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Tupac Shakur is widely regarded as the greatest rap of all-time, He sadly died in 1996 but his legend has lived on with his music. He recorded an amazing 6 albums during his 5 years of production. Since then there has been another six albums postumously released featuring samples and mixes from Tupac's career. The albums released have been R U Still down? (Remember Me), Until the end of Time, Better Dayz, Loyal to the game and the latest Pac's Life. Over these albums the tracks have been "collaborations" with some well known artists mainly in the Hip Hop/Rap world.
**Loyal to the Game**
This is the 5th album released after Tupac's death, It features production from Eminem, Scott Storch, DJ Quik, Red Spyda and Raphael Saadiq. The album mostly features contributions from Rap artists but has three rather suprising additions. Elton John, Dido and Ronald Isley all appear on a track each with Elton John's "Indian Sunset" being sampled on Ghetto Gospel. Loyal to the Game was Released in 2004 and sold very well in the US And UK in particular with Platinum and Gold status respectively.
1.) Soldier Like Me - 2Pac, Eminem
This opens the album with a fantastic tirade against corrupt cops. The beats are strong throught and Tupac's rap vocals are as flowing as ever. Eminem adds his own stamp on the track but he does not sound his best eg "Stan". A decent start to the album.
2.) The Uppercut - 2Pac, E.D.I, Noble
This track opens with a sample of Tupac talking about battling against tougher opponents. Again Tupac's delivery is a key part of the track and the beats provide a great backing for his rapid fire vocals. A good track but not near the best on the album.
3.) Out On Bail - 2Pac
This track has the funkiest sounding bass hook and a thunderous beat that will test your speakers bass performance. This is another good track and the first real catchy track on the album but don't think this is the only catchy track on offer as it's just the beginning.
4.) Ghetto Gospel
This is an absolutely fabulous track which benefits from the superb use of the Elton John track "Indian Sunset" alongside the thumping beat, I remember This was a huge club track when it was released and even now five years on it still gets a huge response from people. Brilliant.
5.) Black Cotton - 2Pac, Eminem, Kastrom, Noble
Another funky bassline underpins this track, Tupac's vocals are particularly flowing on this track and although I feel that the track would be better if there were less people on it as four people is a little much, it is still a good track and one of the best uptempo tracks on the album.
6.) Loyal To The Game - 2Pac, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck
This is one of the best tracks musically, It features a funky beat and some funky sounds. This is Tupac talking about being loyal to the Rap game. 50 Cent and Young Buck provide better support than I expected but Lloyd Banks does nothing to extend the level of this track.
7.) Thugs Get Lonely Too - 2Pac, Nate Dogg
Another top track musically, This track is the second version after the 1996 original was never released. Nate Dogg provides a good rap addition on this second version and the 50 Cent like beats are amongst the best on the album. A good track.
8.) N.I.G.G.A. (Never Ignorant About Getting Goals Accomplished) - 2Pac, Jadakiss
This is a funky track with Tupac and Jadakiss both sounding angry, For me Angry Tupac makes for some of his best material and this is a decent track which has a good flow and is one of the best tracks on the album with just Tupac and one other person.
9.) Who Do You Love? - 2Pac
This track features elements of Thug n Me, Thug N u by Tupac with KCI & JoJo. I love the way Tupac's tracks have a bittersweet mix of thumping beat and nice sounding melodies. This track is no different and works all the better for it. One of the best uptempo tracks on the album.
10.) Crooked Nigga Too - 2Pac
This is a decent track that suffers slightly from being just 2 minutes 55 seconds. This opens with a friend of Tupac talking about Tupac winning a lawsuit after police brutality. If this track was a little bit longer it would probably be a really good angst ridden track.
11.) Don't You Trust Me - 2Pac
This is a fabulous track which samples Dido's "Do You Have a Little Time", Don't you trust me is about a relationship where there is just no trust and she's always asking you where you are and where you have been. I'm not a fan of Dido but just like Eminem's Stan this works incredibly well.
12.) Hennessey - 2Pac, Obie Trice
This is a feel good track about Tupac's favourite Cognac. Obie Trice provides a decent touch on this track about having a good time drinking Hennessey in the club. This is one of the few great party Tracks from Tupac. This works rather well.
13.) Thug 4 Life - 2Pac
This is a track with an incredibly catchy melody which needs to be heard. It just shows that Tupac's talent was not just with words but music aswell. Try rapping like him in this and you will fail and realise just how talented a rapper he was.
14.) Po Nigga Blues - 2Pac, Ronald Isley
This track features the fabulous Ron Isley and is produced by Scott Storch. Isley's smooth falsetto blends superbly with Tupac's flowing rap. Another great melody adds a fine touch to this track as with many of the other tracks on the album.
15.) Hennessey - 2Pac, E.D.I, Sleepy Brown
This is the Red Spyda remix and is more of a funky cut than the original. Sleepy Brown and E.D.I add a decent enough touch and this is different enough from the original to make it worthwile. A decent remix.
16.) Crooked Nigga Too - 2Pac
This is better than the original version of this track, Just listen to it and you will get the catchy melody that I can't help nodding my head to. A brilliant remix that shows that remixes are more important than some may think.
17.) Loyal To The Game - 2Pac, Big Skye
Here we come to the end of the album and this is a Punchy beat laden track which is also better than the original version. I love the combination of the dark beats and beautiful piano melody.
Tupac Shakur is one of the all time greatest musical artists and his name is rightfully held up when people talk about the greatest Rapper of all time. Loyal to the game is a fabulous project that actually adds something more to some of the vast collection of Tupac's mixes and demos he recorded over his short career. This album hints at what he could have accomplished if he was still here today. A sad loss but his legend will live on in his music.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Soldier Like Me - 2Pac, Eminem
2 The Uppercut - 2Pac, E.D.I, Noble
3 Out On Bail - 2Pac
4 Ghetto Gospel - 2Pac
5 Black Cotton - 2Pac, Eminem, Kastrom, Noble
6 Loyal To The Game - 2Pac, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck
7 Thugs Get Lonely Too - 2Pac, Nate Dogg
8 N.I.G.G.A. (Never Ignorant About Getting Goals Accomplished) - 2Pac, Jadakiss
9 Who Do You Love? - 2Pac
10 Crooked Nigga Too - 2Pac
11 Don't You Trust Me - 2Pac
12 Hennessey - 2Pac, Obie Trice
13 Thug 4 Life - 2Pac
14 Po Nigga Blues - 2Pac, Ronald Isley
15 Hennessey - 2Pac, E.D.I, Sleepy Brown
16 Crooked Nigga Too - 2Pac
17 Loyal To The Game - 2Pac, Big Skye