Tupac may have left the living world more than 25 years ago, but even to this day, unreleased songs from his prime years continue to reach his faithful fans. This begs the question where do all these raw records come from? Many even believed in conspiracy theories that the great rapper didn’t die, but rather continued his work away from the spotlight. Of course, none of that is actually true.
Most of Pac’s unreleased music stems from the so-called Pacific Archived server. This server featured not only bits and pieces of Shakur’s songwriting but also contained beats and unreleased songs from many other artists, who were part of Death Row Records during Pac’s prime years.
The story has it that upon Shakur’s death, a Canadian label company, called WideAwake, wanted to buy the exclusive rights for Pac’s unreleased tracks, in order to put them together into a posthumous album. The brand could choose 13 songs, which would afterward be put through further mixdowns. Naturally, things didn’t really go very smoothly. You wouldn’t expect them to though – this is the art of Tupac that we’re talking about.
A disagreement erupted between John Payne, and Lara Lavi – the CEO of WideAwake at the time, as well as an unnamed ex-employee of Death Row Records. It all got a bit messy as Lavi was fired, whilst the former employee decided to steal every musical record that Death Row had in its archives at the time. Later on, that same employee would sell these tracks to a multitude of people, making the assembly of all Tupac songs a mission-impossible act.
As it turned out, almost all of the digitally transferred songs from the archive were available solely in 128kbps mp3 form. The low quality meant that many music collectors preferred the higher quality mixes, which didn’t originate directly from the archive. Of course, others preferred the pure versions, since they were genuinely recorded when Pac was alive.
All of this meant that an entire plethora of songs ended up being uploaded online from various sources, rendering the idea of a posthumous album pretty much pointless. There was no way of making a profit from something, which was already available all over the internet for free. Nevertheless, we could only ever envisage just how many more unreleased Pac tracks are still out there, somewhere.
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