2pac – Me Against The World (1995)
by astro man
Tupac Shakur’s third album Me Against The World is an album that is very personal. Tupac said “It was like a blues record. It was down-home. It was all my fears, all the things I just couldn’t sleep about. 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 all out. I get to tell my innermost, darkest secrets I tell my own personal problems.” Taking that statement and pairing it with this album gives an insight as to where this man was coming from; taking the problems that the ghetto life can bring, the fear it puts into people, and unfortunate circumstances that people are born into. Throughout this album you will find stories of paranoia, strength, fear, passion, love, and struggles.
In my opinion, Me Against The World is one of the best hip-hop albums to date. There is something that is to be found in all 15 tracks. There are profound lyrics throughout the album that are empowering to any human being. Tupac was gifted when it came to poetry utilizing skills like alliterations and couplets. The beats on this album are carefully placed, whether it’s the tempo or the hook that will catch your attention.
When this album was released, Shakur was serving time in prison. Some say that this helped boost sales of the album making it controversial. It is amazing to think about Tupac storming the charts, but he couldn’t publicize this or receive the recognition because he was behind bars. There is a broad spectrum of emotions covered throughout this album.Whether it is a love letter to his women or a salute to his thugs on the streets, Tupac gives a thorough introspective.
The opening track titled “Intro” gives the listener an eerie view into the speculations of Tupac’s first shooting. The song contains recordings of various new reporters talking about “Tupac News.” The next song “If I die Tonight” is a reflective song about the paranoia that fame and money has brought him.
The self titled track “Me Against The World” says it all about Tupac’s character. After being shot 5 times and then sentenced to prison, he was a man who really was against the world. With lyrics like…
“Be grateful for blessings
Don’t ever change, keep your essence
The power is in the people and politics we address
Always do your best, don’t let the pressure make you panic
And when you get stranded
And things don’t go the way you planned it
Dreamin of riches, in a position of makin a difference
Politicians and hypocrites, they don’t wanna listen
If I’m insane, it’s the fame made a brother change
It wasn’t nuttin like the game
It’s just me against the world.”
Tupac explains that even through the roughest times where you feel powerless, there is always hope.
“Through every dark night, there’s a bright day after that.” -Tupac Shakur
Some other notable tracks are “Lord Knows” and “Fuck The World.” “Lord Knows” paints a picture using dark tones of what living in the ghetto is like. He raps about the insanity the ghetto brings and the gloomy perspective of losing a homie to the streets.
“Dear Mama” is the most successful single of all the singles Tupac released. An emotional song that Tupac dedicated to his mother Afeni Shakur shows a loving side to Tupac. This song has been praised as one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time.
“Old School” all around has a nostalgic feel to it. Tupac raps about the lasting impressions the Old School left on him. He reminiscences about kicking with his homies, listening to De La Soul, and drinking some forty’s.
This album is not only for hip-hop lovers, but anyone who listens to music would appreciate this album. The message of this album is consistent and is a must listen front to back. I still remember the first time I listened to this album and the profound impact it has had on me. It has given me a perspective of life as a young black male in the streets. It has also given me the confidence and understanding that this is your only life and chance to do your best.
Listen to the full album on spotify.
Buy the album on amazon.