2Pacalypse Now

Last updated
2Pacalypse Now
2pacalypse now.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 12, 1991 (1991-11-12)
RecordedMarch–August 1991
StudioStarlight Sound (Richmond, California)
2Pac chronology
2Pacalypse Now
Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z...
Singles from 2Pacalypse Now
  1. "Trapped"
    Released: September 25, 1991
  2. "Brenda's Got a Baby"
    Released: October 20, 1991
  3. "If My Homie Calls"
    Released: February 25, 1992

2Pacalypse Now is the debut studio album by American rapper 2Pac. It was released on November 12, 1991, [2] by Interscope. 2Pacalypse Now is Tupac's commentary on contemporary social issues facing American society, such as racism, police brutality, poverty, black on black crime, and teenage pregnancy. It featured three singles: "Brenda's Got a Baby", "Trapped", and "If My Homie Calls".


2Pacalypse Now received positive reviews from critics and was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on April 19, 1995. [3] In commemoration of its twenty-fifth anniversary, it was released on vinyl and cassette on November 11, 2016. [4]


The album generated significant controversy stemming from then-U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle's public criticism after Ronald Ray Howard murdered a Texas state trooper and his defense attorney claimed he was influenced by 2Pacalypse Now and its strong theme of police brutality. Quayle made the statement, "There's no reason for a record like this to be published. It has no place in our society." [5]


2Pacalypse Now features productions by Digital Underground member Shock G and Stretch, as well as guest appearances from rappers Poppi and Pogo, R&B singer Dave Hollister and Stretch himself.


2Pacalypse Now is a socially conscious hip hop album. It serves as Tupac's social commentary on issues that plague American society, including police brutality, gang violence, black on black crime, teenage pregnancy and racism. The album poetically addresses black urban concerns relevant to the present day. Although a relatively tame album compared to Shakur's later works, 2Pacalypse Now was known for its violent lyrics aimed at police officers and the government in the songs "Trapped", "I Don't Give a Fuck" and "Soulja's Story". [6]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [7]
Q Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [8]
RapReviews8/10 [9]
The New Rolling Stone Album Guide Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [10]
Tom Hull – on the Web B+ ( Five Pointed Star Solid.svg ) [11]

2Pacalypse Now received generally positive reviews from critics. Although the album's political messages, lyrics and his storytelling were praised, Tupac Shakur's debut album was criticized for its production. In a retrospective review, RapReviews gave the album 4 stars out of 5 and said: "It's not an extraordinarily long album, but it is a dense and heavy listen that will take a lot out of you if you pay close attention to the persistent theme. The beats overall fail to make much of an impression, but perhaps that is as it should be, since nothing should be allowed to outshine this kind of lyrical performance. Tupac's vitriol is carried by his sincerity and charisma, both of which would emerge as key traits of the figure that blossomed in the years to come. Over the course of Tupac's career, the political got suffused by the personal and receded from the central position it occupied on his debut".

Commercial performance

2Pacalypse Now peaked at number 64 on the US Billboard 200 and number 13 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. On April 19, 1995, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over 500,000 copies in the United States. As of September 2011, the album has sold 923,455 copies in the United States. [12]

Track listing

Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes. [13]

1."Young Black Male" Tupac Shakur Big D the Impossible2:35
2."Trapped"T. Shakur, Ramone "Pee-Wee" Gooden, Ray Tyson Pee-Wee4:44
3."Soulja's Story"T. Shakur, D. Evans, Isaac Hayes Big D the Impossible Pierre Ushay5:05
4."I Don't Give a Fuck"T. Shakur, R. GoodenPee-Wee4:20
5."Violent"T. Shakur, David Elliott, Ronald Brooks, Maceo Parker Raw Fusion 6:25
6."Words of Wisdom"T. Shakur Shock G 4:54
7."Something Wicked"T. Shakur, Jeremy JacksonJeremy2:28
8."Crooked Ass Nigga" (featuring Stretch)T. Shakur, Randy Walker Stretch 4:17
9."If My Homie Calls"T. ShakurBig D the Impossible4:18
10."Brenda's Got a Baby"T. ShakurBig D the Impossible3:53
11."Tha' Lunatic" (featuring Stretch)T. Shakur, G. Jacobs Shock G 3:29
12."Rebel of the Underground"T. ShakurBig D The Impossible3:17
13."Part Time Mutha" (featuring Poppi)T. ShakurBig D the Impossible5:13
Total length:55:07


