2009: The Last Year

Best 2009 Song To Hear At Your Job: "I Hate My Job" by Cam'Ron. This just may apply to the people who darn near slave over a kitchen sink, a cubicle with papers towered overhead, or a laptop while taking notes during a lecture. Killa Cam provides some humor on our journey to success (or for some our journey out of debt) with stories of working with jerks, making money for child support, and even failing to get a job. It ended up making my job not seem so bad.

Watch the hilarious video here.

Best 2009 Song That Always Made Me Feel Better: "Roses (Pt. I & II)" by Georgia Anne Muldrow (ft. Mos Def on Pt. I). It had to be her powerful voice, along with the grand piano, along with the most inspirational rhymes by Mos, that always cheered me up whenever I was pissed (and that was very often this year). All I wanted to do after hearing either songs was smile :-)

Watch Part I here. Watch Part II here.

Best 2009 Song That Highlighted The Average Woman: "Baby Phat '09" by Skillz ft. Colin Munroe. I love the fact that this song was remade because the original "Baby Phat" cut by De La Soul was awesome! Skillz came through with his skilled rhyme, and Colin Munroe swooned me with his lyrics, making me appreciate my figure! I wish it got the same love I gave it because this remake was an instant gem this past fall.

Listen and/or download here.

Best 2009 Song I Only Like When I'm Drunk: "On to the Next One" by Jay-Z ft. Swizz Beatz. This is for all my folks who like to party on Thirsty Thursdays!!! This song has the perfect sample/hook to hear when you try to celebrate the end of the week... unless you have class or work the next day, but when will that ever stop people?

Listen here (but only when drunk; otherwise it sucks).

Best 2009 Comeback Song: "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" by Whitney Houston. Well, really any of her songs released this year counts, but this particular song deeply stated she was back and here to stay. The emotional performance at the American Music Awards wasn't the best Whitney Houston performance, but what should we expect from someone who was a former drug abuser?

Learn to how to make a real comeback here.

Best 2009 Song I've Never Skipped: "Electric Love" by Vikter Duplaix. This is an R&B song that I consider a "universal song". I can enjoy it with every mood I'm in, and the song is good enough to whisk me away from the real world and just bask in the music.

Listen here over and over again!

Best 2009 Song With The Dopest Flow: "Exhibit C" by Jay Electronica. The entire hiphop song was fire, but this flow mashing himself with the highest spiritual figures and events was mind-blowing! The flow's below:

"They call me Jay Electronica,
Fuck that, call me Jay Elec-Hanukkah, Jay Elec-Yarmulke,
Jay Elec-Ramadaan, Muhammad Asalaamica,
RasoulAllah Supana Watallah through your monitor,
My uzi still weigh a ton, check your barometer,
I'm hotter than the motherfuckin' sun, check the thermometer,
I'm bringing ancient Mathematics back to modern Man,
My momma told me never throw a stone and hide your hand"

Listen AND check the flow here.

Best 2009 Song That Was Socially Relevant: "Bulletproof" by Raheem Devaughn ft. Ludacris. I'm not that big of a fan of this song, but this soulful ballad by Radio Raheem and Luda was the closest song that had anything to do with the current state of society, along with some good moral substance with it made the cut as the best of this year.

Watch the video here and relate.

Best 2009 Song That Was Totally Raw: "Stapleton Sex" by Ghostface Killah. I still listen to it and think of ways to make it a bad song - you know, say it's misogynistic, sexist, objectifies women, etc - but it's totally consensual and includes no cues of objectifying women or even calling them out of their names. But it took me forever to get past the raunchy lyrics, let alone the video!

Watch this nasty @$$ video here.

Best 2009 Song Dedicated To An Icon: "Empire State of Mind Pt. II" by Alicia Keys. The first one with Jay-Z was nice, but the second with Alicia Keys on the solo-tip is much, much better. It actually gives greater and better-written detail to the city's highlights and makes you appreciate this iconic city so much more. After hearing this song, I feel like packing my things up and going to NYC in 2010, broke and all!

Watch a live performance of it here.

