Makaveli – The Don Killuminati

makaveli-the-don-killuminati-back-in-the-day-buffetMakaveli (aka 2Pac) released his 5th studio album “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory” on November 5th 1996.  The album was released posthumously and reached as far as #1 on the Billboard Album Charts.  The album was produced by various producers and is one of Tupac’s best albums.  The album was also the last 2Pac album distributed by Death Row Records. This was the first time 2Pac used the alias “Makaveli” and was about to start his own record label when his life was cut short after a Mike Tyson fight in Las Vegas.

The album consists of 12 songs that range from diss songs to his love for Los Angeles. How does a classic 2Pac album begin?   The man sounds insane on the opening track “Bomb First” when he goes after his enemies and lyrically cuts their throat!  I don’t know how many times I rewind this track!  If this song doesn’t give you chills, nothing will!

Allow me to introduce first: Makaveli the Don
Hysterical, spiritual lyrics like The Holy Qur’an
Niggas get shook like 5-0
My .45 is next to me when we ride, for survival
Money-making plans, pistol close at hand, swollen pockets
Let me introduce the topic, then we drop it
Expose snakes ‘cause they breed freely
See me ride! Located worldwide like the art of graffiti
I think I’m tougher than Nitti, my attitude is shitty
Born on a dope fiend’s titty
In every city you’ll find me
Look for trouble right behind me
My Outlaw niggas down to die for me
Know what I mean? I hit the scene
Niggas ducking from my guillotine stare
I’m right there, my every word a fucking nightmare
Get me high, let me see the sun rise and fall
This for my dogs down to die for y’all
Extreme venom, no mercy when we all up in ’em
Cut ’em down, to hell is where we send ’em
My whole team; trained to explode, ride or die
Murder motherfuckers lyrically and I’m not gonna cry
Me; a born leader, never leave the block without my heater
Two big pits, I call them “my bitch-nigga eaters”
And not a whimper until I’m gone
Thug Life running through my veins, so I’m strong
Bye bye bye, let’s get high and ride
Oh, how do we do these niggas, but I’m not gonna cry
I’m a Bad Boy killer, Jay-Z die too
Looking out for Mobb Deep, nigga, when I find you
Weak motherfuckers don’t deserve to breathe
How many niggas down to die for me? Yay-yay
West Coast rider, coming right behind ya
Should have never fucked with me
I want money, hoes, sex and weed
I won’t rest until my road dog’s free; bomb first

He then drops probably one of his most memorable lines on “Hail Mary” when he says,

I ain’t a killer but don’t push me/
Revenge is like the sweetest joy next to gettin p*ssy.

His slow flow makes us understand every single word he spits! and makes you keep singing the hook over and over again!  “La-lalala-la-la-la-la

Picture paragraphs unloaded, wise words being quoted
Peeped the weakness in the rap game and sewed it
Bow down, pray to God, hoping that he’s listening
Seeing niggas coming for me
Through my diamonds, when they glistening
Now pay attention: bless me please, Father, I’m a ghost
In these killing fields, Hail Mary, catch me if I go
Let’s go deep inside the solitary mind of a madman
Screams in the dark, evil lurks, enemies, see me flee
Activate my hate, let it break to the flame
Set trip, empty out my clip; never stop to aim
Some say the game is all corrupt and fucked in this shit
Stuck, niggas is lucky if we bust out this shit
Plus, Mama told me never stop until I bust a nut
Fuck the world if they can’t adjust, it’s just as well, Hail Mary

Once we get to “Toss It Up” with K-Ci and JoJo, you noticed that this album is moving forward quite nicely.  Thinking we are going to get another “How Do You Want It“, the track starts off sexually and then makes a 180 and strats talking about Dr. Dre and his early departure from the label and most noticably, Dre’s sexuality!  So even when the topic is ladies and sex, he still has that anger in him to include a diss verse.

