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Me Against the World is the third studio album by American rapper 2Pac. It was released on March 14, 1995, by Interscope and Jive Records. 2Pac draws lyrical inspiration from his impending prison sentence, troubles with the police, and poverty.
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According to 2Pac, Me Against the World was made to show the hip-hop audience his respect for the art form. Lyrically, he intentionally tried to make the album more personal and reflective than his previous efforts. Considered by several music critics to be the best of any of his albums up to that point in his career, the album's musical production was handled by his mentor Shock G, Easy Mo Bee, Tony Pizarro, Johnny "J" and the Danish hip-hop duo Soulshock and Karlin, among others. Me Against the World features guest appearances from rap group Dramacydal and rapper Richie Rich.
Released while Tupac was imprisoned, Me Against the World made an immediate impact on the charts, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200, holding the top spot for four consecutive weeks, and also topping the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. "Dear Mama" was released as the album's first single in February 1995 and would be the album's most successful single, topping the Hot Rap Singles chart, and peaking at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100. While he was in prison, the album overtook Bruce Springsteen's Greatest Hits as the best-selling album of the year in the United States at the time.
Me Against the World was eventually certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). At the 38th Grammy Awards, the album was nominated for Best Rap Album and "Dear Mama" was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance. The album received acclaimed reviews by critics, being ranked among the best albums of the 1990s. It has been ranked by many critics as one of the greatest hip hop albums, as well as one of the greatest albums of all time. In 2008, the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), in conjunction with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, included Me Against the World in its list of the Definitive 200 Albums of All Time.
By 1994, Tupac Shakur, age 23, was already a prominent and controversial rapper. His second album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., going Platinum, had entered the top 25 on the Billboard 200, and offered two Gold singles, "I Get Around" and "Keep Ya Head Up", both entering the top 15 of the Billboard Hot 100. In rapid succession, however, he had become involved in a string of violent encounters.
According to Shakur, Me Against the World aimed to show the hip-hop audience his respect for the art form. Shakur purposefully made Me Against the World's lyrics more personal and reflective than previously. This was widely attributed to Shakur's growing maturity and perhaps an effort to reconcile with his troubled past.
Although originally released by Interscope, the album was later released twice by Amaru Entertainment, the label owned by Shakur's mother, Afeni Shakur. The album was recorded at ten different studios, and it was mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering by Brian Gardner. Several critics found the album's musical production the best on any of Shakur's albums to date.
Me Against the World debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, selling 210,500 copies in the first week. The album held the top spot for four consecutive weeks. The album also debuted at number one on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, thus giving 2Pac the first number one album on both R&B and Pop charts. While Shakur was in prison, the album overtook Bruce Springsteen's Greatest Hits as the best-selling album in the United States, a feat which he took pride in. Shakur became the first artist to have a number one album while serving a prison sentence. On December 6, 1995, the album was certified double platinum for sales of over two million copies in the United States.As of September 2011, the album has sold 3,524,567 copies in the United States.
"Dear Mama" was released as the album's first single in February 1995, along with the track "Old School" as the B-side. "Dear Mama" would be the album's most successful single, topping the Hot Rap Singles chart, and peaking at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was certified platinum in July 1995, and later placed at No. 51 on the year-end charts.
"Temptations," released in August, was the third and final single from the album. The single is the least successful of the three released, but still did fairly well on the charts, reaching No. 68 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 35 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks, and No. 13 on the Hot Rap Singles charts.
"This may be the first hip-hop blues LP," observed Matt Hall in Select. "Not so much in the music, although the harp blasts owe more to Howlin' Wolf than Tupac's previous two solo efforts, but more with Shakur's vocals, which are at once rebellious and resigned ... Me Against the World is a statement of intent, a note from the depths of America, and a fine, thoughtful LP." In The Guardian, critic Caroline Sullivan observed a "surprisingly optimistic" and thoughtful 2Pac on display on the album, deeming it "worth a listen" despite criticizing the presence of "anodyne" beats and predictable samples.
