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POP MUSIC | POP ALBUM REVIEW

2Pac everlasting

November 29, 2002|Soren Baker

2Pac

"Better Dayz" (Amaru/Tha Row/Interscope)

***

As long as 2Pac's handlers keep releasing high-caliber music, the late rapper will remain a hip-hop hero who can compete with anyone on the market.

On the fifth album (in stores Tuesday) released since his 1996 slaying (a greatest-hits compilation and a collection featuring his poetry read by musicians and actors have also been released posthumously), the fiery Tupac Shakur flows with his signature fury on another 26 tracks, most of which have a fresh sound and feel.

Part of the reason 2Pac's music can still be effective six years after his death is that he often raps in generalities, with his iconic status giving his words weight even when he's not saying anything profound.

2Pac was championed for his high-profile rivalries with a host of entertainers as much as for his charged music.

It's telling that his disses to the now-defunct Fugees on "When We Ride on Our Enemies" have outlived their target.

As has been the case with his other albums, 2Pac's mix of thug narratives, sexual braggadocio and incendiary messages make this captivating.

-- Soren Baker

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