Thanks to YouTube, iHeartRadio, NahRight, FMWJ, Daily Stab, Daily Motion, and 2DopeBoyz for the audio/video links.

from ACRN: the Alicia Keys Review

Alicia Keys:The Element of Freedom
[J Records; 2009] 
Rating: 7/10 
By Star Watson, Staff Writer
December 18, 2009

Twelve-time Grammy winning R&B artist Alicia Keys has been struggling to put out something greater than her first two albums. Her latest, The Element of Freedom, can be seen as an attempt to broaden, or free (for lack of better words), her abilities as an artist. Unfortunately, the album could just come off as all over the place and a mere compilation of Keys' talents.
She’s going into a new sound - like a live band sound but with random songs where she goes with some sort of electric vocalization. She takes steps towards fusing the sounds of Isaac Hayes and Beyonce, both whom she has collaborated with once in her career (Songs in A Minorand The Element of Freedom). In The Element of Freedom, it's almost confusing to hear “Try Sleeping with A Broken Hear," which sounds like it's from Smokey Robinson circa 1965, and then hear “Doesn’t Mean Anything," which sounds like it could be performed by any current R&B artist.
One thing Keys maintains as her staple in the genre is her status as a social and political force with her worldly tune “How It Feels to Fly." Her lyrics speak of the ever-so-basic saying “life’s a journey," but fortunately she does provide an uplifting feeling with the choir singing in the background of this song. Her version of “Empire State of Mind” was far better than Jay-Z’s version, focusing more on the highlights of New York City and less of NYC’s pop culture icons composed in Jay-Z’s half-assed rhymes.
The love songs on The Element of Freedom are touching, but basic enough for her teenage audience. “Distance and Time” is a song about being in a long distance relationship, while “Love is Blind” is a song about how having feelings toward a person may overshadow his or her flaws. These topics are not typically discussed much in the R&B genre nowadays, at least in the manner Alicia Keys gives to her audience.
Keys, however, does have songs on The Element of Freedom that will keep fans listening. “Love Is My Disease” and “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart” are two songs that are bound to inspire tears for those who can relate. “That’s How Strong My Love Is” gets honorable mention because it’s the one song on which Keys doesn’t overshoot her vocals.
Although Keys over-complicated her vocals on The Element of Freedom, her songwriting skills ease the pain. The album may not grow on listeners until the holidays wear off, when a lot of couples seem to call it quits and Keys' songs about heartbreak hit closer to home.

Photo credit: Amazon.com

Just Thought I Add More Fun for the Holidays...

See, this is why I love Failblog:

Lesson of the day: If you can't sing, put the mic down - not upside down!

Cell Therapy 030

After hearing R. Kelly's new album "Untitled", I've come to this one-sentence conclusion:

His music is young enough for him to become a repeat offender!

That is all.

Can The World Get Some Club Music? Thanks Kelis, David Guetta and Will.I.Am.!

Every time I hear this song, I feel like going to a nightclub.... more like a rave.

Shortly after the announcement December 2nd that Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas signed Nas's ex-wife Kelis to his new record label, Will.I.Am Music Group, she drops a new single titled "Acapella." Under Interscope Records, Kelis is working on a new album for 2010, but should she stick to raising her newborn baby before jumping back into the music biz?

Well, "Acapella" is definitely no sleeper. It sure as heck isn't a song that should go un-played in the nightlife. The beginning of the song clearly states that, with its thumping bass and created noise in the background. And then when the pipes come in, get ready to nod that head. Once Kelis delivers, you're in a musical bliss. Producer David Guetta knows his dance music, his hits "Love is Gone" with Chris Willis, "When Love Takes Over" with Kelly Rowland, and "Sexy Chick" with Akon should ring a bell.

I did expect a smarter approach from Kelis; maybe a softer range would've made it a better listen because it sounded like she was straining during the chorus. Nevertheless, I can tell with the mind, and hopefully direction, of Will.I.Am that this was a good move for the R&B vocalist.

I also like the lyrics for this song, although no one who will listen to this song will pay attention. Any song explaining how someone completes you makes me happy, especially to such happy music. So not only am I dancing to a great tune, I'm dancing to a positive message!

I really see a bright future for Kelis if she actually sticks to bringing soul back to Club music this time around. Her last go at the music business (between the time of post-Bossy and her marriage to Nas) wasn't so successful. She has the voice that is bold enough for the club and the song-writing skills to make her music fun. And with the direction R&B is going in general, I find it fabulous that if she stays in this direction she'll be way ahead of her R&B colleagues - like she used to be.

Her new single is making a mark in the Dance/Club genre, but not as much of a mark with the R&B/Soul industry. Of course "Acapella" isn't "Milkshake," or even "Bossy," with her usual female-empowerment-through-the-body agenda, but it is good. Although her voice comes off as shaky, and after a few listens the song gets old, Kelis is definitely ready to take on the music industry.

