Tupac Shakur – Strictly for My N.I.G.G.A.Z.

ARTIST: Tupac Shakur                  220px-Strictly_4_My_N.I.G.G.A.Z

TITLE:  Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…

YEAR RELEASED: 1993

CHART ACTION: #24, #4 R&B

SINGLES: Holla If Ya Hear Me, I Get Around (#11, #5 R&B, #8 Rap), Keep Ya Head Up (#12, #7 R&B, #2 Rap), Papa’z Song (#87, #82 R&B, #24 Rap)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Tupac and rap fans know this.

LINEUP: Tupac with lots of guests

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Commercial breakout for Tupac, which is uncompromising and hardcore politically.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Tupac’s second album opened with “Holla If Ya Hear Me”, which isn’t that different from his first album, but soon, as the album unspools, you realize this is a different beast altogether.

Tupac’s rhymes are definitely more political, social, and geared to an audience outside of WASP America. The beats and samples are definitely more inventive and interesting. The guests on the album break up the monotony, and add flavor and depth.

Sometimes, though, it wears you out. It’s not comfortable to listen to start to finish at times, because it just hits you so hard. Good art does that, though. But it’s also a bit long, and maybe a couple of songs could have been trimmed and made “B” sides.

OTES & MINUTIAE: It was originally supposed to be Troublesome 21, but that was scrapped.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: B+: A little too long, and it’s very direct. But it’s a fairly essential album with some flaws.

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