Here, XXL lists 2Pac's official and unofficial albums. —XXL Staff
2Pacalypse, 2Pac’s debut album in 1991, paved the way for what proved to be a legendary career. 'Pac showed he was more mature than his age 20 years with socially-impactful tracks like “Young Black Male” and “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” the latter delving into the touchy subject of teen pregnancy. The video remains timeless in the annals of classic hip-hop clips.
Many MCs have suffered a sophomore slump, but not 2Pac. Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., ’Pac’s highly-anticipated follow-up to 2Pacalypse, helped the young MC attain a new status—platinum certification. Singles such as “Keep Ya Head Up” and “I Get Around” showed two contrasting sides of Shakur and helped propel the 16-track disc to over one million records sold.
The group's debut album, Thug Life: Volume 1, finds members Big Syke, Macadoshis, Mopreme, The Rated R, and 2Pac taking the socially-conscious route and rhyming about the inner-city mishaps. Featuring a number of standout cuts, including the ghetto requiem "Pour Out A Little Liquor," the smooth, yet in-your-face "Str8 Ballin” and the popular "Cradle to the Grave," the album would eventually be certified Gold.
Regarded by fans as the magnum opus of his career as well as one of his best pieces of work, 2Pac's Grammy-nominated third studio album garnered many accolades. Released while he was imprisoned—for an alleged sexual assault— the critically acclaimed Me Against the World debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making 'Pac the first rapper to score a No. 1 album while serving time in prison. Featuring the singles, "So Many Tears," "Temptations," and the warm-hearted "Dear Mama," the album would go on to be multi-platinum.
Released as 'Pac’s fourth studio album, the Harlem-born, West Coast rapper found a way to top charts with this two-disc set. With six famous singles released — “Ambitionz Az a Ridah,” “How Do U Want It,” “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted,” “I Ain’t Mad At Cha,” “California Love,” “Can’t C Me” and “All Eyez On Me” — the album took the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. All Eyez On Me became 2Pac’s highest-selling album, moving almost six million units.
Regarded as an undoubted classic rap LP, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory was released less than a month following Tupac’s death and was the first of 13 official posthumous albums for the legendary MC. It included enthralling records such as “Hail Mary,” “White Man’z World” and “Against All Odds,” while ’Pac hit the strip clubs hard with “Toss It Up.”
The sheer volume of how many songs 2Pac recorded allowed his music to live on far after his death. R U Still Down, a double LP equipped with 26 tracks, was ’Pac’s second of a long string of posthumous albums that was able to see the light after his 1996 passing. This double CD set included hits such as “Do For Love” and “I Wonder If Heaven Got a Ghetto.”
The third official album release after Pac’s death, Greatest Hits became the Death Row artist’s second highest-selling success, pushing almost five million copies. Also released as a two-disc album, 2Pac’s estate put out 25 of his most memorable songs for fans to bump. From “Brenda’s Got a Baby” to “Picture Me Rollin’,” “Hail Mary” to “Unconditional Love” and “Hit ’Em Up,” Greatest Hits showed why ’Pac has been named one of the best artists of all time.
Featuring the Outlawz, 2Pac's third posthumous album, filled with unreleased material and remixes following his death, features a few solid tracks. Songs like the undeniable "Letter to the President," the smooth sequel to "Keep Your Head Up," "Baby Don't Cry (Keep Your Head Up II)," and "Still I Rise," are what makes the album interesting.
Matching a book by the name of the same title, The Rose That Grew From Concrete: Volume 1 featured everyone from Mos Def to Dead Prez, the Outlawz, Quincy Jones and even Malcolm Jamal Warner, who most famously played Theo on The Cosby Show. Of course, they did it in honor of Tupac, but the rap legend’s main presence is felt in the interlude and opening track to the CD.
Nearly five years after Tupac’s death, his music kept staying alive. Until the End of Time marked another double posthumous album for the fallen star. This set was most known for introspective hits such as “Letter 2 My Unborn” and the title track itself, “Until The End of Time.”
The seventh official posthumous album released by the notorious gangster rapper proved that even in death he would always be one of the “greatest rappers alive.” Selling almost half a million records in its first week, Better Dayz was just units away from going double platinum. Singles such as “Thugz Mansion,” “Who Do U Believe In” and the title track were proof that 2Pac was much more than the guarded exterior people came to know.
