Tupac Shakur

Every syllable that Tupac Shakur uttered near a microphone constitutes a potential sample, and a decade after he hit the grave, his estate’s caretakers are still finding ways to turn old recordings into “new” songs. The latest posthumous Shakur disc diminishes his legacy by turning him into the equivalent of Disneyland’s robot Abe Lincoln — a once-independent figure now totally under the control of others. Thanks to Swizz Beatz’s slick remixing and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s rapping, “Untouchable” doesn’t really need Shakur; he’s essentially superfluous. Ditto for the rendition of the title cut featuring Snoop Dogg, T.I. and Chris Starr; with so many living performers fighting for the spotlight, the dead guy doesn’t stand a chance. Not that he complains. “Playa Cardz Right” appears in a “female” version starring Keyshia Cole and a “male” counterpart headlined by Ludacris, yet Shakur sounds the same on both. That’s professionalism, cadaver style. Without Pac’s death, Pac’s Life would never have existed. Too bad the killer was such a good shot.

Categories: Music