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All Eyez On Me

by 2pac

Released February 13, 1996 via Death Row Records / Interscope Records

Reviewed February 18, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Ambitionz Az A Ridah (62%), All Eyez On Me (38%), Can’t C Me (31%)

All Eyez On Me is the album that cemented 2Pac as a gangsta rap icon, but it didn’t make him an infallible musician for every generation after him. Pac’s talents as a writer, a thinker, a representation of black consciousness is sound—complex and conflicted, yet inspirational for so many. Tupac’s electrifying spirit and uplifting presence on songs remains unscathed and timeless, but not every single element of this album is absolutely perfect, nor timeless. Due to business with Suge Knight and Death Row Records, All Eyez On Me is a double album, bloated beyond reason at 130+ minutes of total content. This dilutes the album to experiencing all-time, near-perfect high points that remember ‘Pac at his apex, alongside deep cuts that have aged faster and can no longer pull top weight. – DeVán (8.5/10)

In the mid '90s, the hip-hop industry witnessed a steep incline in marketability and profitability. This resulted in an increase of album packaging tactics to reap the rewards of the growing market. Specifically, it led the genre's megastar, 2Pac, to cool off on his social conscious initiatives and shove out a full double album. At a whole two and a half hours, All Eyez On Me isn't exactly timeless. In fact, it's relatively boxed in to the context of its region and era. But we should view it for what it is…one of the greatest pop rap albums of all time. Attaining massive crossover success without relinquishing his rebellious nature, Pac penned generational anthems all over this one. It may overstay its welcome, but rarely has the middle ground between hardheaded gangsta rap and radio entertainment ever been so accurately pinpointed. – Enth (8.5/10)

On paper, All Eyez On Me should be a lot better than it is. The production is arguably the best of any of 2Pac’s albums, most notably the Daz Dillinger beats (like “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” & “Skandalouz”). The lyrical themes on songs like “Life Goes On” and “Only God Can Judge Me” show a surprising amount of vulnerability for a so-called gangsta rapper and a great amount of maturity for just a 24-year-old. The lyrics become a lot more impressive when you take in the fact that all 27 songs (and others that stayed unreleased) were written and recorded in two weeks. He didn’t need to be wordy to be one of the most skilled and proficient rappers of his era with his themes, punchlines, and delivery. When compared to his earlier albums, his post-jail years were his prime as a rapper. But there are many factors outside of 2Pac’s own performance that drag the album down. Filler, songs that drag on, and unnecessary features being the most glaring. On most songs, either Pac will just talk for 2 minutes or let the beat ride, both driving down the quality of the song. There is no reason “No More Pain” should be six minutes long. “California Love” is a clear-cut standout but lasts for a whole two minutes too long. Why? And half the features on here, especially fellow Outlawz members, can’t hold their own with 2Pac. All Eyez On Me will forever be a classic based off cultural impact alone, but a lot of praise for this comes from fans ignoring its very blatant flaws to focus on its highs, just like our image of 2Pac. – Alan (6.5/10)

DeVán: 8.5/10 | Enth: 8.5/10 | Pax: 8.5/10 | Dominick: 8/10 | Hadley: 8/10

Cam: 7/10 | Alan: 6.5/10 | Jared: 6/10


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