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".
- 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!
- Broken Record: The final minute of "Brenda's Got a Baby" consists of a chorus singing "Don't you know she's got a baby?" repeatedly.
- Conscience Makes You Go Back: In "Brenda's Got a Baby," the eponymous Brenda gives birth at school after being abandoned by her boyfriend (who was also her 20-something cousin), and not being sure what to do next, leaves the baby in the trash. But she hears the baby crying, and can't bring herself to abandon it, so she takes it out and attempts to raise it, but it does not end well.
- 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: "Brenda's Got a Baby" is about a 12-year-old girl from the inner-city with an uncaring family who gets involved with and pregnant by her 20-something cousin. (Who abandons her sometime during the pregnancy.) Shortly after she gives birth, her mother throws her out of the house, and she's out on the street. When selling drugs fails, she is driven to prostitution, and killed (presumably by one of her clients.)
- 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.
- Junkie Parent: In "Brenda's Got a Baby," it's mentioned that Brenda's father was too busy shooting up to pay attention to his 12-year-old daughter, or notice that she was in an extremely inappropriate relationship with her 20-something cousin, or notice that she was pregnant. Her mother wasn't much better, either.
- 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".
- Police Brutality: The first verse of "Trapped" tells a story of 2Pac being harassed by the police, 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.
- 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: "Brenda's Got a Baby" has a preteen example. A twelve-year-old girl gets pregnant by her much older cousin, who leaves her after she reveals her pregnancy. Brenda's parents don't care about their pregnant daughter so, having no support, she gives birth in a public bathroom and dumps the baby. She saves the baby and runs away from home. To support herself, Brenda tries to deal drugs but ends up robbed, so she turns to prostitution. At the end, Brenda is killed.
- 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.