Star's Grade: B+

Enjoy and dance below!

What Do A Panther, A Football, and A Block All Have in Common?

So, I'm a huge fan of cartoons (old ones, 90s and older), and since I'm a 21 year old college student, it is actually no surprise whatsoever. One thing I think no one appreciates about these cartoons are its musical scores! The thing I loved more than the social commentary in a cartoon (and yes, I loved it as a child too) was the music that played as the protagonist and antagonist battled each other. There are many cartoon productions that created great scores, but I decided to show you three of my favorite scores from the cartoon field:

1. Pink Panther: Duh! Need I say more? Henry Mancini provided the best theme song of all time with the Pink Panther Theme Song. Although the theme song is based on a Latin classic "Pantera Mambo" by La 33, Mancini did his thing and made millions off this song. He had to know this jazz rendition of "Pantera Mambo" would suit the Pink Panther very well. But besides that, what people didn't really peep was how his sound effects for the Pink Panther were just as jazzy as the musical score; it was at some points a part of it too!

So watch here and reminisce how innovative this score was for cartoon productions (and of course, this includes the song):

2. Hey Arnold: My boy Arnold, the football head, had the swagger of all swagger amongst the 90s cartoon characters. Even though he had the room of everyone's dreams, the producers and Jim Lang put together some great music to match his persona. Hey Arnold's theme song was dope, but I always looked forward to the end because it was just as enjoyable as the entire episode. And although their were different episodes, the same ol' theme song sounded just as good as the last time!

Featuring a slideshow of the coolest cartoon crew of our time, the best ending credit song "Stompin'" by a great guitarist, and overall musician, Jim Lang! Watch below:

3. The Peanuts: Vince Guaraldi knew what he was doing when he did the score for the Peanuts. Let alone the presence-knowing theme song, the music was so fitting for the time period of the Peanuts cartoon and comic strip. Although Charlie Brown was a major Blockhead, the music was definitely something outside the box for cartoons. If only the characters could dance...

This video has the infamous repetitive dance motions of Charlie Brown's crew and the song "Linus and Lucy" from Guaraldi's musical score of Charlie Brown here:

Cell Therapy 029

So last night, as I typed in imeem.com as an attempt to listen to my Josh Groban playlist, I get redirected to the MySpace Music page. WTF IS UP WITH THAT?????

I begin perusing the MySpace site, along with failed but blind attempts at visiting the Imeem site (not to mention both of their Twitter pages), and found out through their Twitters that MySpace has acquired Imeem, and no one can use Imeem's stuff, including their embedded playlists, videos, songs, etc.

Like OMG!

So I gathered these thoughts and new information in my head and came to the ultimate urban conclusion that Imeem sold the F*** out of the online music community to the ultimate creep-infested MySpace!

Imeem sold out. Imeem just up and left its users - no email, press release, no warning, no nothing - like a dead beat. There were no news of negotiations even, just nothing!

We few, we happy few who looked past the 30-second previews and five-second ad interruptions Imeem gave us are now disappointed as we can't accept this change of scenery. The ease of embedding music onto our blogs, Facebook, MySpace calmed our nerves because people knew those songs and videos and playlists were awesome (not to mention it made the user look hella smart and tech savvy)! We enjoyed listening to a playlist full of all the music our favorite artists made. We loved singing along to songs with the lyrics someone posted in the comment section of the song's page. And we were always flattered to know whenever someone favorited our playlists.

So yes, I am an angry user of Imeem's online media service. Imeem and MySpace claim everything will be back to normal once Imeem transfers everything to MySpace...


As I make attempts at redo-ing my embedded music on this very blog, let alone other sites I used Imeem's services on, I cry. Not only because it's a lot of crap I put on this and other sites, but because the every song and playlist I remove tears out a piece of my music-loving soul.

*sniff sniff*

R.I.P. Imeem 2003-2009 (although MySpace ultimately killed you, you killed yourself by selling out)

John Mayer's Acoustics Not Enough For Battlefield Studies

The thing about John Mayer’s music is that he reminds everyone of utopianism, with his smooth and melodic plea for a place of peace. He reminds us that music can still be happy and peaceful, ever since he emerged in 2002 with Grammy Award-winning single “Your Body is a Wonderland”.

