Celebrating 2Pac’s Me Against The World 18th Anniversary
2Pac was born on June 16, 1971 and died on September 13, 1996, but his legacy was birthed on March 14, 1995. On this day 18 years ago, Pac's third studio album, Me Against The World, was released and rap hasn't been the same since. Because of this album and the controversy surrounding it, critics and fans have used the work as a litmus test for "realness" in rap. With Me Against The World, Pac took the opportunity to address his many run-ins with the law, his feelings towards friends-turned-enemies, paranoia and even his own mortality. The fact that his words were backed up by the truth via news headlines resonated with people around the world, making it his definitive body of work. To celebrate its impact here is a list of tidbits that make this album one of the most influential of all time.
Easy Mo Bee
2Pac and Biggie will forever be connected to each other and producer Easy Mo Bee is one of the many reasons why. Mostly known for producing key tracks for Ready To Die, Mo Bee also made “If I Die 2 Nite” and “Temptations” on this album.
End Of An Era
Due to the vulnerability expressed throughout the album, especially on the lead single “Dear Mama,” Me Against The World played a role in slowing down the “Gangsta Rap” reign in early to mid-1990s.
Letters From Jail
Before jail time became a marketing ploy for rappers, Me Against The World showed that prison bars can move people just as much as lyrical ones. Despite releasing three video singles, Pac appeared in none of them, as he was serving a sentence on rape charges during the album’s release. The album also marked the first time an artist had an #1 album on Billboard while in jail.
Among his many accomplishments as a recording artist, 2Pac’s Me Against The World goes down in history as outselling Bruce Springsteen’s Greatest Hits album upon its release.
One Man Army
To be such an attention-grabbing figure, 2Pac’s albums always had a lot of features. But Me Against The World only had four songs with guest appearances, leaving room for this album to be called his magnum opus.
Walk With The Reaper
A large part of Pac’s mythical status can be attributed to him rapping about his death in detail. Songs like “Death Around The Corner,” “Outlaw,” “If I Die 2 Nite” and “Lord Knows” acted as audio wills with him seeming preparing for his impending death.
Real Enough For Radio
If judged by today’s standards, Me Against The World has no club bangers or radio smashes. But when it was released, the introspective album saw three charting singles; “Dear Mama,” “So Many Tears” and “Temptations.”
Me Against The World was among the first ever Grammy nominees for Rap Album of the Year. Surprisingly, it didn't win. The award went to Naughty By Nature's Poverty's Paradise. Which album do you still own?
Anyone that has listened to Pac hard enough knows that at one time rapper/producer Randy “Stretch” Walker was one of his closest friends. But after suspecting him of being involved in his 1994 shooting at Quad Studios in New York City, Stretch’s cameo on “So Many Tears” was removed.
Last Ride Before The Row
Much of 2Pac’s legacy is connected to the venomous tirades he spat while signed to Death Row Records. Me Against The World may be considered the last album he created before crossing over to the darkside.