When discussing which 2Pac album is the best, three come to mind, ‘Me Against the World'(MATW) All Eyez on Me’ (AEOM) and ‘The Don Killuminati 7 Day Theory. 2Pac’s earlier albums ‘2Pacalypse Now’ and ‘Stricly 4 My N*****’ is respected by his fanbase.
Although the messages between the albums are similar, they lack the tasteful production, top tier lyricism and energy that his three later projects contain. Also, MATW, AEOM and The 7 Day Theory are timeless albums, whereas 2Pacalyse Now and Strictly 4 My N***** doesn’t mesh with the contemporary music scene as it has outdated production and average lyricism compared to the modern-day lyricists.
All three projects, MATW, AEOM and The 7 Day Theory, are classical albums for their top tier lyricism, music production, impact on Hip/Hop Culture and more. These three albums made history in the US music scene. AEOM was the first successful solo double album which is 2 hours and 22 minutes long, consisting of 27 tracks.
MATW was the first album in history to debut number one on the Billboard charts 200 while the artist serves time in prison. The 7 Day Theory was finished in seven days and became number one on the Billboard charts 200 after 2Pac passed away. These projects represent a different persona to the Californian rapper.
MATW is superior to The 7 Day Theory and AEOM. High quality lyricism and music production isn’t exclusive to MATW as The 7 Day Theory and AEOM share these qualities. It is MATW structure that gives it an advantage over AEOM.
Both MATW and The 7 Day Theory have a core theme. MATW central subject matter is 2Pac facing the hardships the world has brought to his life. These difficulties involve poverty, violence, problems with the law, and fake love.
AEOM lacks a core theme because it was created merely for commercial success. AEOM is rough around the edges as it covers party-friendly songs, the hardship 2Pac comes across, and brief disses towards 2Pac’s enemies. Rapping on various topics led to the album comprising of fillers. The 7 Day Theory main topic is 2Pac taking the opportunity to represent the West Coast in the East-West Coast beef and attack his foes.
2Pac through, MATW consisting of 15 tracks establishes a poignant vibrancy while expressing his journey in life. MATW highlights the improvement in 2Pac’s lyricism compared to his early work in ‘2Pacalypse Now’ and ‘Strictly 4 My N*****’. The Californian rapper’s storytelling is evidence of his enhanced lyrical ability. 2Pac shares explicit, detailed, well-structured verses in songs, such as ‘Young N*****’, ‘Death Around The Corner’, ‘If I Die Tonight’ and ‘Can U Get Away’.
2Pac utilises this ability to communicate his inner emotions to build a strong bond between himself and his fanbase. Through ‘So Many Tears’, the rapper distresses on the torment he’s dealing with as he comes from the ghetto where violence is common, his mental health isn’t 100% and a place that takes his hope away. The energy he delivers makes you feel the distraught he bears on a daily occurrence.
2Pac manifesting his emotions through his music is what he’s best at and is why his fans connect with the Californian rapper. Through displaying his sentiments in MATW, 2Pac becomes a relatable figure.
The 7 Day Theory has a similar album composition as MATW, consisting of 12 tracks with a focused subject matter. However, the album’s core theme was altered, which reduced the clarity of the message 2Pac intended for The 7 Day Theory.
Death Row Records changed 2Pac’s final cut with the tracklist, structure and sound for the album. ‘The Don Killumanti 3 Day Theory’ was the initial name for the album, consisting of 14 tracks that have songs removed, remixed and featuring on later posthumous albums. That said, 2Pac didn’t shape the album himself as he did for MATW because of Death Row Record’s final decision.
The songs removed from the album’s final cut didn’t have features. The tracks added to The 7 Day Theory featured the Outlawz, Aaron Hall, Danny Boy, K-CI and Jojo. Those songs being ‘Life of An Outlaw’, Just Like Dady’ and ‘Toss It Up’.
Adding these tracks damaged the message 2Pac wanted to convey for the entire album because they were unfinished, hence the featured artists. When you highlight the tunes removed and replaced, it is evident that the message 2Pac intended is deformed. The original songs, ‘Watch Ya Mouth’, ‘Friends’ and ‘When Thugz Cry’ showcase the rapper’s sociopathic persona towards his enemies, which inlines with the general subject matter for The 7 Day Theory.
The songs ‘Just Like Daddy’ and ‘Toss It Up’ have little relevance to the album’s core theme. They fail to have an ominous production, which the majority of the album has. ‘Life Of An Outlaw’ fits with the rest of the album as the song has similar lyrics and production. However, 2Pac didn’t finish the tune plus the Outlawz overshadow 2Pac with their presence.
The tracklist 2Pac composed included ‘N***** Nature’ and ‘Lost Souls’. They divert from the cutthroat lyricism and sinister instrumental. However, they were complete tracks from 2Pac and, has a reason for placing them on the album, unlike the three songs on the final cut.
Overall, MATW is the better project compared to AEOM and The 7 Day Theory. The album’s shape gives it an advantage over The 7 Day Theory and AEOM as the core theme is communicated well. In terms of AEOM vs The 7 Day Theory, the decision leans to AEOM. However, that is for another discussion.
All three albums are classics that will always be remembered for 2Pac’s lyricism, ambience and impact on the music scene. 2Pac’s death is unfortunate as it would be wondrous to see the work he would create in today’s music scene as Nas and Jay Z has done. Long live Tupac Amaru Shakur, one of the greatest of all time.