February 13, 1996
Death Row
Rap, Gangsta Rap, Hardcore Rap, G-Funk, West Coast Rap

Album Review

Maybe it was his time in prison, or maybe it was simply his signing with Suge Knight's Death Row label. Whatever the case, 2Pac re-emerged hardened and hungry with All Eyez on Me, the first double-disc album of original material in hip-hop history. With all the controversy surrounding him, 2Pac seemingly wanted to throw down a monumental epic whose sheer scope would make it an achievement of itself. But more than that, it's also an unabashed embrace of the gangsta lifestyle, backing off the sober self-recognition of Me Against the World. Sure, there are a few reflective numbers and dead-homiez tributes, but they're much more romanticized this time around. All Eyez on Me is 2Pac the thug icon in all his brazen excess, throwing off all self-control and letting it all hang out -- even if some of it would have been better kept to himself. In that sense, it's an accurate depiction of what made him such a volatile and compelling personality, despite some undeniable filler. On the plus side, this is easily the best production he's ever had on record, handled mostly by Johnny J (notably on the smash "How Do U Want It") and Dat Nigga Daz; Dr. Dre also contributes another surefire single in "California Love" (which, unfortunately, is present only as a remix, not the original hit version). Both hits are on the front-loaded first disc, which would be a gangsta classic in itself; other highlights include the anthemic Snoop Dogg duet "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted," "All About U" (with the required Nate Dogg-sung hook), and "I Ain't Mad at Cha," a tribute to old friends who've gotten off the streets. Despite some good moments, the second disc is slowed by filler and countless guest appearances, plus a few too many thug-lovin' divas crooning their loyalty. Erratic though it may be, All Eyez on Me is nonetheless carried off with the assurance of a legend in his own time, and it stands as 2Pac's magnum opus.
Steve Huey, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Ambitionz Az a Ridah
  2. All About U
  3. Skandalouz
  4. Got My Mind Made Up
  5. How Do You Want It
  6. 2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted
  7. No More Pain
  8. Heartz of Men
  9. Life Goes On
  10. Only God Can Judge Me
  11. Tradin War Stories
  12. California Love [Remix]
  13. I Ain't Mad at Cha
  14. What'z Ya Phone No.
  15. Can't C Me
  16. Shorty Wanna Be a Thug
  17. Holla at Me
  18. Wonda Why They Call U B____
  19. When We Ride
  20. Thug Passion
  21. Picture Me Rollin'
  22. Check Out Time
  23. Ratha Be Ya N____
  24. All Eyez on Me
  25. Run tha Streetz
  26. Ain't Hard 2 Find
  27. Heaven Ain't Hard 2 Find
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