Young Black Male [13]

Trapped [13]

Soulja's Story [13]

Violent[ citation needed ]

Words of Wisdom [13]

Something Wicked[ citation needed ]

Crooked Ass Nigga

If My Homie Calls [13]

The Lunatic[ citation needed ]

Rebel of the Underground[ citation needed ]

Part Time Mutha



RegionCertification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA) [22] Gold923,455 [12]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tupac Shakur</span> American rapper (1971–1996)

Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. He is widely considered one of the most influential rappers of all time. Shakur is among the best-selling music artists, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide. Much of Shakur's music has been noted for addressing contemporary social issues that plagued inner cities, and he is considered a symbol of activism against inequality.

West Coast hip hop is a regional genre of hip hop music that encompasses any artists or music that originated in the west coast of the United States. West Coast hip hop began to dominate from a radio play and sales standpoint during the early to-mid 1990s with the birth of G-funk and the emergence of record labels such as Suge Knight and Dr. Dre's Death Row Records, Ice Cube's Lench Mob Records, the continued success of Eazy-E's Ruthless Records, Aftermath Records belonging to Dr. Dre, and others.

<i>Me Against the World</i> 1995 studio album by 2Pac

Me Against the World is the third studio album by American rapper 2Pac. It was released on March 14, 1995, by Interscope. 2Pac draws lyrical inspiration from his impending prison sentence, troubles with the police, and poverty.

<i>Tupac: Resurrection</i> (soundtrack) 2003 soundtrack album by Tupac

Tupac: Resurrection is a soundtrack album for the Academy Award-nominated documentary of the same name. It was released on November 14, 2003 by Amaru Entertainment and Interscope Records.

<i>The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory</i> 1996 studio album by Makaveli

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory is the fifth studio album by American rapper Tupac Shakur, his first posthumous album and the last released with his creative input. Recorded in seven days in August 1996, it was released on November 5, 1996, almost two months after his death, under the stage name of Makaveli, through Death Row Records, Makaveli Records, and Interscope Records.

<i>Loyal to the Game</i> 2004 studio album by 2Pac

Loyal to the Game is the ninth studio album and fifth posthumous studio album by American rapper Tupac Shakur. The album was produced by Eminem and consists of remixes of previously unreleased music recorded by Tupac before his death in 1996. Released in the United States on December 14, 2004, Loyal to the Game debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart. It was later certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Maurice Harding, better known by his stage name Mopreme Shakur, originally known as Wycked, is an American rapper. He was a member of the hip-hop group Thug Life and is the stepbrother of rapper Tupac Shakur. He was also a member of the Outlawz, but later dropped out because of a financial disagreement with Death Row Records.

<i>Better Dayz</i> 2002 studio album by 2Pac

Better Dayz is the eighth studio album and fourth posthumous album by the late American rapper 2Pac, and is his last to be a double-album.

<i>Until the End of Time</i> (Tupac Shakur album) 2001 studio album by 2Pac

Until the End of Time is the seventh studio album and third posthumous album by American rapper 2Pac.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Brenda's Got a Baby</span> 1991 single by 2Pac

"Brenda's Got a Baby" is a song by American rapper 2Pac from his debut album, 2Pacalypse Now (1991). The song was first released as a promotional CD single a month prior to album's release and then, in February 1992, it was re-released as a double A-side single with the song "If My Homie Calls". The song, which features R&B singer Dave Hollister singing background vocals with Roniece Levias, is about a 12-year-old girl named Brenda who lives in a ghetto and has a baby she can't support. The song explores the issue of teen pregnancy and its effect on young mothers and their families. Like many of Shakur's songs, "Brenda's Got a Baby" draws from the plight of the impoverished. Using Brenda to represent young mothers in general, Shakur criticises the low level of support from the baby's father, the government, and society in general. Shakur wrote the song while filming the feature film Juice, after reading a newspaper article about a 12-year-old girl who became pregnant by her cousin and threw the baby into a trash compactor.