How do you want it? What’s your phone number? I get around
Cali Love to my true Thugs, picture me now
Still down for that Death Row sound, searching for paydays
No longer Dre Day: arrivederci
Blown and forgotten, rotten for plotting Child’s Play
Check your sexuality, as fruity as this Alize
Quick to jump ship, punk trick, what a dumb move
Cross Death Row, now who you gonna run to?
Laugh at you suckers cause you similar
Pretending to be hard, oh my God, check your temperature
Screaming “Compton”, but you can’t return, you ain’t heard?
Brothers pissed cause you switched and escaped to the burbs
Mob on to this new era, cause we untouchable
Still can’t believe that you got ‘Pac rushing you
Up in you, bless the real, all the rest get killed
Who can you trust? Only time reveals
Toss it up

Once we get to the track “To Live and Die In LA” we start to figure out that this just might be the best 2pac album ever!  Personally, I believe it is.  I think it’s the combination of 2Pac not being around when this album dropped to just the dopeness of this album. mad it that memorable!  2Pac loved Los Angeles and Los Angeles adored 2Pac!  In the early and mid 90’s, Pac was heard heard everywhere!  East LA, Compton, Monterey Park, Santa Monica, Pasadena and the rest of So Cal was loving an bumpin 2Pac.  As the lyrics say, he knows that the fusion between the black and brown communities was vital for LA to survive.

It wouldn’t be L.A. without Mexicans
Black love, brown pride and the sets again
Pete Wilson trying to see us all broke
I’m on some bullshit out for everything they owe
Remember K-day?
Weekends, Crenshaw, MLK?
Automatics rang free, niggas lost they way
Gang signs being shown, nigga, love your hood!
But recognize and it’s all good
Where the weed at?
Niggas gettin’ shermed out
Snoop Dogg in this muthafucka permed out
M.O.B, Big Suge in the Lo-Lo, bounce and turn
Dogg Pound in the Lex with a ounce to burn
Got them Watts niggas with me, O.F.T.B
They got some hash, took the stash, left the rest for me
Neckbone, Tre, Herron, Big Buntry too
Big Rock got knocked, but this one’s for you
I hit the studio and drop a jewel, hoping it pay
Getting high, watching time fly: to live and die in LA

One of the greatest metaphorical songs ever made is “Me and My Girlfriend” where he uses a girl as a metaphor for his love of guns.

“Picked you up when you was nine
Started out my life of crime with you
Bought you some shells when you turned .22
It’s true
Nothing compares to the satisfaction
That I feel when we out mashin’
Me and my girlfriend”

The song has been sampled by Jay Z and Beyoncé on their hit “03 Bonnie and Clyde”.  But nothing comes close to 2Pac’s ferocity on this track.  Word is that 2Pac got the idea for the song from Nas’ “I Gave You Power” track.

Pac can be a great storyteller and make some dope gangsta-diss records!  But the man can get “deep” too!  He questions religion on “Blasphemy” and shows his love for his “sistas” on “White Man’z World“,  but on “Hold Ya Head” he tells us to look beyond where we are currently at to get ahead.  2Pac is known for his insults but his positivity is lost in the mix.

These felonies be like prophecies, beggin’ me to stop ‘cause these lawyers gettin’ money every time they knock us
Snatchin’ pockets lyrically, suckers flea when they notice
Switched my name to Makaveli, half the rap game ghost
Exposed foes with my hocus-pocus flows, they froze
Now suckers idolize my chosen blows
And mo’ money mean litigatin’, mo’ playa hatin’
Got a cell at the Pen’ for me waitin’; is this my fate?
Miss me with that misdemeanor thinkin’, me fall back?
Never that, too much tequila drinkin’, we all that
Make them understand me? Hell nah, this ain’t my posse
Everyone with me is family, ‘cause everybody’s got me
Watch me paint a perfect vision, this life we livin’
Got us all meetin’ up in prison
Last week I got a letter from my road dog, written in blood
Sayin’, “Please show a playa love“, hold ya head! (Hold it!)

This was the last 2pac studio album but not the last we hear from the Death row artist.  5 more 2Pacs albums dropped but this just might be his greatest album ever!  That is just my opinion, but how can you go wrong with this album?    RIP 2PAC

-Al E.

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