Mayer is most known for his skills on the guitar, more than any of his other abilities as a rock superstar. Anyone can appreciate his acoustic music, from bars to TV shows to weddings; well, let’s just say everywhere (even the Obama campaign used Mayer’s “Waiting for the World to Change” as his entrance music for his many speeches during the presidential election).

Well now John Mayer’s is back with his new album Battle Studies, but is it up to the cultural and political standards that’s been established by lovers of John Mayer?

His intro was neat because he started the same way an orchestra usually begins a concert, which symbolizes his show (this album) is about to begin. Then he goes into his music with an approach that if you play the album in the background of studying you may not notice much. But if you listen to this album as deeply as Mayer's music should be heard, then you'll peep something is not right.

Battlefield Studies is something people would enjoy at a bar, with its acoustics and Mayer’s smooth voice. However, with little to no songs of anti-war/pro-peace filling the air of town drunkards could harm (or, by a small chance, help) the atmosphere.

Actually his content doesn’t have much cultural significance to it compared to his past works, which is totally unexpected of Mayer. It is an album that drowns out his lyrics with his music. Instead, his approach to this album is one of loneliness and being heartbroken, that isn’t peaceful at all. So much for the fun times at the bar!

As usual, Mayer is phenomenal with the guitar in Battle Studies. He makes his dark and lonely side very easy to listen to, just as he’s done with all of his other music, except you can’t help but notice the songs with metaphors like death. However, he continues to mash his edgy guitar-playing skills with blues and pop with a touch of acoustic.

Best Song: “Assassin” only because it’s something different and counter to his theme. Plus he did a great job with the lyrics as well as the delivery.

Worst Song: “Crossroads” was a song originally done by Robert Johnson, a man who innovated music (period). I wasn’t looking for a new Robert Johnson, but I got residents who could play that solo better than Mayer did.

Star’s Grade: C

Cell Therapy 028

Writing about something you personally don't like takes a lot out of you! I definitely had to step outside of myself to make this piece work.

Clipse's Til The Casket Drops Stunts Group's Growth As Artists

Back with their new album, the Clipse’s new album gives us little to think of, except for the hints that they’ve changed as people – but not as artists. From their breakthrough song “Grindin’” to their release of several mix tapes off their project group The Re-Up Gang, the Clipse continues to put out music for the streets that ends up getting little success with the streets as well as the mainstream hiphop community. Even under the wing of the most successful hiphop producer Pharrell, this group has gain some sort of success but don’t get the kind of success that makes us miss this group when they don’t release a commercial album.

So they’re back with their third album Til The Casket Drops, and they fall short yet again.

They are still spitting that coke rap, which is barely seen in the rap industry anymore without some sort of substance behind it. However, The Clipse makes minimal efforts in their music to connect the drug game to any lessons in life. They did manage to grow with some substance in their music, which is about growth as an artist and person of celeb status, not about the drug stuff and dealer life that listeners need as a balance to understanding.

There’s no significant improvement in flow or style of rapping from the Clipse, which is expectant of anyone who hasn’t put out an album in three years with Hell Hath No Fury. Malice and Pusha T continue to flow like it their past mix tape series I Got It For Cheap, which doesn’t give the listeners much entertainment.

What saves them from this alum being a total flop is the production by the Neptunes. Of course Pharrell, with the wonderful resume’ he has – from the innovative “Grindin’” beat for the Clipse to his popular hiphop/rock/pure madness band N.E.R.D. – there is no way these fellows under Pharrell’s wing will have some lame beats. Unfortunately Pharrell provides them with production that is only good enough to keep heads bopping but insignificant. The other producers in this album, DJ Khalil and Sean C & LV, doesn’t give much either.

There are some great featured appearances in Til The Casket Drops, including Cam’Ron, Kanye West, and Pharrell, all of which provides some sort of push for them to seem like their stepping outside of their usual crack music. Unfortunately, these guest artists weren’t enough to keep them out of the streets, as well as keep sales for this new album up.

Best Song: A tie! “Doorman” was a cool little shout out to their former producer/manager who is currently in jail for robbery and gun charges, but still fell short since they had to stick to their guns of selling drugs. However, it’s a song outside of their usual, so it’s their most creative song. And this next song is chosen because I have a weak spot for an artist's revelation and confession in their music. “Life Change” had a nice hook on it, good moral standards, and some lyrics folks can actually think about. It’s about growing up after distractions from fame, forgiveness from Malice to his family, and changing their ways after a life of trouble. Why couldn’t the Clipse make that the theme for this album?

