I’ve decided to start a new feature here at Living with Balls. It will be called from Worst to First. In this feature, I will take a legendary musician(s) who has released several records and rank their worst album all the way to their best album. This will primarily be rap music but I will try and keep it diverse for the sake of my readers. Hopefully the column will spark some debate in the comment section.
The first person featured will be my all-time favorite rapper: Tupac Shakur. He’s had a lot of albums released, both dead and alive. So let’s get started.
For the record, I will only be focusing on the albums that were released while he was alive or shortly after his death. Although there were a few good songs on the many albums released after that, they are mostly crappy and aren’t worthy of being mentioned here. So I will stick to mainly the albums he released while he was alive plus Makaveli and R U Still Down? Also his Greatest Hits album will not be included since…well it’s a greatest hits album.
Thug Life: Volume 1
Technically this isn’t a true 2pac album since its features a few of his boys as well. However just about every track has 2pac on it, so we’ll count it. Although this album is pretty solid there really aren’t many memorable tracks here, therefore it ranks at the bottom.
Best Song: How Long Will They Mourn Me
Honorable Mention(s): Don’t Get it Twisted, Pour out a Little Liquor
This album is much different than his other albums because it has a very old school feeling to it. Since it was released at the beginning of the 90s it still has a lot of 80s-type beats that I’m not really a fan of. His lyrics are also a little raw at this point in his career and you don’t really see his lyrical skills until a few years later. Still there are a few classic songs on this album.
Best Song: If my Homie Calls
Honorable Mention(s): Brenda’s Got a Baby, Tha Lunatic
Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.
Just like 2pacalypse Now this album is a little too old school for my taste. However it features one of my favorite 2pac songs of all time: I Get Around.
Best Song: I Get Around
Honorable Mention: Keep Ya Head Up, Holla if Ya Hear Me
R U Still Down? (Remember Me)
This two-disc set is filled with a smorgasbord of underrated 2pac songs. Do For Love and I Wonder if Heaven’s Got a Ghetto were great songs that got their share of airplay but songs like Hell Razor and When I Get Free, which never really that popular, make the album worth owning.
Best Song Disc 1: Hell Razor
Honorable Mention(s): R U Still Down?, Thug Style
Best Song Disc 2: When I Get Free II
Honorable Mention(s): Do For Love, I Wonder if Heaven’s Got a Ghetto
Me Against the World
This was the album that really catapulted Tupac into the mainstream music scene. Me Against the World reached #1 on the billboard charts, all while Tupac was serving time in prison. Songs like “Dear Mama” and “So Many Tears” are two classic and timeless rap songs that still resonate today. The one criticism of this album is the lack of upbeat songs. This is a very solemn album and features several depressing and grave topics. This isn’t the type of album you can bump in your car with the windows open and the speakers blaring.
Best Song: So Many Tears
Honorable Mention(s): Me Against the World, Dear Mama
The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (As Makaveli)
It’s really a shame that Tupac was gunned down in his prime because he continued to get better with each album. Tupac puts on his best lyrical performance on this album and after listening to it you can see why he ended up dying young. This is his most rugged and violent piece of work and the lyrics on the album reflect the violent path his life had taken during the final months of his life. The 7 Day Theory also has my personal all-time favorite Tupac song: “Hail Mary”.
Best Song: Hail Mary
Honorable Mention(s): Bomb First, Me and My Girlfriend, Against All Odds, Blasphemy, Toss it Up
All Eyez on Me
This is not only Tupac’s best album but, in my opinion, the best rap album ever made. This two disc-set is filled with classic hits and can be played straight through without skipping any bad songs. All Eyez on Me went nine times platinum and ranks seventh all-time among the best-selling rap albums. There are so many good songs on here I’m not sure if I can pick a favorite.
Best Songs Disc 1: Ambitionz az a Ridah, 2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted
Honorable Mention(s): I Ain’t Mad at Cha, How Do You Want it, All About U
Best Songs Disc 2: All Eyez on Me, Can’t C Me
Honorable Mention(s): Picture Me Rollin, Holla at Me, Wonda Why they Call U Bitch
Tupac fans… Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment
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