“After Death” Tupac albums are almost as common as rappers claiming they’re gangster. It just happens all too much. While most of the albums released after ‘Pac’s death have been failry well put together (and in some cases, excellent), the fact is eventually they will run out of material to put out. Last year’s God awful “Loyal 2 The Game” featured some of Pac’s earliest (but finest) work being raped by chopped vocals and bland production. “Pac’s Life” is released on the verge of the 10th anniversary of the legendary rapper’s passing. 13 new tracks are featured, and how did they fair? On to the review:
1.) Untouchable (Swizz Beatz Remix) feat. Krayzie Bone: This Swizz Beatz club banger is VERY reminiscent of last year’s anthem “Spit Your Game” featuring Notorious B.I.G. & Krayzie Bone. This song however does fairly well. Nothing standing out, and the horns are a little repetitive. The true highlight of this track is Krayzie Bone, spitting rapid fire once again.
2.) Pac’s Life feat. Ashanti, T.I.: Produced by LT Hutton, and featuring two brand new artists (well at least since Pac’s passing). This song is terrible. While the beat is listenable, hearing T.I. rap to Pac really makes it obvious Pac has been gone for so long. Ashanti’s hook is decent, but the vocals combined with this beat doesn’t work. Another verse from “This Life I Lead” is used here. Really sloppy job. Skip it.
3.) Dumpin’ feat. Hussein Fatal, Papoose, Carl Thomas: This is truly a REAL highlight of the album. Hussein’s been removed from many Pac songs that he was originally featured, and is making up for lost time. Over a “Hail Mary” influenced beat, all 3 artists spit very good aggressive lyrics. Carl Thomas performs the hook perfectly. Easily one of the best tracks on the album.
4.) Playa Cardz Right (Female) feat. Keyshia Cole: The original beat and theme to this song is perfect. Not saying this is bad, but if you’ve ever heard the original, you’d automatically know which is the better. This is a very mellow song, and Keyshia Cole performs the hook and verses very well. ‘Pac is unfortunatley only on one verse and the outro. Good song never the less.
5.) Whatz Next feat. A3, Jay Rock: This song is very southern. The influence of the south in hip hop right now is too apparent here. While it does make for a good song if you’re into Three 6 Mafia or Young Dro, this isn’t Tupac’s type of work. His lyrics (as always) are on point though, but i can’t say the same for the other no name artists on this track. Average at best.
6.) Sleep feat. Young Buck, Chamillionaire: This album should be titled “Tupac & The Current Hip Hop Game”, because that is exactly what this album is shaping up to be. Chamillionaire is the only one (besides Pac) who does decent on this track. The beat doesn’t seem to fit the theme of the song at all, and makes for another dissapointing track.
7.) International feat. Nipsey Hussle, Young Dre: Too more no names plus a mediocre verse from ‘Pac make this THE worst track on the entire album. Another crunk beat is supplied to an already lacking song. This track is a complete mess. Skip It.
8.) Don’t Sleep feat. Kadafi, Nuttso, Lil Scrappy, Stormey: If you’ve heard the original, you’d know this was a very aggressive song. Pac’s lyrics hit a little less hard over this more traditional hip hop beat. The hook is decent, and Lil Scrappy suprisingly doesn’t ruin the song. Kadafi is featured here, as well as a surprising appearence from Nuttso. Production could’ve been better, but a stand out track in a dissapointing album thus far.
9.) Soon As I Get Home feat. Kadafi: Easily the best song on the album. This QD3 produced classic is lefted untouched and remastered. Featuring the two slain Outlawz, production couldn’t be better, and it’s great to finally hear this in CD quality. Perfect track, and a reason to buy the album, if anything.
10.) Playa Cardz Right (Male) feat. Ludacris, Keon Bryce: Decent song, not too far off from the female version. This is a little more soulful, and Ludacris is made to seem like he was in the studio with Pac. Great singing by Keon Bryce however, make for a good track.
11.) Don’t Stop feat. Big Syke, Kadafi, Stormey, Young Noble, E.D.I. Amin, Hussein Fatal: The original beat to this was a very smooth West coast beat. It was remade into a very modern sounding Outlawz beat. Subject matter is still the same here though; with Pac very cleverly dissing Bob Dole and C. Deloris Tucker. Great appearences by the ‘Lawz make for an above average track.
12.) Pac’s Life feat. Snoop Dogg, Chris Starr, T.I.: Same recycled beat, hook, and a new verse from Snoop. Very uninspired, and nothing new to the table. Considerably lazy coming from Amaru, if you’re going to remix a song, don’t just add another rapper. Snoop’s verse is on point, and a very good tribute though.
13.) Untouchable feat. Kadafi, Hussein Fatal, Gravy: Perfect acapella intro from Pac. Really sets the song off. This was a perfect way to end the album. Featuring yet another GREAT appearence from Hussein Fatal and fallen Outlaw, Kadafi, this is made into a really nice track. Gravy has no place here however, and decreases the credibility slightly. Other then that, no complaints on this one, it’s perfectly orchestrated to close out the album.
So, after listening to the album, one can determine Pac’s music has been tampered a little too much. Guest appearences from today’s hottest rappers will not help it sell anymore, trust me. REAL fans see right through it. Other then that, production could’ve been stepped up drastically. Better then “Loyal 2 The Game”? Of course. On the same level with “Still I Rise” or “Until The End Of Time”? Not even close. My advice to Amaru: Make an album produced by Johnny J, QD3, and DJ Quik featuring appearences from people Pac has actually worked with. Decent album none the less, but for his 10th anniversary, it’s lacking in too many aspects.