Worst Song: “Eyes on Me” is a failure to be a club banger. The beat is fun, Keri Hilson even did well for a guest artist, but it was just something unexpected from the Clipse. Not that unexpectancy disturbs me, because if any artist decides to step out of their comfort zone the song will go unusually hard. Instead, it’s just an awkward song about a night out with Pusha T and Malice, and ultimately irrelevant to the album’s direction.

Star's Grade: C-

Lyfe's New Single Discusses His Current Life's Issues

Speaking of laying everything on the table (read the blog on Tupac below for that), Lyfe Jennings releases his new single after his last album Phoenix from 2006. His new single, titled "If I Knew Then", is a song of Lyfe looking back on his life over the past few years since his debut classic album 268-192. With Lyfe, it's no secret that he was a convicted felon before he was a singer, and he started to use his talent that he learned in prison to get away from the street life he grew up in. However, and according to various news sites, he's been allowing fame to consume him just as hard by getting into fights at clubs and with his family. Oh, but "if he knew then what he knew now, he would be different and would slow down." That's the point if the song right? Of course.

Lyfe has done nothing but sing about his life all of his music career - life's/Lyfe's struggles, happiness, and lessons - and keeps his music connecting and relevant to all of his audience. From his debut single "Must Be Nice", he has sung to the world the lessons he learned and the mistakes he made. One thing I have learned from Lyfe is that with every mistake made is a lesson learned, so if Lyfe lived perfectly, there would be no Lyfe (which is indirectly tied to his purpose in the R&B world).

Lyfe stands out from the rest of the R&B superstars because he has never changed. From the beginning of his career when he sung about his lady staying with him while he was in jail, Lyfe puts out his life for the world to listen to and for everyone to learn from. He explains his struggles with his fame between the release of 268-192 and his next album on Phoenix, with a skit for just about every song. He established being the R&B voice that the hood needed, and he continues to carry that reputation in "If I Knew Then".

Although his confession of letting fame get to his head and foreseeing it may have prevented marital and personal problems, he became unconvincable when he tried to broaden it to his audience. Yeah, if people foresaw their consequences and thought things through before they acted then they wouldn't have made that mistake, but this song should've stayed a confession and a story about the consequences of a big, swelling head. People would've interpreted it and applied it to their own lives. Why do that? Because people do it already with other people's music.

And Lyfe is a singer who will tell you how to interpret his music, as he will boldly state the lessons learned throughout his songs, but he limits the imagination of his audience when he does that. So as he tells the audience how to listen to his music, he ruins the full fledge beauty of his music in the first place.

Star's Grade = B-

The Pac In Me

Now there have been many posts lately about Tupac (also known as 2Pac, Pac or Makaveli, but I only call him/spell out Tupac), about how his music was overrated or underrated, but no one could really go in on Tupac until they understood him and where he was coming from throughout his life. Now I'm not saying I know his intentions, but he surely spoke out the most in his music and he had the most uplifting messages for folks from every hood possible. What I am saying is that Tupac was the most misunderstood hiphop artist ever.

He put out the kind of music that only applied to people in those kind of situations. His main focus was his message, not how his message was interpreted, which wasn't his greatest asset but to his audience his message overpowered his lyrical abilities. Tupac was (and still is) able to best speak to the thugs and the hood in a radical and political way. He was able to speak consciously in a poetic manner to a people who were unfamiliar to any sort of art form other than rap. He provided thugs another way to express themselves although he wasn't a thug. Although emcees like Nas spoke to the hood as an intellectual, Tupac spoke to the hood in their language. And with that, more people from the hood related to him than Nas. Now one thing most people can do is pull out three songs by Tupac, most of which being "California Love", "Dear Mama", and "Keep Ya Head Up". Two of those songs were amongst a few of his greatest uplifting songs he blessed the hiphop community with, those being "Dear Mama" and "Keep Ya Head Up". As for "California Love", it was a major big-up on California being the top dog amongst the other states in the country, and highlighted the things Cali has contributed, but it was mainly a party song.

