Today is the eve of the 25th anniversary of the release of All Eyez On Me. The 4th studio album of the late rapper 2Pac, the history of and on the album is one that should not go unnoticed.
I’ll let Revolt TV tell it…Happy Black History Month!
Released in 1996, the album arrived barely a year after Pac was shot in the lobby of New York City’s Quad Recording Studios and later sentenced to four and a half years in prison for a sexual assault, which he vehemently denied. In October 1995, after serving 11 months of his conviction, the rapper was freed on $1.4 million bond thanks to Suge Knight, who ponied up the bail and inked Shakur to a three-album recording deal with Death Row Records (as well as Knight’s own management).
Hardened, focused, and hungry, the trip from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York to Can-Am Studios in Los Angeles saw Pac channel his year-long furor and angst into manic recording sessions. By the time February 13, 1996 rolled around, two of the three albums he promised as part of a signed deal with Death Row Records was already in stores — All Eyez On Me.
At 27 songs, ‘Pac makes it obvious that the earlier mentioned ‘dark clouds’ didn’t reduce his passion and outspokenness one bit. The trials and tribulations only elevated his skills and throughout that two-disc LP, we hear the entire 11 month ordeal loud and clear — sprinkled with a few lighthearted moments.
Within the short discography he contrived during his lifetime, All Eyez On Me was a defining opus. His third studio LP Me Against the World is arguably his most purest and revered, but Eyez was undeniably his biggest (it was certified diamond in August 2014). The album not only changed the face of rap by introducing the first double-disc release into the mainstream, but it turned ‘Pac from rap’s biggest voice to one of music’s towering giants.
Celebrating its anniversary this month, 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me is recognized as much of a classic now as it was back then. To honor the magnum opus, we lined up several facts about the album that has surfaced since its 1996 arrival. Over two decades later, we’re still California dreaming…
1. There were three other album titles besides All Eyez On Me in mind.
2. The album was recorded in two weeks.
In a matter of two weeks, ‘Pac recorded and completed his double-disc album, completing the two out of three albums he owed Death Row. The third release would end up being the posthumously released The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory.
3. All Eyez On Me was the first mainstream double-disc release.
As the first double-album mainstream release, Pac completed the 27-track release in just two weeks.
4. Pac had plans of following up with Me Against the World 2
After completing All Eyez On Me, Pac and the album’s main producer Johnny J reportedly started working on a Me Against The World-esque album, which was said to be delayed due to the recording of The Don Killuminati.
5. All Eyez On Me achieved diamond sales in 2014
In August 2014, Pac’s double-album achieved diamond status by the RIAA for selling over 10 million copies.
13. “Check Out Time” was based on a true story.
“It’s a true story,” said Kurupt years after the LP. “We was in Vegas, and it was time to leave, and nobody could find Daz.”
14. E-40 wrote his verse for “Ain’t Hard 2 Find” while laying on the floor.
While describing his contribution to the posse cut on disc two of the album, E-40 shared an interesting story about the record in a 2004 interview. Recalling the studio session, 40 said the following:
“When I rap, [I] lay on the floor and write on [my] stomach. That’s just like a ritual… So we get out little drink, and we lay on the floor… Everybody, we down there. Pac… When I laid on the floor, I had two pistols. And I put them on the floor… It wasn’t for him, it was just we was fonking with a whole other side of town at the time. We had beef with another side of town. And so I put my pistols down on the ground. He looked at me, he just put his two pistols down on the ground and was writing with me. And he laid on the floor, right with me. Right beside me. All of us right there. He pulled me out like, “Ni——a I’m prepared, right with you.”