|Me Against the World|
Studio album by 2Pac
14 March 1995
Enterprise Studios, Unique Studios, Soundcastle, Pure Studios, Mobboss Studios, Echo Sound, Encore Studios, 12 Trak Studios, Westlake Audio and Quad Studios
Out da Gutta, Interscope, Atlantic
Sam Bostic, Brian G, D-Flizno Production Squad, DF Master Tee, Easy Mo B., Ezi Cut, Jay-B, Johnny "J", Mike Mosley, Moe Z.M.D., Moses, Tony Pizarro, Jill Rose, Shock G, SoulShock & Karlin, Le-morrious "Funky Drummer" Tyler
Thug Life: Volume 1 (1994)
All Eyez on Me (1996)
Me Against the World is the third studio album by American rapper Tupac Shakur, released in 1995 on Interscope Records. The album was composed of un-used tracks from the "Thug Life era", and from other studio sessions from early-to-mid 1994. It was his impending prison sentence, troubles with the police and Shakur being poor which many believe might have contributed to Shakur's artistic re-emergence on record.
Me Against the World, released while Shakur was serving a jail sentence for sexual assault, made an immediate impact on the charts, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200. This made Shakur the first artist to have an album debut at number one on the Billboard 200 while serving time in prison. The album served as one of Shakur's most positively reviewed albums, with many calling it the magnum opus of his career, and is considered one of the greatest and most influential hip hop albums of all time. It achieved double platinum status, and has sold 3,800,000 copies worldwide as of 2019.
In 1993, Tupac Shakur was a success in the hip hop scene, with two gold-certified singles that reached the Top Twenty on the pop charts ("I Get Around", "Keep Ya Head Up"), and a platinum-selling sophomore album that would just peak inside the top twenty-five of the Billboard 200 (Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z...). However, the 22-year-old artist had a series of incidents and charges of breaking the law following his breakthrough. In the summer of 1993, Shakur was charged for assaulting director Allen Hughes of the Hughes Brothers while filming Menace II Society and was later sentenced to fifteen days in jail. Later, in October 1993, Shakur was charged with shooting two off-duty police officers in Atlanta, though the charges would eventually be dismissed. In November, Shakur and two members of his entourage were charged with sexually assaulting a female fan, for which they were found guilty and sentenced to 4.5 years in jail.
Recording and productionEdit
The musical production on the album was considered by several music critics to be the best on any of Shakur's albums up to that point in his career. While entrusting production with previous collaborators Shock G and Stretch, Shakur also collaborated with a number of new producers, including Johnny "J", Mike Mosley, Moe Z.M.D., and East Coast producers Easy Mo Bee and Tony Pizarro. The album's production features a G-funk sound that is more prevalent than in his previous albums.
Me Against the World features the debut appearances of Yaki Kadafi, Kastro and E.D.I. Mean, who appear as members of Dramacydal (a group that would later be merged into Outlawz). Richie Rich is the only other rapper featured on the album, although a number of singers were enlisted to perform the hooks of some songs. The album's recording sessions took place at ten different studios, while it was mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering.
According to Shakur, the album was made to show the hip hop audience his respect for the art form. Lyrically, Shakur intentionally attempted to make the album more personal and reflective than his previous efforts. Some of the album's main themes involve paranoia, the loss of innocence, and occasional self-loathing. Much attention is paid to subjects such as the pain of urban survival.
Some tracks, such as the song "Old School", lean more to a nostalgic, though somewhat bittersweet side in Shakur's remembrance of his youth and the early days of hip hop music. The album is also well known for the sensitive song "Dear Mama", in which Shakur expresses his devotion and appreciation for his mother Afeni Shakur, and reminds her that although his actions may prove otherwise that "you are appreciated". Throughout the entire of the album Shakur employs various poetical deliveries, ranging from the use of alliteration on "If I Die 2Nite" to the use of paired couplets on "Lord Knows".
