2Pac – Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z

2Pac released his second studio album “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z” back on February 16, 1993.  The album was produced by various producers including Bobcat, StretchBig D The Impossible, Jam Master Jay and others.  The album was released on T.N.T/Interscope Records.

When this album dropped, I remember hearing the track “Holler If Ya Hear Me” and thinking it sounded a lot like a Public Enemy track.  The song sampled the beginning of Funkadelic’s “Get Off Your Ass and Jamand sounded like Pac was ready to go to war!  It’s also the first track on this incredible album.

Pump ya fists like this
Holla if ya hear me
PUMP PUMP if you’re pissed
To the sell-outs, livin it up
One way or another you’ll be givin it up, huh
I guess cause I’m black born
I’m supposed to say peace, sing songs, and get capped on
But it’s time for a new plan, BAM!
I’ll be swingin like a one man, clan
Here we go, turn it up, don’t stop
To my homies on the block gettin dropped by cops

Two of his most iconic tracks are included in this album.  The first is “I Get Around” where Shock G and Money-B from Digital Underground join in on the fun.  Over a sample of “Computer Love” by Zapp, 2Pac let’s us know that he “don’t stop for hoes”.

Back to get wreck, all respect
To those who break their neck to keep their hoes in check
‘Cause, oh, they sweat a brother majorly
And I don’t know why your girl keeps pagin’ me
She tell me that she needs me, cries when she leaves me
And every time she sees me
She squeeze me—lady, take it easy!
Hate to sound sleazy, but tease me
I don’t want it if it’s that easy
Ayo, bust it, baby got a problem, saying “bye-bye”
Just another hazard of a fly guy
You ask “Why?”, don’t matter! My pockets got fatter
Now everybody’s lookin’ for the latter
And ain’t no need in being greedy, if you wanna see me
Dial the beeper number, baby, when you need me
And I’ll be there in a jiffy
Don’t be picky, just be happy with this quickie
But when you learn you can’t tie me down
Baby doll, check it out: I get around

Many people thought he was a hypocrite because the very next single was “Keep Ya Head Up” where he talks about all the young sistas that have been mistreated and abused by their significant other.  People could not understand how one minute he’s “degrading” women and the next praising them.  In reality, if the singles where separated farther apart, people would’ve probably no even noticed.

And when he tells you you ain’t nothing, don’t believe him
And if he can’t learn to love you, you should leave him
‘Cause, sister, you don’t need him
And I ain’t trying to gas ya up, I just call ’em how I see ’em
You know what makes me unhappy? When brothers make babies and leave a young mother to be a pappy
And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women

The album has 2 posse cuts.  The first is a dope west coast gangsta track that includes Ice-T and Ice Cube on the incredible “Last Wordz“.  Over the drum pattern beat of “Tramp” by Lowell Fulson, all 3 west coast MC’s represent and make this song pop!

The other posse cut is the dope “5 Deadly Venomz” featuring Live Squad, Treach and Apache.

Lastly, on “Papa’z Song” he talks about all the deadbeat dad’s out there that have left mom by herself and children with no fatherly figures.  The track also feature’s his older step brother Mopreme Shakur and at the end of the track, Pac impersonates his dad and raps as if he was him.

Had to play catch by myself, what a sorry sight
A pitiful plight, so I pray for a starry night
Please send me a pops before puberty
The things I wouldn’t do to see a piece of family unity
Moms always work, I barely see her
I’m startin to get worried without a pops I’ll grow to be her
It’s a wonder they don’t understand kids today
So when I pray, I pray I’ll never grow to be that way
And I hope that he answers me
I heard God don’t like ugly well take a look at my family
A different father every weekend
Before we get to meet him they break up before the week ends
I’m gettin sick of all the friendships
As soon as we kick it he done split and the whole shit ends quick
How can I be a man if there’s no role model?
Strivin to save my soul I stay cold drinkin a forty bottle
I’m so sorry..

Tracks like “Representin’ 93“, “The Streetz R Deathrow“, and the title track leave you asking for more.  His next studio album shows us a more calm and reflective 2Pac and it seems like this was the album that gave us that first taste.  RIP 2Pac!!!

-Al E.

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