Album Reviews

Tupac – Resurrection OST

(Interscope) UK release date: 10 November 2003

This is one of those rare soundtracks that doesn’t require any knowledge of the film to be enjoyed. Anyone with an iota of rap knowledge should know the Tupac story, and seven years after that tragic night in Vegas the legacy continues.

From the second Ghost begins, any question of this being a disguised greatest hits package are eliminated. The track is certainly big and brash with Tupac’s distinctive voice overlaying it all. Eminem‘s production captures the essence of Shady Records and is a convenient lead into One Day At A Time (Em’s Version).

The song is typically brilliant and also symbolic that the “beef has been squashed” between Eminem and the Outlawz, who are ignored on Eminem’s production of Runnin’ (Dying To Live). Runnin’ will probably be the only release from Resurrection and is one of the most emotive rap songs ever released. There’s also a lot of politics at play as the track ends with the Notorious B.I.G saying, “I would never wish death on nobody.” It seems that those with any muscle in the industry are trying to heal the East / West Coast rift that peaked with the murders of Tupac and Biggie.

The unsettling thing about the old songs on the album is that, on the whole, they don’t sound definitively old skool. Of course, they’ve been re-mastered but not re-produced, Death Around the Corner in particular would sit comfortably on any new album. In saying that, Holler If Ya’ Hear Me is a straight throwback to the Boyz In The Hood era of the early ’90s.

“What’s the sense of working hard if you never get to play?” asks Bury Me A G, and it’s clear that Tupac did work his proverbials off during his time, based on the sheer volume of posthumous material that’s been released. It’s also clear that the image of rap is changing from drugs and murder to the bling bling that’s blinded the class of 2003 from the struggle that Panther Power describes.

Resurrection fittingly ends with The Realist Killaz where Tupac meets who many have described as Tupac Mk II: 50 Cent. The parallels between the two are obvious, but hopefully the story of 50 Cent won’t end in a similar fashion. The track has its place, but unfortunately that is on mix-tapes. 50 Cent’s issues with Ray Benzino (“F**k the Source / I’m on the cover of Rolling Stone”) ought to have nothing to do with this album which is proclaimed to be, “His story. His words.” But one mistake is forgivable.

Does Resurrection show anything new? Not really, other than Eminem’s talent for production stretching beyond G Unit and Obie Trice. We all know that Tupac’s death was a great loss, and surely it’s just a matter of time before the saga is finally put to bed. But until then just enjoy the brilliant music that’s continues to come out in his name.

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Tupac – Resurrection OST