If one more cop harasses me, I just might go psycho
And when I get 'em, I'll hit 'em with the bum rush
Only a lunatic would like to see his skull crushed
Yo, if you're smart, you'll really let me go, G
But keep me cooped up in this ghetto, and catch the Uzi
They got me trapped...
2Pacalypse Now is the debut album of Tupac Shakur, released on November 12th, 1991. A gritty Political Rap album, it finds 2Pac rapping about various social issues and injustices faced by the black community at the time, such as racism, excessive force and racial bias from the police, poverty, and teenage pregnancy.
While not as well-known and popular with the general listening public as 2Pac's later albums, 2Pacalypse Now is considered a classic by fans, and put his name on the map as a rapper with lyricism that may have occasionally been violent note , but was overall very thoughtful and full of messages that needed to be heard. The album was certified Gold, and three of its tracks - "Trapped", "Brenda's Got a Baby", and "If My Homie Calls" - were released as singles.
"I Don't Give a Fuck" was featured on the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas soundtrack.
- "Young Black Male" (2:35)
- "Trapped" (4:45)
- "Soulja's Story" (5:05)
- "I Don't Give a Fuck" (4:20)
- "Violent" (6:26)
- "Words of Wisdom" (4:54)
- "Something Wicked" (2:29)
- "Crooked Ass Nigga" (4:17)
- "If My Homie Calls" (4:18)
- "Brenda's Got a Baby" (3:55)
- "Tha' Lunatic" (3:29)
- "Rebel of the Underground" (3:17)
- "Part Time Mutha" (5:14)
"They got me troped..."
- Album Title Drop: During the outro of "I Don't Give a Fuck". "2Pacalypse motherfuckin' Now!"
- Alliterative Title: "Soulja's Story" and "Words of Wisdom".
- Angry Black Man: Arguably the most blatant example of 2Pac's career, especially "I Don't Give a Fuck".
- Attack Backfire: As he pointed out in "Rebel Of The Underground", not only did the people who kicked up a fuss over his earlier music help draw attention to it, they also inadvertently gave him ideas for material to use in future albums.They say they hate me; they wanna hold me down.
I guess they're scared of the rebel; the rebel of the underground!
But I never let it get me.
I just make another record 'bout the punks trying to sweat me!
- Conscious Hip Hop: A mix of this and Political Rap.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The sepia-toned album cover, most of the "Trapped" and "If My Homie Calls" videos and all of the "Brenda's Got a Baby" video, and the single covers.
- Disposable Sex Worker: Sadly, the eponymous Brenda of "Brenda's Got a Baby" suffers this fate in the end.
- Downer Ending: "Brenda's Got a Baby" ends with its titular 12-year-old protagonist murdered after turning to prostitution to stay afloat.
- Face on the Cover: 2Pac standing surrounded by four other young men wearing hoods.
- Fun with Acronyms: On "Words of Wisdom", 2Pac explains his definition of the word "nigga".When I say "nigga", it is not the 'nigga' we have grown to fear
It is not the 'nigga' we say as if it has no meaning
But to me it means Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished, nigga.
- Gangsta Rap: Of the Blue Collar variety. While this is much more socio-political than a lot of his later work, that's not to say he didn't have his thug side even early on.
- In the Hood: The guys standing with 2Pac on the cover.
- Mood Whiplash: "If My Homie Calls", a fun, uplifting party track with production reminiscent of Digital Underground's sound, is immediately followed by the bleak, heartwrenching "Brenda's Got a Baby".
- Morality Ballad: "Brenda's Got a Baby" is about a 12-year-old girl who becomes pregnant, turns to prostitution just to stay afloat, and is murdered. It's stated that had her family and society at large had just looked after her, this tragedy would not have had to happen.I hear Brenda's got a baby, but Brenda's barely got a brain
A damn shame, the girl can hardly spell her name
"That's not our problem, that's up to Brenda's family!"
Well, let me show you how it affects the whole community.
- New Jack Swing: Surprisingly, despite being classified as a hardcore and political hip hop album, songs like "Trapped", "Brenda's Got A Baby" and "If My Homie Calls" use new jack-styled beats, though obviously gritter than what you'd normally hear from new jack swing.
- Non-Appearing Title: "Soulja's Story".
- One-Word Title: "Trapped" and "Violent".
- Political Rap: One of the most notable examples of the early '90s, the whole album discusses racism, police brutality and racial bias, teenage pregnancy, poverty, and various other issues affecting the black community.
- Protest Song: Pretty much a Protest Album.
- Ripped from the Headlines: 2Pac was inspired to write "Brenda's Got a Baby" when he read a newspaper article about a 12-year-old girl who was impregnated by her cousin and disposed of her newborn baby by throwing it into a trash compactor.
- Sampling: "Part Time Mutha" heavily samples Stevie Wonder's "Part Time Lover".
- Shout-Out: The album's title is a big one to Apocalypse Now.
- Teen Pregnancy: The title character of "Brenda's Got a Baby" is just twelve years old.
- Three Chords and the Truth: This album has a much rawer and more unfinessed sound than the smooth, lush G-Funk that would appear on 2Pac's later albums, giving it a grittier, more squalid feel that really lends itself to his messages.
- Undying Loyalty: The theme of "If My Homie Calls" is that no matter how famous he gets, he'll always be there for his homies.
- Wham Line: The final lines of "Brenda's Got a Baby".So now what's next? It ain't nothin' left to sell
So she sees sex as a way of leavin' hell
It's payin' the rent, so she really can't complain
"Prostitute Found Slain"
And Brenda's her name
She's got a baby.