Me Against the World
Me Against the World is a hiphop bona fide masterpiece and in my opinion Pac’s best work. No one does the ‘black man backed in a corner’ routine better than 2Pac. “It’s called Me Against the World. So that is my truth,” he stated in a rare prison interview in 1995.
The album deviates from the more politically styled theme of his first two albums and takes a deeper/storytelling approach but still shows glimpses of his political and activism side. He leaned towards writing more reflective, thought-conscious and at times painful lyrics. Pac sets forth a lot of emotions and you can feel it behind his voice on the tracks.
“It was like a blues record, It was down home, It was all of my fears, all the things I just couldn’t sleep about,” he said. “Everybody thought I was living so well and doing so good that I wanted to explain it. And it took a whole album to get it out. I get to tell my innermost, darkest secrets I tell my own personal problems.”
The lyrics were superior and the production was sublime. Guest features were limited compared to his other albums. It is a true masterpiece and definitely one of the most important releases of the ‘90s. it debuted at #1 in the Billboard’s 200 pop album chart and stayed there for four consecutive weeks and spawned 3 singles that made their way into the Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart. Dear Mama, Pac’s heartfelt ode to his mother, proved to be the most popular single. On December 6th 1995 the album was certified double platinum.
Stand Out Tracks
I really had a difficult time selecting the stand out tracks because all of them are dope, so I just selected random tracks:
1. If I die tonight;
This is one of his most unique and poetic songs, it is also another one of his songs where he predicts his death.
I’m sick of psychotic society somebody save me
Addicted to drama so even mama couldn’t raise me
Even the preacher and all my teachers couldn’t reach me
I run in the streets and puffin weed wit my peeps
I’m ducking the cop, I hit the weed as I’m clutching my glock
Niggas is hot when I hit the block, what if I die tonight
2. Me Against the World;
Pac is emotional and outlines his frustrations in his life saying that nobody loves him and has nothing to lose.
The question is will I live? No one in the world loves me
I’m headed for danger, don’t trust strangers
Put one in the chamber whenever I’m feelin’ this anger
Don’t wanna make excuses, cause this is how it is
What’s the use unless we’re shootin’ no one notices the youth
It’s just me against the world baby
3. Heavy in the Game;
This dancehall influenced tracks lays out Pac’s strategy that has made him successful in the game and claims that: “I don’t care what it did to them, the game has been good to me.’
It’s hell, plus all the dealers want a meal ticket
Jealous-ass bitches, player-hating but we still kick it
Always keep my eyes on the prize, watch the police
Seen so much murder, neighborhoods getting no sleep
But still, I get my money on major, continuously
Communicating through my pager, niggas know me
Don’t have no homies cause they jealous, I hustle solo
4. Dear Mama;
This is probably his most popular song and is the lead single for this album. The song is a tribute to his mother, Afeni Shakur. And has been consistently ranked as the best of its genre.
Pour out some liquor and I reminisce, cause through the drama
I can always depend on my mama
And when it seems that I’m hopeless
You say the words that can get me back in focus
When I was sick as a little kid
To keep me happy there’s no limit to the things you did
And all my childhood memories
Are full of all the sweet things you did for me
5. Old School;
In this track Pac reminisces and pays tribute to the pioneers of hip hop who were mainly from New York saying; ‘What more could I say, I wouldn’t be here today If the old school didn’t pave the way’
I remember Mr. Magic, Flash, Grandmaster Caz
LL raising hell but, that didn’t last
Eric B. & Rakim was, the shit to me
I flip to see a Doug E. Fresh show, with Ricky D
And Red Alert was puttin in work, with Chuck Chill
Had my homies on the hill getting ill, when shit was real
Went out to steal, remember Raw, with Daddy Kane
When De La Soul was puttin Potholes in the game
Pac paints the picture of the outlaw that he is and this is depicted in the conversation that he has with an 11-year-old:
That’s right nigga you gotta get your papers in this motherfucker
I ain’t mad at ya at all (damn)
Aiyyo, what the fuck you wanna be when you grow up rahrah?
Nigga, is you stupid, I wanna be a motherfuckin’ outlaw
That’s right nigga, hahaha, housin’ these hoes, you feel me?
Aight, kno’ what I’m sayin’?
You got to do that shit, keepin’ it real nigga or what?
Keepin’ it real!
How old are you nigga?