Although the three songs were good songs, there are even more songs I can think of that were great contributions Tupac made for the people. The first song I can think of is "Brenda's Got A Baby". It was ok that the song was under three minutes, for it all he needed to tell the short tale of thousands of young Black ladies in the world who go through teenage pregnancy. Plus it was one thing to just tell the story about a particular chick named Brenda, but the social commentary is what made this song highly significant to hiphop. The line "That's not our problem, that's up to Brenda's family" let's you know Tupac is about to go in on how this 12 year old girl needs the community as much as she needed her family, who was extremely dysfunctional and could care less about her growth as an individual, as well as the newborn baby. So after the story of the baby's birth, Brenda's homelessness, and attempt to make money by selling drugs and prostitution, Brenda went from the 12 year old pregnant girl to "prostitute found slain", a headline seen too often in the news that includes young Black women in the streets.

The next song I can think of is "Pain" off of the Above the Rim soundtrack, plus the first single he released with Death Row Records. This song was the first song in my opinion that clarified what he meant by Thug Life. He started out in his first verse, "They'll never take me alive / I'm getting high, with my .45 / Cocked on these suckas, time to die... But now I'm labeled as a troublemaker, who can you blame / Smoking weed help me take away the pain / So I'm hopeless". Really, the entire verse spoke on how difficult it is for him to provide for his family when he had nothing to begin with, so he turns to the streets, who he often claims embraces him more than anyone else, instead of doing nothing. It is with this song that he begins to shed light in defense of the people who do their dirt in the streets, with his vivid images of selling drugs and killing anyone gets in his way.

Another song he blessed hiphop with was "So Many Tears". I can remember my older cousin, who does the very things Tupac raps about, repeating this song verbatim and I could see in his eyes he felt the same feelings as his favorite artist. This had to be the most spiritual song from him in the way to exposed his emotions in this song to God. He lays everything on the table to God, referring to Psalms 23:4 in the beginning of the song, and asks for forgiveness because of all what he has seen throughout his life - growing up with no around but the streets, witnessing so many murders, and ultimately asking "Is there a Heaven for a G?" - and all of what he is about to do as he, as a thug, envisions his death in the future. A line that has always stuck to me, and a line my cousin always went in on, was "My every move is a calculated step / To bring me closer to embrace an early death / Now there's nothing left". A door he opened in this song, as well as plenty other songs, was that it is ok for thugs to cry and ask for God for forgive them. He said at the end of the song "can't take no more / I'm fallin to the floor / beggin for the Lord to let me in to Heaven's door", which was a cry often stated in other cultures (i.e. as seen within the time of The Divine Comedy, Italian mobsters before committing a crime or death, and in the movie The Boondocks Saints), but not as prevalent in the Black community, especially the streets, until Tupac brought it to light.

So although most of his songs were aimed at being a voice for the streets, he indirectly exposed what it really meant to be a thug or a gangster. One thing Tupac did was glorify the misery behind being a thug as much as he glorified the actual things thugs did. With almost every line of violence Tupac had, he backed it up with a line of suffering or a line of confusion behind that action. He basically justified the streets with the conditions the streets faced, and he showed how miserable street life is. Whether or not he was a man from the streets, I can't say for sure, however he did grow up in a gifted school and a son of the Black Panthers, but if you ask anybody from the streets, and I'm not saying I'm a thug at all, but they will tell you Tupac got it right.
Most of the people in the mainstream society, and even in the hiphop community, weren't feeling Tupac as much as they should. One of the main reasons was that he focused too much on his message and not how to portray it. In other words, he wasn't the best lyrical machine in hiphop. He could rap very well, don't get me wrong, but compared to other emcees at the time (Nas, Biggie, and so on) he lacked the skills they had.

Another thing people didn't like about Tupac was his radical ways. He never held his tongue, and although we live in a country that claims to have freedom of speech, Tupac's image was always overshadowing his music. The difference between him and other emcees today (which is why I can disregard this major flaw of his) is that this image America/Death Row created for him was clearly out of alignment with who he really was, and that he was forced to be that image. I would go there and say his image was created by accident, and that dissonance between who America wanted him to be and what he really was turned him into the so-called monster he became. The fact that this very dissonance became enclosed is what really killed Tupac more than the beefs he had with anyone.

Which leads me to another issue people had with Tupac - this so-called East vs. West Coast beef. Of course with most of the country divided by Sides (east and west so the Midwest and South can be included), the folks on the Eastside weren't on the best of terms with him out of respect for their home and Biggie who was the frontrunner for the East Coast. All in all, Tupac's main flaw with others was his refusal to be what they wanted him to be - a prepackaged menace to American society.