Tupac - Resurrection - Front
The critically-acclaimed Academy Award-nominated film documenting ’Pac's life and career before passing, received the soundtrack treatment, featuring a load of remixed ("One Day At A Time," "Ghost," and "Runnin’ (Dyin' to Live") and original material ("Holler If You Hear Me," "Death Around the Corner," "Secretz Of War," etc.). Eminem was given permission by ’Pac’s mother Afeni Shakur to executive produce the project and Em did it justice, as the soundtrack debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.
2Pac Loyal To The Game 2004 Album Cover
Dropping just a week before Christmas, Shakur found a way to take the Billboard charts once again. Loyal to the Game reached No. 1 on the Rap Albums, R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Billboard 200 charts just weeks after its release. The EP included singles such as “Ghetto Gospel” and “Thugs Get Lonely Too,” tracks that certainly showed the inner-battle 'Pac went through during his lifetime.
Although this served as 'Pac’s lowest-grossing official posthumous album of all time, the message behind the music didn’t fall with its sales. “Black Woman” is a spoken word track that gives love to all Black women. And, “When Ur Hero Falls” is a ballad that speaks on the hopelessness and loss of faith experienced when losing someone you believe in. This is one of ’Pac’s most underrated works.
The 13-track album sold almost 500,000 units. With singles like “Playa Cardz Right” (now more famous for Keyshia Cole’s 2008 remake) and “Soon As I Get Home,” ’Pac took his fans through the struggles of his life and still reminded them that he’ll always have something for the streets to rock to.
After other gratifying double-disc sets like the Greatest Hits album, this 2007 release features much fewer songs. Contained of primarily remixes ("Dear Mama (Remix)," "Resist the Temptation") and a couple of original tracks, Thug focuses on ’Pac's rebel side (i.e. "2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted").
The other side to the two-part collection, Life features more of ’Pac's introspective character. Quintessential reflective tracks such as "Keep Ya Head Up," "Brenda's Got A Baby," and "Thugz Mansion," gives the vibe that the album is more of a celebration of live while remaining socially conscious.
1997, 1 in 21: A Tupac Shakur Story
1998, In His Own Words
1998, Pac & Biggie You Never Heard
1999, Remixes: A Tupac Shakur Story
1999, 1 in 21: The Remixes
1999, The Here After [Austrailia] [Japan]
2000, Makaveli 2000
2000, Makaveli 2: When My Enemies Fall
2000, Makaveli 3: Hit ‘Em Up
2000, Makaveli 4
2000, Makaveli 5
2000, Makaveli 6
2000, Makaveli 7
2000, Makaveli 9
2000, Makaveli 10
2000, Makaveli 11
2000, Makaveli 12
2000, Makaveli 13
2000, Makaveli 14
2000, Makaveli 15
2000, Makaveli 16
2000, Makaveli 17
2000, In Conversation
2000, The Lost Tapes: Circa 1989
2000, Afeni Shakur Discusses “The Rose That Grew From Concrete, Vol. 1”
2003, The Prophet: The Best of the Works
2003, Nu-Mixx Klazzics
2003, Tupac & Friends
2004, 2Pac Live
2005, Thugg Life Mix
2005, Sunset Blvd.
2005, Ready 2 Die
2005, The Prophet Returns
2005, Live at the House of Blues
2005, Live My Life
2005, Words Never Die
2005, The Very Best of Death Row
2005, Thug Life
2006, 15 Years On Death Row: The Definitive Collection
2006, Deadly Sins
2006, The Way He Wanted It Book 1
2006, The Way He Wanted It: Book 2
2006, A Decade of Silence
2006, A 2Pac Tribute: Dare to Struggle
2006, Shining Serpant
2006, Makaveli’s Return
2007, The Thug Story
2007, The 10th Anniversary Collection: Sex, Soul & Street
2007, The Way He Wanted It Vol. 3
2007, Nu-Mixx Klazzics Vol. 2 (Evolution: Duets and Remixes)
2007, Legend of Hip Hop
2007, Beginnings: The Lost Tapes 1988-1991
2007, Death Row Dayz
2007 Live It Up
2008, The Way He Wanted It Vol. 4
2008, Life of an Outlaw
2009, The Legend
2009, Thug Revolution
2009, Picture MY Pain
2010, The Way He Wanted It Vol. 5
In his short, yet impactful life, Tupac Shakur recorded and released an innumerable amount of music. While a lot of it was released while he was still living, even more came out after his untimely death, proving that 'Pac lived and breathed hip-hop.
Here, XXL lists 2Pac's official and unofficial albums. —XXL Staff