Me Against the World was one of Tupac's most acclaimed albums, with many calling it the magnum opus of his career; the work is considered one of the greatest and most influential hip hop albums of all time. In a retrospective review, AllMusic editor Steve Huey dubbed the album "[Shakur's] most thematically consistent, least self-contradicting work", and stated, "it may not be his definitive album, but it just might be his best". Steve "Flash" Juon of RapReviews seemed to feel differently, remarking that the album "is not only the quintessential Shakur album, but one of the most important rap albums released in the 1990s as a whole". On MTV's Greatest Rappers of All Time list, Me Against the World was listed as one of Tupac's "certified classic" albums, along with 2Pacalypse Now, All Eyez on Me and The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. "One of the best five rap albums ever," remarked Mojo, after Shakur's death.
In 1996, at the 38th Grammy Awards, Me Against the World was nominated for Best Rap Album and the single "Dear Mama" was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance. Me Against the World won Best Rap Album at the 1996 Soul Train Music Awards. In 2008, the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, in conjunction with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, recognized Me Against the World as one of the "most influential and popular albums", ranking it number 170 on a list of 200 other albums by artists of various musical genres. The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
Duke Ellington discovered and recorded pianist-composer Dollar Brand aka Abdullah Ibrahim in 1963 playing in a more or less conventional jazz manner, but it took a long time for the South African township music he evolved in the 1970s to be accepted outside of Africa. This album was one of the very first to be made in America and its impact was immense, its melodicism, warmth and simplicity brought something new and refreshing to the often overheated, testosterone-filled gladiatorial pit of small group improvising to established harmonic patterns. As Jelly Roll Morton had shown 50 years earlier, sometimes the best comes from a truly group effort. (KS)
Ra had been making albums for his own label Saturn for a decade by the time this one slipped out via ESP-Disk, but this was the first to make a wide impact due not only to the unprecedented nature of the music (some tracks sound closer to Tibetan Buddhist music than anything being played in the America at the time) but also to the fact that ESP-Disk, a tiny label making a big noise at the time, actually got distributed outside of Chicago and New York and even made a splash internationally. Ra was on the vinyl map and never looked back. Next stop, Jupiter. (KS)
The 2000s were an incredible decade for music. The top 100 songs of the 2000s are a mix of pop, rock, country, hip-hop, and R&B. They span genres and generations, with some surprisingly old songs that have aged well. From Eminem to Taylor Swift to Rihanna, this list has it all. Thankfully you could always count on the 2000s songs for great music.
Jazz and blues pianist/vocalist/composer Mose Allison has been described as "one of the finest songwriters of 20th century blues." This 1978 live recording features Allison playing his usual repertoire, in a trio with bassist Tom Rutley (bass) and drummer Jerry Granelli (drums). Since Allison only recorded one album during the years 1973 to 1981, this well-recorded live set is quite valuable.
Record Store Day celebrates the 20th anniversary of Beck's Sea Change album with this special edition 3" record, made especially for the RSD3 Mini-Turntable. Limited to 1500 copies."It's All In Your Mind"
For RSD Black Friday 2022, a deluxe edition of the 1980 album Catholic Boy, with a bonus LP of the original demos the band did in 1978, including two unreleased songs. Housed in a gatefold jacket, with liner notes and photographs, put together by Stephen Linsley, bass player in The Jim Carroll Band.1. Wicked Gravity2. Three Sisters3. Day and Night4. Nothing Is True5. People who Died6. City Drops Into The Night7. Crow8. It's Too Late9. I Want The Angel10. Catholic Boy11. Tension (Bolinas Demos)12. Cruelty (Bolinas Demos)13. Nothing Is True (Bolinas Demos)14. Lorraine (Bolinas Demos)15. Crow (Bolinas Demos)16.Book Of Nods (Bolinas Demos)
It's the first Harry Chapin collection to come out on vinyl for the independent record store community in the "modern" reissue era--and it's got all the hits in their rare single versions! Issued with the full cooperation of the Harry Chapin Estate, Story of a Life--The Complete Hit Singles includes liner notes and photos. Limited to 2000 copies worldwide, pressed on yellow "Taxi" vinyl!1. Taxi2. Sunday Morning Sunshine3. Better Place to Be4. WOLD5. Cat's in the Cradle6. I Wanna Learn a Love Song7. Sequel; Story of a Life