R U Still Down? (Remember Me)
|R U Still Down? (Remember Me)|
|Studio album by 2Pac|
|Released||November 25, 1997|
("I Wonder If Heaven Got a Ghetto" Original Version and Instrumental)
(Production, guest vocals, and mixing)
|Genre||West coast hip hop, gangsta rap, g-funk, R&B|
|Label||Amaru, Jive Records, Interscope Records|
|Producer||Afeni Shakur (exec.), Lisa Smith-Putnam (exec.), Tony Pizarro, Akshun, Choo, Def Jef, DJ Daryl, Warren G, Khalid A. Hafiz, Johnny "J", Laylaw, Live Squad, Levant Marcus, Michael Mosley, QDIII, Quimmy Quim, Chris Rosser, Conrad Rosser, Ricky Rouse, Soulshock & Karlin, 2Pac|
|Singles from R U Still Down? (Remember Me)|
|The Daily Vault||B|
R U Still Down? (Remember Me) is the second posthumous album by 2Pac, released in 1997, and the first to be finished without his creative input. Her son having left a large body of work behind, this was the first release from his mother's imprint Amaru Entertainment, set up to control 2Pac's posthumous releases.
Shortly after 2Pac died, there were rumors that hundreds of unreleased songs remained in the vaults; a mere two months after his death, the first posthumous record, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, appeared. Death Row released the record, and shortly afterward, 2Pac's mother, Afeni Shakur, gained the rights to all of his unreleased recordings from both the Interscope and Death Row labels. She founded the Amaru label and released the double-disc R U Still Down? (Remember Me) in late 1997. Culled from 2Pac's unreleased Interscope recordings between 1992 and 1994, including several tracks that have had backing musical tracks "reconstructed," R U Still Down? doesn't have the aura of exploitation that haunts the later posthumous albums.
The first release on Amaru Records, R U Still Down? (Remember Me) was overseen by 2Pac's mother, Afeni Shakur. This album airs his views on life from a time before he became involved in the controversial east coast/west coast rivalry. His lyrics foreshadow his death in songs like "Open Fire" and "Thug Style."
Tupac mentions his life in the streets of Oakland, California in songs such as "Nothin' But Love" and how he started his career "Thug Life" mentality in those streets. As more of the original songs are leaked, it has become evident that many of the album's tracks were true to the originals, simply mastering and perfecting the original instrumentals and vocals. Songs like: "Hold On Be Strong", "Nothin' But Love", "Nothing To Lose", "Only Fear Of Death", "When I Get Free II", "Open Fire" are true to the originals. Those with fundamentally similar compositions include "Lie 2 Kick It", "I'm Gettin' Money" and "Thug Style". Tracks with completely new instrumentation include "Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto", "Hellrazor" and "Enemies With Me".
"Definition of a Thug Nigga" also appears on the soundtrack of the 1993 film, Poetic Justice.
The artwork includes a note from 2Pac: "Keep the faith in me. I will not let u down! love 2Pac". The album cover was previously used on Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.
For the most part, Shakur sounds good, spinning out rhymes that are alternately clever or startling, but he eventually begins repeating himself and running out of ideas. That's much better than the music itself, which is pretty much standard-issue gangsta rap that never deviates from the course. There are enough hidden gems to make it worthwhile for hardcore 2Pac fans, but it doesn't necessarily bode well for the Amaru label's series of unreleased recordings. If this mediocre mess is the top of the heap, they'll truly be hurting for strong material once they reach the bottom of the allegedly hundreds of unreleased 2Pac recordings
"As always, there's ample self-destructive bullshit," noted Spin, "but as a whole the album's eerie and undeniable." Rap idol 2Pac might find yet another life after death with his second posthumous release, an improvement on his first. That’s not to say this collection of unreleased material from 1991 to 1994 shows him at his best: Many of the 26 tracks are barely demo-worthy gangsta pap, and none rival Dear Mama for tragic grandeur. Still, 2Pac’s raw talent burns through when his voice goes hoarse with rage on Hellrazor. And on I’m Losin’ It, his blend of charismatic confidence and Travis Bickle paranoia is a bittersweet reminder of a gifted yet contradictory artist lost in the rap wars.
