by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
LOS ANGELES – 24 years ago a masterpiece that would forever change the landscape of hip hop music was birthed from the creative and intelligent mind of Tupac Shakur (aka 2Pac), February 13, 1996 the world got to listen to rap’s first double CD “All Eyez On Me” from his new label Death Row Records.
2Pac was incarcerated for approximately 11 months, and finally was bailed out while waiting for appeal by label boss Suge Knight. “All Eyez On Me” was an instant hit and was well worth the wait from the highly popular single “California Love” that featured Dr. Dre, 2Pac and Roger Troutman. “California Love” became and continues to be a anthem for not only the West Coast but for hip hop history.
The moment your put in the CD (back in 1996), from “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” on Disc 1 (produced by Daz Dillinger aka Dat N**** Daz), to the last song on Disc 2 “Heaven Aint Hard To Find” many knew that we were listening to something special.
Masterful production from Dr. Dre, Daz Dillinger, DJ Quik, Mike Mosley, Rick Rock, QD3, Johnny J to name a few while being mixed by DJ Quik.
In the midst of the media driven East Coast-West Coast feud, 2Pac’s career was on steroids once he signed with Death Row Records. It also elevated Death Row Records to a higher plateau at that time. 2Pac has good success while on his former label Interscope Records with album’s like “Strickly 4 My N****z”, and “Me Against The World” which remained number one on Billboard charts for four weeks in a row. Imagine Kevin Durant going from the OKC Thunder to the Golden State Warriors, and how much that helped not only Durant but the Warriors as well.
All Eyez On Me set a trend in hip hop after the success, where other artist attempted to release double albums, but not have the same success that 2Pac had, simply because he was the first.
Celebrating the life and legacy of not only “All Eyez On Me” but also 2Pac who on that same album introduced us to his new group the “Outlaw Immortals aka Outlawz”. Shakur being the forward thinker he was, knew he had to score big with his debut fresh off signing with a label that was responsible for launching the careers of Dr. Dre (as a solo artist/producer), Snoop Dogg, Dogg Pound, Nate Dogg and many others.
Shakur was an iconic figure that was deeper that music, he was a talented actor, screenwriter, activist, and a man who cared enough about his community to try to uplift from various positions all while navigating his way maturing as a young man in this gritty game called life.