Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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2Pac

  • Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. [Interscope, 1991] Choice Cuts
  • Me Against the World [Interscope, 1995] C+
  • Greatest Hits [Death Row/Interscope, 1998] *

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. [Interscope, 1991]
"Keep Ya Head Up" Choice Cuts

Me Against the World [Interscope, 1995]
Tough-guy sentimentality is an old story in American culture, but self-pity this rank is usually reserved for teen romances and tales of brave avant-gardists callously rejected by the mass media. His I-love-Mom rings true because Mom was no saint, and his respect for old G's seems genuine, probably because they told him how smart he was. But whether the metaphor be dead homies or suicide threat, the subtext of his persecution complex is his self-regard. What's doubly galling is that these are essential hip hop themes--as Ice Cube and B.I.G. have made all too vivid, it is persecution that induces young black men to kill each other and themselves. That such themes should rise to the top of the charts with this witless exponent of famous-for-being-famous is why pop fans decry the mass media. C+

Greatest Hits [Death Row/Interscope, 1998]
or anyway, greatest myths ("God Bless the Dead," "Keep ya Head Up") *