<i>Thug Life, Volume I</i> 1994 studio album by Thug Life

Thug Life, Volume I is the only studio album by American hip hop group Thug Life started by American rapper Tupac Shakur (2Pac) and also comprising Big Syke, The Rated R, Macadoshis and Mopreme Shakur, Tupac's stepbrother. It was released on October 11, 1994, through Interscope and Atlantic Records. The album features guest appearances by Y.N.V. and Nate Dogg and production by Warren G, Easy Mo Bee, Big Syke and Stretch.

<i>Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z...</i> 1993 studio album by 2Pac

Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z... is the second studio album by American rapper 2Pac, released on February 16, 1993, by Interscope. N.I.G.G.A. in the title is punctuated to refer to 2Pac's backronym "Never Ignorant in Getting Goals Accomplished". The album features guest appearances from the group Live Squad, 2Pac's stepbrother the Wycked, Ice-T, Ice Cube, Treach, Apache, Poppi, Deadly Threat, R&B singer Dave Hollister and Digital Underground.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Changes (Tupac Shakur song)</span> 1998 single by 2Pac featuring Talent

"Changes" is a song by American rapper 2Pac featuring vocals by the group Talent first released as a single from Shakur's greatest hits compilation on October 13, 1998. The song makes references to the war on drugs, the treatment of black people by the police, racism, the reconciliation between the black and white people in America, the perpetuation of poverty and its accompanying vicious-cycle value system in urban African American culture, and the difficulties of life in the ghetto. "Changes" samples Bruce Hornsby and the Range’s song "The Way It Is".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dear Mama</span> 1995 single by Tupac Shakur

"Dear Mama" is a song by American rapper 2Pac from his third studio album, Me Against the World (1995). It was released on February 21, 1995, as the lead single from the album. The song is a tribute to his mother, Afeni Shakur. In the song, Shakur details his childhood poverty and his mother's addiction to crack cocaine, but argues that his love and deep respect for his mother supersede bad memories. The song became his first top ten on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number nine. It also topped the Hot Rap Singles chart for five weeks. As of March 2021, the song is certified 3× Platinum by the RIAA.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Temptations (song)</span> 1995 single by 2Pac

"Temptations" is a song by American rapper Tupac Shakur (2Pac) from his third studio album, Me Against the World (1995). It was released as a single in the US on August 29, 1995, and was released as a CD, cassette, and 12" promo. While rapping is solely performed by Shakur, Erick Sermon and producer Easy Mo Bee are also featured in the song primarily as background vocalists. The song uses the bassline from the "Computer Love", and the theme focuses on relationship and infidelity issues. Debuting at number sixty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100, the song did fairly well in the United States. It was also well received by critics, with many writers commenting on its romantic tone.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Political hip hop</span> Music genre

Political hip hop is a subgenre of hip hop music that was developed in the 1980s as a way of turning hip hop into a call for political and/or social action and a form of social and/or political activism. Inspired by 1970s political artists such as The Last Poets and musician Gil Scott-Heron, Public Enemy was the first predominantly political hip-hop group. The genre has helped to create a new form of social expression for subordinate groups to speak about their exclusions, injustices and lack of power. Political hip-hop is the use of hip hop music to send political messages to inspire action or social change or to convince the listener of a particular worldview. There is no all-encompassing political hip-hop ideology; rather, there are multiple perspectives that range anywhere from anarchism to Marxism to the values of the Five-Percent Nation. Hip hop and politics have long been intertwined, with many hip hop artists using their music as a means to speak out about political issues and express their views on current events. Over the years, there have been a number of hip hop songs that have addressed political issues such as police brutality, racism, and poverty, among others. Some well-known examples of political hip hop songs include "Fuck tha Police" by N.W.A., "Changes" by Tupac Shakur, and "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy.

