Pac succeeds at making the audience emotionally touched.
10. Only God Can Judge me
The greatest political effort on the whole album! Pac not only uses his own experience in this song but also his political philosophy on the state of black youth. A classic joint that till today sticks with us all. Good verse by Rappin 4-tay but it seems he is not on the same page as Pac himself and lacks the potent effect Pac has.
11. Tradin War Stories
It’s game. An OG concept of G’s with stripes reminiscing on old street war tales. Features a dope verse by C-bo, good efforts by EDI and Storm of Tha Outlawz, but Napoleon steals the show with his re-account of him witnessing his parents murder.
12. California Love (RMX)
Who can forget this early 1996 banger which features the good Dr. and Zapp artist, the late Roger Troutman? Even though this is not the version that became the hit radio and video single it holds it’s weight. Maybe even more so then the original. Dre’s popular orchestra-like beat style, G-funk’d out, is perfect for Pac’s verse where he gives love to Cali. Classic!
13. I Ain’t Mad At Cha
The third single off the album showcases the good chemistry between Danny Boy and 2Pac. Pac does what he does best by performing three very emotional verses while Danny Boy takes it away with his soulful chorus.
14. What’z Ya Phone #
The porno beat-like track seems to be the only out of place song on the album. The beat it self seems like a spin off of a Porno background beat. Though not bad, it’s not the greatest song on the album. Phone Sex on a rap song just ain‘t cracking.
1. Can’t C Me
What a way to start off the 2nd half of the double album.. With a beat that can blow your speakers the funk out! This intense track features the father of funk George Clinton who makes his clichÃ© weird yet can’t stop listening to vocal performance. Good ode to the funk and a very special production by Dr. Dre.
2. Shorty Wanna Be a Thug
Probably one of the best production efforts on the album. It is the epitome of that west coast sound. Concept: The tale of a YG (Young Gangsta for you squares) growing and learning the realities of the streets.
3. Holla At Me
“Thought y’all niggas was Gangstas” concept behind this fast paced song that basically calls out all comers. Good vocal effort by Jewell.
4. Wonda Why They Call U Bytch
We all know Pac has respect for the sistas.. But this women sympathetic song dissects why a woman is called a “*****”. Another deep thought song. Also a slap in the face to C Delores Tucker and her Hip-Hop witch hunt. Superior production from Johnny J.
5. When We Ride
The song that introduced the world to the Outlawz. Though now only down to three members as of 2003, this song features the original grouping of Tha Outlawz: Makaveli (Pac), Fatal, Kastro, Napoleon, EDI, Mussolini (Syke), Kadafi, and Kormaini (Mopream Shakur). Dope track.
6. Thug Passion
Another song for the ladies based on a Drink containing Cristal and Alize. Features Storm, the Outlawz, and nice vocals from Jewell.
7. Picture Me Rollin
More of a political song but with flossing twist. Basically Pac is poking fun at everyone who tried to keep him in jail or put him there. Mentioned are Government agencies, Clinton Correctional, and the District Attorney who tried his case. Dope verse from CPO the boss hog as well. Not to mention great production coming again from Johnny J.
8. Check Out Time
Another dope beat from Johnny J. Concept about a post panty raid at a hotel the next day. What else can I say? It’s Check out time! Kurupt comes real tight with another on-key rap which flows to the beat perfectly. Sub par verse from Syke though.
9. Rather Be Ya Nigga
This one again is for the ladies. But is about not being the main love, but the part time lover. The chemistry between Richie Rich and 2Pac shines on this one as Rich unlike the outlaws can keep up with Pac’s player type sensuality and raunchiness. Also another dope production effort from Bay Area producer Doug Rasheed.
10. All Eyez On Me
The title track which sums up the whole album concept. After all the drama surrounding Pac the last year and now that he is free; All eyez on him! The dope beat (later used by Nas on “Street Dreams”) is one of the more memorable beats by Johnny J as the whole album concept is laid into one song.
11. Run Tha Streetz
Story about business with the streets and then having to deal with his boo’s concerns. Staying up worrying, wondering if he will come home, and letting him do his thing. Comes with the territory when loving a thug nigga. Great Bass filled production.
12. Ain’t Hard 2 Find
Gangsta Shit! The beat is dead on with the feel of the lyrics as Pac, E-40, B-legit, C-Bo, and Richie Rich drop that G shit to a Mike Mosely beat. Lyrically 2Pac comes his strongest on this one. Ain’t nothing but a Bay Area party!
13. Heaven Ain’t Hard To Find
Ending on a positive note: Another Danny Boy – Pac Collaboration, which like before works out nice. Making a production appearance is QD3, son of Quincy Jones who makes a G-funk style ending to an almost perfect album.
After two discs of pure and raw game 2Pac finishes what probably is his most popular effort ever! Going 6 times platinum by September 1996 and eventually all the way to 9 times platinum, All Eyez On Me is seen by many as the peak of 2Pac’s skill. Definitely a classic album with it’s memorable cuts and catchy hooks. After all coming off of being shot, charged with rape, sent to prison and finally freed to the first place 2Pac found a home has to be a tremendous task for the average man. For 2Pac this was life, and all eyes were on him. I give this album a 5 out of 5: Classic!