On the thirteenth of September 1996 the hip hop industry lost one of its leading lights: Tupac Amaru Shakur.
Born in New York City in 1971, Tupac is wildly accepted as being the greatest rapper ever, and one of the biggest influences on many of today’s rap stars-Eminem, 50 Cent and Ja Rule to name but a few. Indeed The Guinness Book of Records lists him as the most successful rap artist ever.
As talented as Shakur undoubtedly was in the studio, he was also one of rap’s self confessed ‘bad boys’ and was never far from trouble; his life was turbulent to say the very least: a couple of spells in prison, a wrongful death lawsuit filed against him and a suspected attempt on his life. All within the space of two years.
It was almost with little surprise that the world received news of his untimely murder a decade ago. From the outset Tupac’s life seemed to be marred with tragedy and controversy.
Despite his misdemeanours (and there were a few!) he was generally regarded as something of a genius when it came to doing what he did best: making music.
During his short but illustrious career- he sold over 73 million albums worldwide!-Tupac sampled some twenty songs. And nineteen of these songs-in their original forms- are brought together in this ‘Gold Digging-As sampled by Tupac’ collection. This, incidentally, is the third release in the ‘Gold Digging…..As Sampled by’ series; Messrs Jay-Z and Kanye West having been the first and second featured artists respectively. So a good pedigree, obviously.
One thing’s for sure: Tupac had taste. Sampling from artists as diverse as Elton John and Minnie Ripperton, Sly and the Family Stone to Joe Cocker, the range of songs is both eclectic and excellent.
Every single track on the album is a nugget of perfection (Gold Digging/nugget. Geddit?) , each as effortlessly cool as the one before it. However, a definite stand out track would have to be Elton John’s ‘Indian Sunset’ which was sampled on Tupac’s posthumous summer 2005 release ‘Ghetto Gospel’. Shooting straight to number one it proved, even nine years after his death, that Tupac was still a very big deal in the world of hip hop, and that, crucially, he had not become irrelevant to today’s (notoriously) fickle record buying public.
Don’t be fooled. This CD is not only a must for fans of Tupac, it’s a must for fans of good music too. Something which, sadly, there is very little of around., so take note all you wannabe pop stars: this is how it’s done.
Written for Entertainment Wise