Listen to Ma$e, “When NY Was NY”
It goes without saying that people remember Tupac Shakur as a Californian. Even if it weren't for the East-West beef that drew party lines down the middle of the music industry, Los Angeles and Oakland were ever-present in his music. Those better versed in his background might point to his adolescent stint at the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he studied ballet and theater. What few people talk about is Pac's childhood in New York. Born in East Harlem just a few weeks after his mother, a Black Panther, was acquitted on more than 150 charges of "Conspiracy against the United States government and New York landmarks," the young Shakur lived in Gotham until he was 15. Maybe that's what Ma$e is referencing on his newest song, "When NY Was NY." Otherwise, it would be near-impossible to explain why the one-time Bad Boy star is advocating New York revivalism over the Dr. Dre-produced and -featuring single from Pac's 1996 opus, All Eyez On Me. Geographical confusion aside, it's the hardest Ma$e has sounded in years and years.