It spawned two hits, "Do for Love" and "I Wonder If Heaven Got a Ghetto", of which "Do for Love" was certified Gold by the RIAA. R U Still Down? sold 549,000 copies in its first week. The album reached multi-platinum status (4 million sold) under a month on December 15, 1997, a trend followed by some of his subsequent posthumous albums. It topped the R&B charts in the United States for 3 weeks.
|1||"Redemption"||We Got Kidz & Ricky Rouse||1:48|
|3||"R U Still Down? (Remember Me)"||Tony Pizarro||4:07|
|4||"Hellrazor"||Stretch & Val Young||QDIII||4:15|
|5||"Thug Style"||We Got Kidz||4:16|
|6||"Where Do We Go From Here (Interlude)"||Tony Pizarro & 2Pac||4:31|
|7||"I Wonder If Heaven Got a Ghetto"||Soulshock & Karlin||4:21|
|8||"Nothing to Lose"||Y?N-Vee||2Pac & Live Squad||3:39|
|9||"I'm Gettin' Money"||Mike Mosley||3:32|
|10||"Lie to Kick It"||Richie Rich||Warren G||3:39|
|11||"Fuck All Y'all"||We Got Kidz||4:32|
|12||"Let Them Thangs Go"||We Got Kidz||3:33|
|13||"Definition of a Thug Nigga"||Warren G||4:09|
|1||"Ready 4 Whatever"||Big Syke||Johnny "J"||4:05|
|2||"When I Get Free"||We Got Kidz||4:46|
|3||"Hold on be Strong"||Stretch||Choo||4:11|
|4||"I'm Losin' It"||Big Syke & Spice 1||Tony Pizarro||3:55|
|5||"Fake Ass Bitches"||Johnny "J"||3:10|
|6||"Do for Love"||Eric Williams of Blackstreet||Soulshock & Karlin||4:42|
|7||"Enemies with Me"||Dramacydal||We Got Kidz||4:15|
|8||"Nothin' but Love"||Dave Hollister||2Pac & DJ Daryl||4:28|
|9||"16 on Death Row"||2Pac||5:42|
|10||"I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto (Hip-Hop Version)"||Maxee||Soulshock & Karlin||4:40|
|11||"When I Get Free II"||Yaki Kadafi||Chris Rosser||3:22|
|12||"Black Starry Night (Interlude)"||DJ Daryl||0:48|
|13||"Only Fear of Death"||Live Squad||5:09|
Definition of a Thug Nigga
- "Brother's Gonna Work It Out" by Willie Hutch
- "Ashley's Roachclip" by The Soul Searchers
- "Wind Parade" by Donald Byrd
- " Nuthin but a G' Thang (freestyle Remix) by Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre
Ready 4 Whatever
- "1980" by Gil Scott-Heron
R U Still Down (Remember Me)
- "He's a Fly Guy" by Curtis Mayfield
- "Free 'Em All" by J-Flexx
Do for Love
F*** All Y'all
- "Street Life" by Geto Boys
I Wonder if Heaven Got a Ghetto
- "Two of Us" by Cameo
Let Them Thangs Go
Nothin' but Love
- "Something About That Woman" by Lakeside
Nothing to Lose
When I Get Free II
- "Synthetic Substitution" by Melvin Bliss
- "Concerto for Jazz/Rock Orchestra, Part I" by Stanley Clarke
Where Do We Go From Here
- "May the Force Be With You" by Bootsy's Rubber Band
Black Starry Night (Interlude)
- "Do It Roger" by Roger
I Wonder if Heaven Got a Ghetto (Original Version)
- "Do It Roger" by Roger
Lie to Kick It
Only Fear of Death
- "Hihache" by Lafayette Afro Rock Band
|New Zealand Charts||20|
|UK Albums Chart||44|
|US Billboard 200||2|
|US Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums||1|
|"I Wonder If Heaven Got a Ghetto"
|"Do For Love"
Samples later used
- Spin (3/98, pp. 130-131) - 8 (out of 10) - "... As always, there's ample self-destructive bullshit, but as a whole, the album's eerie and undeniable.... Even after death, 2Pac isn't going gentle into that good night; if this album is any gauge, he's not letting us go either, at least not anytime soon."
- Spin May 1998
- List of number-one R&B albums of 1998 (U.S.)
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