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Tupac Shakur's Last Album: Makaveli

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Makaveli was Tupac Shakur's last album that he recorded and put out before his tragic shooting and death. The album was released after his death and in the same year as his highly successful double album, All Eyez on Me. The album goes along with his others in the fact that Tupac takes his life and others lives on the streets and puts them into his music. He has no shortage of tragic events to write about from his own life. He was born into poverty and his father was killed when he was just a boy. Anyone living in poverty and trying to survive off of the streets is sure to encounter some hardships as Tupac definitely did. The main difference from this and his others is a theme of more violence and revenge. Tupac has always rapped about death and violence but it appears to be more apparent and aimed at specific individuals in Makavel: The Don Killimunati The Seven-Day Theory.
Because of the added themes of violence and revenge, this album does stand out from the rest of them. All his albums appear to get more aggressive and violent from one to the other. He didn't necessarily start out being so violent and lashing out against other specific people. He started out with his first few albums by lashing out against society and some of its norms. He discussed the hardships of being a black man in a society that has a tendency to discriminate and single out black males and accuses them of criminal activity. As he got older and did more albums, he started to single out certain people that made it hard for him to further his music and acting career. He mentions Dolores Tucker, Bill Clinton, and Bob Dole in his song 'How do you want it.' In 'Picture Me Rolling,' he talks about Clinton Correctional Facilities and the DA that prosecuted against him. Similarly, he lashes out against other East Coast rappers on Makaveli. He accuses the Bad Boy crew of setting him up for the robbery and assault on him that left him in the hospital with gun shot wounds. He doesn't hold back on how he feels about this and he makes sure to let them know that he will never forgive them for that incident.
The album itself seems to have a darker image than his previous albums. He goes back to the life on the streets and his troubled youth where he did what he had to to make it. Yet, he does it a little harsher without any real soft songs. The way he rapped made it sound like he knew he was going to die and knew he was running out of time. He made sure that he got out some of his anger and resentment on this album. It is almost like he realized that he didn't have much time and he didn't have time to make any songs for the fans that liked that softer side of Tupac. Amy Linden writes, ''the themes of revenge and violence are woven throughout the twelve tracks'(23). Even his songs about women and relationships are slinky and chilling. 'Me and my girlfriend' talks about a relationship in a gangster and murderous way. 'Me and My Girlfriend' is ''describing romance in shoot-'em up terms''(Linden 23). While the theme of violence is definitely present throughout the entire album, it does have its positive points. The best example of this is the song 'Hold Ya Head.' It says that life his hard for a black citizen living on the streets but people have to look ahead to the future. There are things that happen but they can't be changed and they can't be cried over forever. Overall the album is darker yet more positive.
The intro of The Seven-Day Theory sets the mood and themes for the rest of the album. It starts out in the format of a reporter discussing the release of this album under the alias, Makaveli. It makes some comments about certain East Coast rappers such as Nas, Mobb Deep, and The Notorious B.I.G. It introduces the idea of a conspiracy to assassinate Tupac and Death Row Records by these New York rappers. This theme of ripping into these performers continues throughout much of the disc. The intro then goes on into the song 'Bomb first.' This song is basically tearing into the East Coast rappers and discussing revenge on them. It is very apparent that Tupac believes that the East Coast rappers, the Bad Boy Crew especially, are behind his robbery and attempted murder. That is only one explanation for the grudge against Bad Boy. David Van Biema writes that '[Suge] Knight is thought to hold Bad Boy head Sean ('Puffy') Combs indirectly responsible for the shooting death of a friend in Atlanta in 1995' (40). There is not a lot more to this song than the theme of revenge on who he feels are responsible for his near death. It's apparent that Tupac wishes to get under the skin of the East Coast rappers and let them know how he feels. As far as meaning to this song, it just sets the stage for the rest of the album. It presents the start of the violent themes that are underlying throughout the rest of the album. The next song, Hail Mary, is slow and has a dark and chilling feel to it. It has a slow beat and the lyrics are not very upbeat or lifting. Tupac and the Outlawz that rap on this song do so very quietly and slowly. They never raise their voices or shout to get their points across to the listener. Some of the subjects that he speaks about on this song are chilling themselves. There is also what seems to be a bit of contradiction. He talks about a mad man screaming and 'evil lurks,' and discusses killing people and using his gun. Then he goes on to say that he is praying to God hoping that he's listening. However if he is going to voluntarily and knowingly go out and kill people and break any of the Ten Commandments, he can't expect God to have too much compassion for him. Another way to interpret this contradiction is that he knows that he's doing wrong but he has to do some of these things to survive and make it in his world of poverty and hardship. When he is praying to God, he is asking for forgiveness and understanding from Him on why he had to do some of these things to make it.
A positive and upbeat point of this violence filled album is in the song 'To Live and Die in L.A.' It has, in a way, a softer theme and tone than much of the rest of the album. It may not have fast beat or significantly positive lyrics, but it comes off as a more positive song than the rest of the album. Tupac is reminiscing about what it is like to live in California. A lot of it pertains to living in California as a young African American and being hassled by the police. It is kind of like what it is to live on the West Coast as a normal citizen living in the ghetto. It's not just about being a celebrity with a lot of money. He is talking about what it's like to hustle to get by and having fun ...

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Keywords: last 2pac album, tupac shakur last album, tupac shakur last moments, tupac shakur albums after death

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