<i>All Eyez on Me</i> 1996 studio album by 2Pac

All Eyez on Me is the fourth studio album by American rapper 2Pac and the last to be released during his lifetime. Released on February 13, 1996, by Death Row and Interscope Records, the album features guest appearances from Dr. Dre, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Redman, Method Man, Nate Dogg, Kurupt, Daz Dillinger, E-40, K-Ci & JoJo, and the Outlawz, among others.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">So Many Tears</span> 1995 single by 2Pac

"So Many Tears" is a song by American rapper 2Pac from his third studio album, Me Against the World (1995). It was released on June 13, 1995, as the album's second single. It was produced by Shock G, who used a sample of Stevie Wonder's That Girl, and is often described as one of the album's best. A music video was made for "So Many Tears" and there were also numerous live performances of this song on Saturday Night Live and on Shakur's House of Blues concert, his last recorded show.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trapped (Tupac Shakur song)</span> 1991 single by 2Pac

"Trapped" is the solo debut single by 2Pac from his debut album 2Pacalypse Now (1991). It deals with police brutality. The first verse tells a story of 2Pac being harassed by the police with one even shooting at him. He then fires back and says he did it because he was tired of constantly being profiled and abused by police officers.

Live from the Styleetron is the debut studio album by Oakland-based hip hop group Raw Fusion. The group was fronted by Ron Brooks, known as Money-B, an active member of Digital Underground who produced this album as a side project with fellow group member David Elliot known as DJ FUZE. Among many featured artists was a young unknown performer named Tupac Shakur who would later become a legendary figure in the world of hip hop.


  1. "Tupac Shakur Drops '2Pacalypse Now' Album: Today in Hip-Hop - XXL".
  2. McAdams, Janine (1991-11-30). "2Pac Files Claim Against Oakland" (PDF). Billboard. New York, NY, USA: BPI Communications, Inc. 103 (48): 20. ISSN   0006-2510 . Retrieved 16 February 2023. Details were revealed at a Nov. 12 press conference..."2Pacalypse Now," was released the same day as his press conference.
  3. "2Pac - GOLD & PLATINUM". RIAA . Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  4. Walker, Angus (3 November 2016). "Tupac's 2Pacalypse Now released on vinyl and cassette". Hotnewhiphop. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  5. Broder, John (September 23, 1992). "Quayle Calls for Pulling Rap Album Tied to Murder Case". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  6. Vaught, Seneca (Spring 2014). "Tupac's Law: Incarceration, T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E., and the Crisis of Black Masculinity". Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men. 2 (2): 93–94. doi:10.2979/spectrum.2.2.87. S2CID   144439620. Archived from the original on March 6, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  7. Marisa Brown. "2Pacalypse Now - 2Pac". AllMusic . Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  8. McCann, Ian: reissue reviews, Q , April 1997
  9. Emilee Woods. "2Pac :: 2Pacalypse Now :: Interscope Records". rapreviews.com. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  10. The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Rolling Stone. 2004. ISBN   9780743201698 . Retrieved 26 April 2011. Portions posted at "Tupac Shakur: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
  11. Hull, Tom. "Grade List: 2Pac". Tom Hull – on the Web . Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  12. 1 2 "Tupac Month: 2Pac's Discography" . Retrieved May 27, 2013.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 2Pac. "2Pacalypse Now" (Album Notes). Interscope Records. 1991.
  14. 1 2 3 "2Pac Releases his Debut Album...(1991)". RVM. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  15. 1 2 "2Pac...Now (The Samples)". Hip Hop Is Read. 18 March 2008.
  16. "2Pac Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
  17. "2Pac Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
  18. "2Pac Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
  19. "2Pac Chart History (Catalog Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  20. "2Pac Chart History (Vinyl Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  21. "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 1992". Billboard. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  22. "American album certifications – 2 Pac – 2 Pacalypse". Recording Industry Association of America.