|1.||"Intro"||-||-||Tony Pizarro, Jill Rose (co.)||1:40|
|2.||"If I Die 2Nite"||2Pac||Clarke, Durham, Harvey, Shakur, Wright||Easy Mo B.||4:01|
|3.||"Me Against the World"||2Pac, Dramacydal||Bacharach, David, Ripperton, Rudolph, Shakur, Ware||SoulShock & Karlin||4:40|
|4.||"So Many Tears"||2Pac||Baker, Jacobs, Shakur, Walker, Wonder||D-Flizno Production Squad (Shock G and Stretch)||3:59|
|5.||"Temptations"||2Pac||Clinton, Harvey, Murdock, Shakur, Shider, Spradley, Troutman, Troutman||Easy Mo B.||5:00|
|6.||"Young Niggaz"||2Pac||Blackmon, Jenkins, Leftenat, Moe Z., Shakur, Singleton, Tyler||Moe Z.M.D., Le-morrious "Funky Drummer" Tyler||4:53|
|7.||"Heavy in the Game"||2Pac, Richie Rich||Bostic, Mosley, Shakur||Mike Mosley, Sam Bostic||4:23|
|8.||"Lord Knows"||2Pac, Natasha Walker||Shakur||Brian G, Moe Z.M.D. (add.), Tony Pizarro (add.)||4:31|
|9.||"Dear Mama"||2Pac||Pizarro, Sample, Shakur||Tony Pizarro, DF Master Tee (co.), Moses (co.)||4:40|
|10.||"It Ain't Easy"||2Pac||Pizarro, Shakur||Tony Pizarro||4:53|
|11.||"Can U Get Away"||2Pac||Beverly, Mosley, Shakur||Mike Mosley||5:45|
|12.||"Old School"||2Pac||Buchanan, Shakur, Tilery||SoulShock, Jay-B (co.), Ezi Cut (co.)||4:40|
|13.||"Fuck the World"||2Pac||Jacobs, Shakur||Shock G||4:13|
|14.||"Death Around the Corner"||2Pac||Jackson, Shakur||Johnny "J"||4:07|
|15.||"Outlaw"||2Pac, Dramacydal||Moe Z., Shakur||Moe Z.M.D.||4:33|
- Track 1 features guitar performed by Darryl Crooks, and the voices of Dan O'Leary, Debby Hambrick, Sarah Diamond, Jay Jensen and Jill Rose.
- Track 3 features background vocals performed by Puff Johnson.
- Track 4 features keyboards performed by The Piano Man, guitar performed by Eric "Kenya" Baker, and background vocals performed by Thug Life, Digital Underground and Stretch.
- Track 6 features background vocals performed by Moe Z.M.D., Killa, Milia and L. Tyler, and adlibs/hook performed by G. Money.
- Track 7 features background vocals performed by Eboni Foster, Lady Levi and Richie Rich, and guitar performed by Ronnie Vann.
- Track 8 features background vocals performed by Natasha Walker of Y.N.V., Kim Armstrong, Kenyatta Forman, Killa and G-Money.
- Track 9 features background vocals performed by Reggie Green and "Sweet Franklin".
- Track 15 features background vocals performed by Rah Rah.
- Engineer: Tony Pizarro (track 1, 5, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14), Eric Lynch (track 2), Jay Lean (track 3, 12), Mike Schlesinger (track 4), Tim Nitz (track 4), Paul Arnold (track 6, 15), Kevin Davis (track 7, 11), Bob Morris (track 8)
- Engineer (mixing): Paul Arnold (track 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15), Jay Lean (track 3, 12), SoulShock (track 3), Tony Pizarro (track 5, 10, 13), Kevin Davis (track 11)
- Engineer (2nd): Jeff Griffin (track 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 15)
- A&R Direction: Tom Whalley
- Project Coordinator: Jill Rose
- A&R Assistant: Stephen Levy
- Art Direction + Design: Eric Altenburger
- Photography: Reisig & Taylor
- Mastered by: Brian Gardner
Album liner notesEdit
Thank you to everyone who supported me during my time of need. You know who you are! And to all who remain loyal to me. I won't let you down.
No thank you to all the bustas, cowards and fake homies who showed by the depths of jealous, envy and greed.
My apologies to all my fans and friends I turned my back on and didn't remain true to. In '95 it will be rectified.
Much love to my family and extended family. To my record company and all my lawyers-Thanks!