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Me Against the World

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Me Against the World
Me Against the World
Studio album by 2Pac

Released

14 March 1995

Recorded

Early 1993 - November 1994 at Enterprise Studios, Unique Studios, Soundcastle, Pure Studios, Mobboss Studios, Echo Sound, Encore Studios, 12 Trak Studios, Westlake Audio and Quad Studios

Genre

Hip hop, West Coast hip hop, gangsta rap, g-funk

Label

Out da Gutta/Interscope/Atlantic

Producer

Sam Bostic, Brian G, D-Flizno Production Squad, DF Master Tee, Easy Mo B., Ezi Cut, Jay-B, Johnny "J", Mike Mosley, Moe Z.M.D., Moses, Tony Pizarro, Jill Rose, Shock G, Soulshock & Karlin, Le-morrious "Funky Drummer" Tyler

2Pac chronology

Previous

Thug Life: Volume 1 (1994)

Next

All Eyez on Me (1996)

Me Against the World is the third studio album by American rapper Tupac Shakur, released in 1995 on Interscope Records. The album was composed of un-used tracks from the "Thug Life era", and from other studio sessions from 1993 to 1994. It was his impending prison sentence, troubles with the police and Shakur being poor which many believe might have contributed to Shakur's artistic re-emergence on record.

Me Against the World, released while Shakur was serving a jail sentence for sexual assault, made an immediate impact on the charts, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200. This made Shakur the first artist to have an album debut at number one on the Billboard 200 while serving time in prison. The album served as one of Shakur's most positively reviewed albums, with many calling it the magnum opus of his career, and is considered one of the greatest and most influential hip hop albums of all time. It achieved double platinum status, and has sold 3,524,567 copies in the United States as of 2011.

BackgroundEdit

In 1993, Tupac Shakur was a success in the hip hop scene, with two gold-certified singles that reached the Top Twenty on the pop charts ("I Get Around", "Keep Ya Head Up"), and a platinum-selling sophomore album that would just peak inside the top twenty-five of the Billboard 200 (Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z...). However, the 22-year-old artist had a series of incidents and charges of breaking the law following his breakthrough. In the summer of 1993, Shakur was charged for assaulting director Allen Hughes of the Hughes Brothers while filming Menace II Society and was later sentenced to fifteen days in jail. Later, in October 1993, Shakur was charged with shooting two off-duty police officers in Atlanta, though the charges would eventually be dismissed. In November, Shakur and two members of his entourage were charged with sexually assaulting a female fan, for which they were found guilty and sentenced to 4.5 years in jail.

Recording and productionEdit

The musical production on the album was considered by several music critics to be the best on any of Shakur's albums up to that point in his career. While entrusting production with previous collaborators Shock G and Stretch, Shakur also collaborated with a number of new producers, including Johnny "J", Mike Mosley, Moe Z.M.D., and East Coast producers Easy Mo Bee and Tony Pizarro. The album's production features a G-funk sound that is more prevalent than in his previous albums.

Me Against the World features the debut appearances of Yaki Kadafi, Kastro and E.D.I. Mean, who appear as members of Dramacydal (a group that would later be merged into Outlawz). Richie Rich is the only other rapper featured on the album, although a number of singers were enlisted to perform the hooks of some songs. The album's recording sessions took place at ten different studios, while it was mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering.

Lyrical themesEdit

According to Shakur, the album was made to show the hip hop audience his respect for the art form. Lyrically, Shakur intentionally attempted to make the album more personal and reflective than his previous efforts. Some of the album's main themes involve paranoia, the loss of innocence, and occasional self-loathing. Much attention is paid to subjects such as the pain of urban survival.

Some tracks, such as the song "Old School", lean more to a nostalgic, though somewhat bittersweet side in Shakur's remembrance of his youth and the early days of hip hop music. The album is also well known for the sensitive song "Dear Mama", in which Shakur expresses his devotion and appreciation for his mother Afeni Shakur, and reminds her that although his actions may prove otherwise that "you are appreciated". Throughout the entire of the album Shakur employs various poetical deliveries, ranging from the use of alliteration on "If I Die 2Nite" to the use of paired couplets on "Lord Knows".

Track listingEdit

No. Title Performer(s) Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro" - - Tony Pizarro, Jill Rose (co.) 1:40
2. "If I Die 2Nite" 2Pac Clarke, Durham, Harvey, Shakur, Wright Easy Mo B. 4:01
3. "Me Against the World" 2Pac, Dramacydal Bacharach, David, Ripperton, Rudolph, Shakur, Ware Soulshock & Karlin 4:40
4. "So Many Tears" 2Pac Baker, Jacobs, Shakur, Walker, Wonder D-Flizno Production Squad (Shock G and Stretch) 3:59
5. "Temptations" 2Pac Clinton, Harvey, Murdock, Shakur, Shider, Spradley, Troutman, Troutman Easy Mo B. 5:00
6. "Young Niggaz" 2Pac Blackmon, Jenkins, Leftenat, Moe Z., Shakur, Singleton, Tyler Moe Z.M.D., Le-morrious "Funky Drummer" Tyler 4:53
7. "Heavy in the Game" 2Pac, Richie Rich Bostic, Mosley, Shakur Mike Mosley, Sam Bostic 4:23
8. "Lord Knows" 2Pac, Natasha Walker Shakur Brian G, Moe Z.M.D. (add.), Tony Pizarro (add.) 4:31
9. "Dear Mama" 2Pac Pizarro, Sample, Shakur Tony Pizarro, DF Master Tee (co.), Moses (co.) 4:40
10. "It Ain't Easy" 2Pac Pizarro, Shakur Tony Pizarro 4:53
11. "Can U Get Away" 2Pac Beverly, Mosley, Shakur Mike Mosley 5:45
12. "Old School" 2Pac Buchanan, Shakur, Tilery Soulshock, Jay-B (co.), Ezi Cut (co.) 4:40
13. "Fuck the World" 2Pac Jacobs, Shakur Shock G 4:13
14. "Death Around the Corner" 2Pac Jackson, Shakur Johnny "J" 4:07
15. "Outlaw" 2Pac, Dramacydal Moe Z., Shakur Moe Z.M.D. 4:33

Notes

  • Track 1 features guitar performed by Darryl Crooks, and the voices of Dan O'Leary, Debby Hambrick, Sarah Diamond, Jay Jensen and Jill Rose.
  • Track 3 features background vocals performed by Puff Johnson.
  • Track 4 features keyboards performed by The Piano Man, guitar performed by Eric "Kenya" Baker, and background vocals performed by Thug Life, Digital Underground and Stretch.
  • Track 6 features background vocals performed by Moe Z.M.D., Killa, Milia and L. Tyler, and adlibs/hook performed by G. Money.
  • Track 7 features background vocals performed by Eboni Foster, Lady Levi and Richie Rich, and guitar performed by Ronnie Vann.
  • Track 8 features background vocals performed by Natasha Walker of Y.N.V., Kim Armstrong, Kenyatta Forman, Killa and G-Money.
  • Track 9 features background vocals performed by Reggie Green and "Sweet Franklin".
  • Track 15 features background vocals performed by Rah Rah.

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