** 1/2 Demonized by law enforcement associations, vilified by Quayle, endorsed by First Amendment crusaders everywhere, rapper-actor 2Pac entered the front rank of gangsta hip-hop a year or so ago when a Texan allegedly killed a police officer while listening to a 2Pac tape . . . which included a song about killing police officers. In all the discussion of black rage, police insensitivity and artistic freedom that followed, some people lost sight of the fact that rhyming about cop-killing isn't a particularly redemptive act.
On his new one, 2Pac raps about black struggle and oppression, about babies having babies, about the invisible bars of the prison they call a ghetto. He also raps about expressing his dissatisfaction with a 9mm repeating pistol, a machine gun, and his genitals. It's all sort of entertaining, but 2Pac is not an especially deep thinker.