Musical Context

The entire mission statement of AEOM was to drive home the point that the West Coast was going to run the tables in hip-hop. While Pac was in prison, Biggie had gone from ashy horrorcore rapper to Player president. Rightly or wrongly, Pac felt that Big had taken his style and his persona to become King of hip-hop at that moment. With AEOM, he sought to destroy all of that.

 

Musically, TDK is comparable to one of Lil Wayne’s early mixtapes. Raw lyrics that was intended for his most devoted fans. Outside of maybe “Toss Em Up” and “To Live and Die in LA” the record is not populated with songs created for the Billboard charts.

 

“Hit Em Up” was part of a strategy—calling out all the East Coast cats and creating much more dominant music. Getting plugged into the army of Death Row hitmakers was all he needed. This is what makes “California Love” such a big record. Dre plus Pac: Genius meets Passion. Dre built an epic anthem and Pac mustered enough restraint to make this not just about him and Big. The rest of the album benefits from the creative team that was already on and popping at Death Row.

Musically, TDK is comparable to one of Lil Wayne’s early mixtapes. Raw lyrics that was intended for his most devoted fans. Outside of maybe “Toss Em Up” and “To Live and Die in LA” the record is not populated with songs created for the Billboard charts.

It was more like, here is the next step in his longer plan to build a Thug Nation. “Blasphemy”, “White Man’s World” and “Against All Odds” were directed at the underground. This is what Tupac’s Gangsta Grillz would sound like.

Advantage: AEOM

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