On This Day 27 Years Ago, Tupac Dropped His Debut Album “2Pacalypse Now”, November 12, 1991.
Review : 2Pacalypse Now, the great debut release, is probably 2Pac’s most raw political album. He addresses social issues such as police brutality, poverty, teenage pregnancy, and drug abuse with the anger of a young black male.
It is hailed by many critics and fans for its underground feel, with many rappers such as Nas and Talib Kweli having pointed to it as a source for inspiration from the album. Although the album was originally released on Interscope, Amaru Entertainment, the label owned by the mother of Tupac Shakur, has since gained the rights to it. The album’s name is a played-on title of the 1979 film Apocalypse Now, which is about the Vietnam War.
This album was strongly criticised by politics and the media. Vice president Dan Quayle believed ” that this album has no place in our society”. It didn’t help this album’s image when it was found in the tape player of a young black male who shot and killed the police officer who pulled him over. The male was at the time listening to Souljah’s Story; one of the songs where 2Pac raps in detail about killing cops.
This album showcases all of the elements of 2Pac’s nature that he later focused on at various stages in his life and career. ‘Brenda’s Got A Baby‘ and ‘Violent‘ highlight 2 extremes of his complex character: Sadness in circumstances and raw vengeful anger driven by a need to survive.
This album was produced along with his friends from Digital Underground.
The record never achieved the same success as many of Shakur’s later albums owing in part to rough construction and sometimes repetitive beats, but it was important in showcasing Shakur’s political conviction and lyrical talent. It featured three singles, “Brenda’s Got a Baby“, “Trapped“, and “If My Homie Calls“.
2Pacalypse Now can be found in the Vinyl Countdown ad in the instruction manual for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas along with the track “I Don’t Give a Fuck” which appeared on the in-game radio station, Radio Los Santos.