Classics / Canon edition of the DiS Hip-Hop Listening Club


#461

I’m comfortable calling We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service a classic


#462

I’d agree, I hadn’t even clocked that it had been released as a double album


#463

oh man i love just about all those that i listed. wu forever is up there!


#464

idk about this, havent really had the itch to delve back in to this too much since the initial rush. need to give it more time, personally.


#465

plenty of heavyweights… but classics? I think Wu-Tang Forever isn’t a classic precisely because it’s too long

(I know it’s tedious to worry about whether things are ‘classics’ too seriously, just fun to debate. Definitely never once thought Enter the 36 Chambers drags on a bit)


#466

blacked out and forgot what thread I was in, my bad


#467

well i would def classify wu forever as a classic. others are just personal classics, admittedly.


#468

such a weird thing.


#469

There are only 3 “proper” (i.e. not double counted) diamond certified rap albums

Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP
Eminem - The Eminem Show

and

MC Hammer, Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt 'Em


#470

nah Beastie Boys (Licensed to Ill) and Nelly (Country Grammar) too I believe

surprised Hammer went diamond but Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince didn’t

surprised Nellyville contained both Dilemma and Hot in Herre and didn’t


#471

Yeah, not sure about worldwide sales, those are US only. Makes sense a few others tipped the scale globally


#472

Dad Bod Rap Pod did a good episode where they went through the top 10 and discussed how many were actually any good. That’s where i heard the double album fact.


#473

Like others have said, Me Against the World is probably his best album front to back, though I think Makveli is underrated these days and probably just behind it. AEoM is his crowning achievement, though naturally patchier. While 2Pac isn’t really thought of as an album artist, for me he finished his career having recorded three classic records in 2 years and that ain’t bad.

His music isn’t even really about the “rapping” for me, even though he could bust out a flow when he wanted to. His typical flow is a kind of mournful sing song, that carries a weight in songs like “If I Die 2Nite”, “So Many Tears”, “Dear Mama”. People said that rappers didn’t sing before the 00s but Pac was singing through every track. No rappers bared their soul, but 2Pac always was.

His kind of universality… No one ever matched it. Few rappers have managed to show the depth of emotion in their voice. Fewer have balanced that with sounding as hard as you needed to to make it in the gangster rap scene.

That’s why I think this record, and his catalogue in general, holds up so well. Musically it is kind of dated, though it by and large is very well produced and still sounds good. Even as a kid I thought some of the cheesy female R&B vocals, like those on “Me Against the World” were at odds with him (2Pac wasn’t a great singer, but had a great voice and could carry those tracks on his own). But despite many immitators, no one’s ever beaten Pac at his game. It still feels like lightening in a bottle when he hits his stride which is… pretty much every track here. A true, timeless classic.


#474

I mean it’s certainly not identical throughout. But 9 out of the 15 tracks (and the 5 of the first 6 tracks excluding the short intro skit) are all firmly in that 90-96 bpm range, with nearly identical drum patterns, which in some parts of 90s rap was perhaps overused to the point of becoming cliched. It’s not alone in this - for example it’d be one of my few criticisms of Midnight Marauders too. Throw in the fact that they’re all centred around a very similar bass tone and those cheesy soft keyboards, and for me many tracks become a bit indistinguishable from one another and flow by without really keeping my attention.

It’s not a deal breaker by any means. As I said, the formula is a pretty good one, and actually in isolation I think that most of those 90-96 bpm tracks end up being more successful than those that do change things up a bit (Dear Mama, Can You Get Away, etc.) Tracks like Young N****z are infectious, and the addition of the slinky guitar line on It Ain’t Easy and the flute line/sample on Old School create something wonderful.

So I still think it’s a classic, but the lack of musical diversity means that it gets far less plays than 36 Chambers, Amerikkka’s Most Wanted, and Ready to Die, for example.


#475

Aye. For this very reason, when this became a boilerplate for rap music, and then the formula got stretched unbelievably thin on the 2Pac-lite posthumous cash in albums I got pretty bored of him.

Now music has long moved on and few people are trying to make music like it, it’s actually come into it’s own again for me. It’s kind of samey but also very distinct, no one really sounds like him and no one scratches the same itch for me


#476

He’s easily one of the most charismatic musicians of all time isn’t he. Listening back to this album, I love his style of half-sung raps over slow moving chords. Life Goes On is also a good example of this style. Great album


#477

struggling with the production of this… the backing vocals @littlebirds said and cheesy soft keyboards @FKA_Adam_Jeffson said. complaints about the saminess of this and the all over the shopness of killer mike… you can’t win! understand both complaints though.

guess ‘so many tears’ is the one for me here, it slaps and that sax riff is a cool hook.


#478

Tru 2 da Game too


#479

Just sticking my head in dudes been constantly lurking but never felt I had the time to contribute properly (work is bananas at the moment - I’m my firm’s ‘Brexit co-ordinator’ which is as dreadful as it sounds, one silver lining is that it might chill out around March 2019 and I might be able to contribute a bit more. Please, please keep the fires burning till then!)

So… Me Against The World. Going to admit off the bat that the last time I heard this would probably have been in 1995. 2pac just wasn’t clicking for me at the time and can say it was probably the same for most of my pals too - some of the other older heads in this thread (looking @CHAIRMAN_LMAO!) might have another view, but it was my impression that he wasn’t massively rated in the UK at the time. Never gave him his proper due until I heard All Eyez On Me the following year (and when I was living in the US), and that one (and to a lesser extent the Makaveli album) absolutely blew my mind. Since then I’ve had kind of a strange relationship with his back catalogue - almost like I haven’t wanted to listen to his other records because I was worried that it might take the edge off AEOM, but turns out I was being stupid (again). This is prime time material.

As others have said, think 2pac actually improves with age. What possibly came off at the time as cheesy (at least when compared to the hard knock, ‘keeping’ it real’ emcees that were prevalent in his era) are the things that make him great - his massive charisma and the emotion he’s able to pull out of the simplest songs. Me Against The World is probably even better than AEOM in this regard - Dear Mama, and So Many Tears are pretty much perfect examples of what I wouldn’t have liked at the time but think are great now.

Haven’t got much to add to what’s been said about it very comprehensively upthread, but I’ve really enjoyed listening to this this week so wanted to drop a comment in. Kind of like going a memory lane that never was, but maybe should have been, if that doesn’t sound too highfalutin… Massive cheers to whoever picked it. Probably have to deep dive into the rest of his early stuff now, too


#480

Read this post this morning and totally agree, although not the bit about him not being massively rated. He was huge here, but just amongst a different crowd. Us older lot had that whole east coast bias going on, and I was also young and immature enough to take a side during all the beef with BIG, Mobb Deep etc (bet they’re so glad Southend-on-sea had their backs :roll_eyes: ). Whereas my younger sister was all about 2Pac and had a poster of him in a bubble bath or something on her wall which to me was just beyond wack.

So like Dan says, it’s nice to revisit a good few years on and realise that a lot of it is really great. But as @furryfan says, a lot of it has never and will never be my thing - I’ll always lean towards tracks like Last Wordz. Also going to go back and have a delve as I also haven’t listened to any of his albums since the 90s.