Beats

With production by Dr. Dre, Johnny “J,” Daz Dillinger, Devante Swing, Timbaland, and DJ Quik, AEOM had more than enough musical firepower to accomplish Pac’s takeover bid. Even if Dre didn’t produce most of the records, his influence could be heard in the lush West Coast sound that permeated the album. But there were many other types of sounds as well.

“What'z Ya Phone #” sounds like a Prince record, reminiscent of “Erotic City.” AEOMwas this big commercial monstrosity. It had “California Love,” “2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted,” “How Do U Want It?”—these were big, big records.

 

The reason why Pac stopped using Dre and Daz was because he was stepping away from Death Row. TDK wasn’t as strong on the production side, but when you listen to “Live and Die in LA,” that was a very complete record. Pac got all these B-Listers that he just corralled into an army.

 

The sound of TDK was much more stripped down and impressionistic. Pac was testing his “7 Day Theory” to see how quickly he could complete an entire album under these circumstances. The sound was raw because it was done so quickly.

The reason why Pac stopped using Dre and Daz was because he was stepping away from Death Row. TDK wasn’t as strong on the production side, but when you listen to “Live and Die in LA,” that was a very complete record. Pac got all these B-Listers that he just corralled into an army.

E.D.I. Mean of the Outlawz once recalled how Pac recruited producers for TDK “We was looking for a whole new sound,” he said. “They had a green room up in Can-Am [Studios] which everybody around Death Row called the ‘wack room’ because they said ‘Ain't nothing but wack shit come out of there.’ But we was up in the studio one day and we trying to get music done—ain't none of us producers—we see them two niggas in the ‘Wack room’ and Pac like, ‘Go get them niggas.’”

Having reestablished himself with AEOM—a double-album that went double platinum right out of the gate—Tupac had his fans expecting more of the same. But TDK was a total departure. When you listen to “Hold Ya Head,” “Krazy,” and “Just Like Daddy,” they’re smaller records but more intimate and more intense.

Advantage: AEOM

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