2Pac – R U Still Down? (Remember Me)

2-pac-r-u-still-down-back-n-the-day-buffetTupac Shakur released his sixth studio album “R U Still Down? (Remember Me)” on November 25th 1997.  The album is a collection of songs that were left out from his albums “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z“, “Thug Life Volume 1” and “Me Against the World“.  The album is a double cd and is produced by various artists. The album was the first to drop on his mom’s label Amaru Entertainment.

The track that everybody remembers from this album is “Do For Love” that carries a Bobby CaldwellWhat You Won’t Do For Love” sample that will have you singing the chorus over and over again in your sleep.  Listening to this track, you can clearly see that Pac knew exactly how great and devastating love can be.

I shoulda seen
You was trouble right from the start, taught me so many lessons
How not to mess with broken hearts, so many questions
When this began we was the perfect match, perhaps
We had some problems but we workin at it, and now
The arguments are gettin’ loud, I wanna stay
But I can’t help from walkin’ out just throw it away
Just take my hand and understand, if you could see
I never planned to be your man it just wasn’t me
But now I’m searchin’ for commitment, in other arms
I wanna shelter you from harm, don’t be alarmed
Your attitude was the cause, you got me stressin’
Soon as I open up the door with your jealous questions
Like where can I be you’re killin’ me with your jealousy
Now my ambition’s to be free
I can’t breathe, cause soon as I leave, it’s like a trap
I hear you callin’ me to come back, I’m a sucka for love

The gem off this track is “Hellrazor” where Pac goes nuts and get’s emotional on the track.  It almost feels as if Pac is falling to his knees praying that the Lord listens to his plea.  I had never hear Pac get this emotional until I heard this track!

Dear Lord can ya hear me, it’s just me
A young nigga tryin to make it on these rough streets
I’m on my knees beggin please come and SAVE ME
THE WHOLE WORLD done made a nigga crazy!
I got my three-five-seven can’t control it
Screamin die motherfucker and he’s loaded
Everybody run for cover, aww shit
Thug Life motherfucker,duck quick
Now am I wrong if I am don’t worry me
Cause do or die gettin high till they bury me
Dear Lord if ya hear me, tell me why
Little girl like LaTasha, had to die
She never got to see the bullet, just heard the shot
Her little body couldn’t take it, it shook and dropped
And when I saw it on the news how she bucked the girl, killed Latasha
Now I’m screamin fuck the world, in the end
It’s my friends, that flip-flop
Lip-locked on my dick when my shit drop
Thug Life motherfucker, I lick shots
Every nigga on my block dropped two cops
Dear Lord can ya hear me, when I die
Let a nigga be strapped, fucked up, and high
With my hands on the trigger, thug nigga
Stressin’ like a motherfuckin’ drug dealer
And even in the darkest nights, I’m a thug for Life
I got the heart to fight now
Mama raised a hellraiser why cry
That’s just life in the ghetto, do or die

https://youtu.be/Cm2vHiCQB2w

On the track “Open Fire“, 2Pac is in a high speed chase with the cops and runs out of gas.  He dumps the hooptie and starts running through the hood.  He get’s away long enough to hitch a ride and then get into a shoot out with police.  The way he describes it all, it feels like you are right there with him.  Awesome imagery!

These motherfuckers on my ass I’m in traffic, will it be tragic?
I’m comin’ round the corner like I’m Magic
Doin’ ninety on the freeway, and hittin’ switches
In a high speed chase with these punk bitches
Don’t turn around I ain’t givin’ up, cause they don’t worry me
Pussy ass bitches better bury me
Runnin’ outta gas time to park it, I’m on foot
We in the hood, how the fuck they gon catch a crook? Haha
I got away cause I’m clever
Went to my neighbors for a favor now you know players stick together
I watch the scene from the rooftop, spittin’ loogies
At the coppers that pursue me, beotch!
I be a hustler til it’s over, motherfucker
Open fire on you bustas

2Pac loved to talk about death and more importantly his own death.  He does this on “Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto” where he takes a Cameo cut “Two of Us” and asks if heaven has a ghetto where he can be accepted and live in eternity.

I was raised, the little young nigga doin’ bad shit
Talk much shit, ‘cause I never had shit
I could remember being whupped in class
And if I didn’t pass, Mama whupped my ass
Was it my fault Papa didn’t plan it out?
Broke out, left me to be the man of the house
I couldn’t take it, had to make a profit
Found a block, got a Glock, and I clock grips
Makin’ G’s was my mission
Movin’ enough of this shit to get my mama out the kitchen
And why must I sock a fella?
Just to live large like Rockefeller?
First you didn’t give a fuck, but you’re learnin’ now
If you don’t respect the town then we’ll burn you down
Goddamn, it’s a motherfuckin’ riot
Black people on a rage, police, so don’t try it
If you’re not from the town then don’t pass through
‘Cause some O.G. fools might blast you
It ain’t right, but it’s long overdue
We can’t have peace ’til the niggas get a piece too
I want G’s so you label me a criminal
And if I die, I wonder if Heaven got a ghetto

Other tracks that are included in this double cd is the title track, “Fuck All Yall“, “Thug Style” and “Only Fear Of Death“.  The one track that is a definite classic track is the Warren G produced “Definition of a Thug Nigga” that was pre-released on the soundtrack to “Poetic Justice“.  Borrowing a bass sample from Donald Byrd’sWind Parade” 2Pac goes and explains his definition of what a thug in reality truly is.  The man flows like syrup over pancakes.  Classic tune!

I played the cards I was given, thank God I’m still livin’
Pack my nine til it’s time to go to prison
As I’m bailin’ down the block that I come from, still gotta pack a gun
Case some young motherfuckers wanna play dumb
I guess I live life forever jugglin’
But I’ll be hustlin’ ’til the early mornin’ cause I’m strugglin’
Like drinkin’ liquor make the money come quicker
Gettin’ pages from my bitch it’s time to dick her
I ain’t in love with her, I just wanna be the one to hit her
Drop off and let the next nigga get her
That’s the way it goes, it’s time to shake a ho, make the dough
Break a ho when it’s time to make some mo’
I keep my finger on the trigger of my Glock
Ridin’ down the block lickin’ shots at the punk-ass *cops*
And spittin’ game through my mobile phone
The type of shit to get them hoes to bone
My Definition of a Thug Nigga

I’m a huge 2Pac fan, so listening to “Hellrazor” brings back some crazy memories of Latasha Harlins getting killed in a liquor store over orange juice and how crazy the world was back in 1992 when the riots popped off!  If Pac was alive today, what would he rap about?  Thug Lives Matter?  Does it even matter?  Compared to what Hip Hop has turned into, he would be still relevant!

-Al E.

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