2Pac Loyal to the Game

While Tupac’s discography has become a confusing collection of official albums, mixed with post-mortem vocal resurrections and bootlegs alongside lost and leaked sub-par material, the latest release to bear his name, Loyal to the Game, contains his mother’s stamp of approval. As co-executive producer, Afeni Shakur worked alongside Eminem to put together this 17-track collection. While vocal assistance comes from Jadakiss, Obie Trice, G-Unit, the Outlawz, and Eminem, the greatest surprise is Eminem’s production for 13 of the 17 cuts. The other four songs are actually remixes of Eminem-produced songs featuring the sonic touches of Scott Storch, Raphael Saadiq, DJ Quik and Red Spyda. Em’s Dre influenced composition styling blends together into a very cohesive collection of songs, and maintain a very West Coast sound. While Pac fits well over the production, one has to wonder whether or not they would have worked together like this, in an era where rappers often cross the line of paying tribute and begin to make claims on alliances that life has not proven to be true or untrue. Ten years ago, when Pac was at his peak, such a project would have been unbelievable. It is now a reality, and an album worth the listen. One point of interest is Pac’s G-Unit shout outs at the end of the collaboration "Loyal to the Game” (another argument on the list of reasons why the conspiracy theory lives on). (Interscope)