TUPAC AMARU SHAKUR "THE DON KILLUMINATI - 7 DAY THEORY" ALBUM REVIEW
ALBUM TITLE: Makaveli: The Don Killuminati - 7 Day Theory
LABEL: DeathRow Records
RELEASED: November 5, 1996
TOP TRACKS: Hail Mary, To Live & Die In L.A., Blasphemy, Just Like Daddy,
Krazy, Hold Ya Head
Apparently during the recording of this stellar 12 track collection, tensions within Death Row Records was high, with the Record company seemingly cut in half. On one side was the DPG crew (consisting of Snoop Dogg, Kurupt and lead producer Daz Dillinger) and the other side the Outlaw crew (consisting of Tupac and Outlawz). With Daz busy working on Snoop Dogg's Doggfather album, Tupac called on relative unknowns in the Death Row camp for help on his Makaveli project.
Recorded in just seven days in August 1996. The Don Killuminati would be a severe departure for the excessive West Coast classic All Eyez on Me. Makaveli was a new beginning for Shakur, his expressions and thoughts running deeper that ever before. The Thug mentality remained, the foul-mouthed verbal attacker of his enemies still had plenty to say. But it is not in the clever and often rhymes about his enemies (the classic Against All Odds for example) that shine, it is when Shakur or Makaveli is speaking with love about his people. He talking to no one else but you. He speaks powerfully and with a hunger not seen before.
The albums main weakness is the inclusion of the Outlawz in my opinion. Talented tappers they may be, but they are nowhere close to Shakur's level. Take the opening track for example "Intro/Bomb First (My Second Reply)" Shakur verbally chews on the scenery, no one is left standing, E.D.I. and Young Noble's verses are a far cry from his level and are not half as strong. But i suppose this is only a minor problem in a such a superior musical experience.
The production is flawless when you take into account the time scale for fully completing this album, only 7 days, with only 4 of those for procudtion, and the other 3 days used to write the tracks. The main contributors being Daryl "Big D" Harper and Hurt-M-Badd (Tryone Wrice). For two unknowns, they rise to the challenge and produce some haunting and beautiful beats for Shakur. "Hail Mary", a track wrote and recorded in only 30 minutes is a prime example of this, the haunting church bell beat by Hurt-M-Badd only matched by the gritty vocals and chorus by Shakur. The Outlawz are competent and show great promise under the guidance of Shakur, but a solo Pac "Hail Mary" would have been, in my opinion, as good as it gets.
"Toss It Up", a party track is seemingly out of place on a very dark musical effort but is a solid party track-cum-diss record as Tupac aims shots at his former producer Dr Dre. "To Live & Die In L.A.", while forever going to be in the shadow of Shakur's "California Love" banger, is easily the better track of the two. His love for his adopted home is evident, even maybe for his eventual murderer (B's & C's anyone?). The track is laid back and has the sweetest of summer vibes, an under-estimated classic in the Shakur collection.
"Blasphemy" is unflinchingly deep and haunting, a fascinating study of Shakur's inner thoughts. The beat always complementing Shakur's dark subject matter. "Life of an Outlaw" sounds like "Bomb First" Part 2, and is an energetic bomb track and with Pac and the Outlawz in cruise control. The Hurt-M-Badd produced "Just Like Daddy" sounds of all things that was good about the West Coast hip hop of the '90's. Laid back and free flowing, everyone on the track does well and you will be singing the chorus to yourself for months to come.
The next track is the exceptional "Krazy". Everything about this track is brilliant. The guitar rhythm in the chorus shadowing the hopeless feeling Shakur is rhyming with. This song in a way is Tupac's swansong. He sings "Time goes by, puffin on lye, Hopin that it gets me high, Got a nigga goin cra-zy, Oh yeah, I feel cra-zy". It is beautiful, haunting and ultimately upsetting. Bad Azz handles his verse fantastically stating "You ain't gotta be in jail to be doin time..". Tupac could not have put it better himself. "White Man'z World" is a throwback to the 2Pacalypse Now era, Shakur is militant stating "It ain't them that's killin' us it's US that's killin' us". The truth that would oversee his own eventual death and many, many more since.
"Me and My Girlfriend" is a raw track to put it simply. Pac is spitting with anger clearly present in his voice. However, the song is not about 2pac and his girlfriend as the title may suggest to most, but about him and his gun. Only Tupac could pull of such word play, and the style of the song has been imitated by many since his death, most noteably 50 Cent, and also Jay-Z with Beyonce. The beat is amazing (by Shakur, Hurt-M-Badd & Big D). The chorus is like an anthem (nevermind the 2003 Jay-Z/Beyonce knock off). It is just straight up thugged out, and with that being the appeal of Shakur's personality for some fans, this track is a classic.
Often forgotten in Tupac's immense catoluge of recordings is the superb "Hold Ya Head". It's message simple, but flawed and this is Tupac Shakur. When he says "God bless the child that can hold is own - Indeed - Enemies Bleed when I hold my chrome" is poetically so strong, but contradictive at the same time. "Against All Odds" is fire. Not one of Shakur's enemies are left unscathed and each line is tough and unforgiving (even De La Soul get dissed). Shakur claims "This be the realest shit I ever wrote" is a glaring statement and listening to the album for sixty minutes, you will believe him too. This album is so very highly recommended by everyone at RapCentral.
Review By: lostsoul89
Full Song Lyrics And Album Info For Tupac's "Makaveli: The Don Killuminati - 7 Day Theory"
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