20th Anniversary Release of Me Against the World– Tupac Shakur
Written By Lilia Esnayra
March 14th marked the 20th anniversary of Tupac Shakur’s album Me against the World. This album has been known to be one of the most influential albums released in hip hop history. This album not only put Shakur on a higher level of fame, but also allowed for the world to take a deeper look into the emotional struggles of the artist as a whole. The album discusses Shakur’s problems with the police, his impending prison sentence, as well as his struggles as a troubled youth climbing his way to success. The album further discusses social problems which in turn had a profound impact on the youth of the mid-ninety’s. Subsequently, it is highly acknowledged in the world of hip hop that Shakur’s struggles in life had a subterranean influence on the album.
Me Against the World debuted in 1995 and quickly took the number one spot on the Billboard 200 and the Billboard R&B album charts and remained there for four weeks. The Grammy nominated album was the third studio album released by Shakur, in 1996 Me Against the World won best rap album at the Soul Train Music Awards. By the end of 1995 the album had gone double platinum. The album’s first released single “Dear Mama” poetically articulates the struggles Shakur faced with his mother while growing up in an urban youth community. The single would be the most successful single of the entire album, ascending its way to the sixth spot on the Hot Rap singles chart of 1995
Shakur quoted the following about the album, “It was like a blues record. It was down home. It was all my fears, all the things I just couldn’t sleep about. Everybody thought I was living so well and doing so good that I wanted to explain it. And it took a whole album to get it out. I get to tell my inner most, darkest secrets I tell my own personal problems.” Nearly twenty years after Shakur’s passing he still continues to influence and empower not only the hip hop industry, but musicians worldwide. As a society we have been deeply moved and inspired by his authentic contributions to the hip hop culture as well as his proactive stance on social issues through his poetic musical talent.