**** 2PAC, "Greatest Hits"
In the late Tupac Shakur's prime, fans craved his latest recordings for several reasons. The rapper defiantly questioned authority, and his affiliation with the then-mighty Death Row Records heightened his appeal and influence. But it was his willingness and ability to effectively express his feelings as a confused young man under constant scrutiny that allowed rank-and-file listeners to empathize with the high-profile rap and movie star.
Furthermore, 2Pac--whose 1996 killing is still unsolved--rapped with equal intensity about his love for his mother, his sexual desire, his gangster tendencies and life in the ghetto. For the '90s icon, any topic he addressed deserved passion and urgency.
This two-disc, 25-song collection (due in stores Tuesday) contains powerful selections from his entire recording career--except last year's "R U Still Down? (Remember Me)" double album--but four previously unreleased tracks will undoubtedly be the focus of attention.