2Pacalypse Now

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2Pacalypse Now
2pacalypse now.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 12, 1991 (1991-11-12)
RecordedMarch–August 1991
StudioStarlight Sound (Richmond, California)
2Pac chronology
2Pacalypse Now
Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z...
Singles from 2Pacalypse Now
  1. "Trapped"
    Released: September 25, 1991
  2. "Brenda's Got a Baby"
    Released: October 20, 1991
  3. "If My Homie Calls"
    Released: February 25, 1992

2Pacalypse Now is the debut studio album by American rapper 2Pac. It was released on November 12, 1991, by Interscope and Jive Records. 2Pacalypse Now is Tupac's commentary on contemporary social issues facing American society, such as racism, police brutality, poverty, black on black crime, and teenage pregnancy. It featured three singles: "Brenda's Got a Baby", "Trapped", and "If My Homie Calls".

2Pacalypse Now received critically acclaimed reviews from critics and was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on April 19, 1995.[2] In commemoration of its twenty-fifth anniversary, it was released on vinyl and cassette on November 11, 2016.[3]


The album generated significant controversy stemming from then-U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle's public criticism after Ronald Ray Howard murdered a Texas state trooper and his defense attorney claimed he was influenced by 2Pacalypse Now and its strong theme of police brutality. Quayle made the statement, "There's no reason for a record like this to be published. It has no place in our society."[4]


2Pacalypse Now features productions by Digital Underground member Shock G and Stretch, as well as guest appearances from rappers Poppi and Pogo, R&B singer Dave Hollister and Stretch himself.


2Pacalypse Now is a socially conscious hip hop album. It serves as Tupac's social commentary on issues that plague American society, including police brutality, gang violence, black on black crime, teenage pregnancy and racism. The album poetically addresses black urban concerns relevant to the present day. Although a relatively tame album compared to Shakur's later works, 2Pacalypse Now was known for its violent lyrics aimed at police officers and the government in the songs "Trapped", "I Don't Give a Fuck" and "Soulja's Story".[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
The New Rolling Stone Album Guide[9]
Tom Hull – on the WebB+ ((1-star Honorable Mention))[10]

2Pacalypse Now received generally positive reviews from critics. Although the album's political messages, lyrics and his storytelling were praised, Tupac Shakur's debut album was criticized for its production. In a retrospective review, RapReviews gave the album 4 stars out of 5 and said: "It's not an extraordinarily long album, but it is a dense and heavy listen that will take a lot out of you if you pay close attention to the persistent theme. The beats overall fail to make much of an impression, but perhaps that is as it should be, since nothing should be allowed to outshine this kind of lyrical performance. Tupac's vitriol is carried by his sincerity and charisma, both of which would emerge as key traits of the figure that blossomed in the years to come. Over the course of Tupac's career, the political got suffused by the personal and receded from the central position it occupied on his debut".

Commercial performance[edit]

2Pacalypse Now peaked at number 64 on the US Billboard 200 and number 13 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. On April 19, 1995, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over 500,000 copies in the United States. As of September 2011, the album has sold 923,455 copies in the United States.[11]

Track listing[edit]

Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[12]

1."Young Black Male"Tupac ShakurBig D the Impossible2:35
2."Trapped"T. Shakur, Ramone "Pee-Wee" Gooden, Ray TysonPee-Wee4:44
3."Soulja's Story"T. Shakur, D. Evans, Isaac HayesBig D the Impossible Pierre Ushay5:05
4."I Don't Give a Fuck"T. Shakur, R. GoodenPee-Wee4:20
5."Violent"T. Shakur, David Elliott, Ronald Brooks, Maceo ParkerRaw Fusion6:25
6."Words of Wisdom"T. ShakurShock G4:54
7."Something Wicked"T. Shakur, Jeremy JacksonJeremy2:28
8."Crooked Ass Nigga" (featuring Stretch)T. Shakur, Randy WalkerStretch4:17
9."If My Homie Calls"T. ShakurBig D the Impossible4:18
10."Brenda's Got a Baby"T. ShakurBig D the Impossible3:53
11."Tha' Lunatic" (featuring Stretch)T. Shakur, G. JacobsShock G3:29
12."Rebel of the Underground"T. ShakurBig D The Impossible3:17
13."Part Time Mutha" (featuring Poppi)T. ShakurBig D the Impossible5:13
Total length:55:07
  • Additional Vocals on "Trapped" performed by Dank, Playa-Playa and Wiz
  • Background Vocals on "Brenda's Got a Baby" performed by Dave Hollister
  • Background Vocals on "Trapped" performed by Shock G
  • Telephone Voices on "I Don't Give ..." spoken by Mickey Cooley, Rodney Cooley and Pogo
  • Background Vocals on "Violent" performed by 2Pac, Raw Fusion, and Descaro "Mac Mone" Moore
  • Background Vocals on "Something Wicked" performed by Pee-Wee
  • Keyboards on "Crooked ..." played by The Piano Man
  • Background Vocals on "Rebel of the Underground" performed by Shock G, Ray Luv, Yonni & Di-Di
  • Additional Vocals on "Part Time Mutha" performed by Angelique


Young Black Male[12]


Soulja's Story[12]

Violent[citation needed]

Words of Wisdom[12]

Something Wicked[citation needed]

Crooked Ass Nigga

If My Homie Calls[12]

The Lunatic[citation needed]

Rebel of the Underground[citation needed]

Part Time Mutha



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[21] Gold 923,455[11]


  1. ^ "Tupac Shakur Drops '2Pacalypse Now' Album: Today in Hip-Hop - XXL".
  2. ^ "2Pac - GOLD & PLATINUM". RIAA. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  3. ^ Walker, Angus (3 November 2016). "Tupac's 2Pacalypse Now released on vinyl and cassette". Hotnewhiphop. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  4. ^ Broder, John (September 23, 1992). "Quayle Calls for Pulling Rap Album Tied to Murder Case". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  5. ^ Vaught, Seneca (Spring 2014). "Tupac's Law: Incarceration, T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E., and the Crisis of Black Masculinity". Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men. 2 (2): 93–94. doi:10.2979/spectrum.2.2.87. S2CID 144439620. Archived from the original on March 6, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  6. ^ Marisa Brown. "2Pacalypse Now - 2Pac". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  7. ^ McCann, Ian: reissue reviews, Q, April 1997
  8. ^ Emilee Woods. "2Pac :: 2Pacalypse Now :: Interscope Records". rapreviews.com. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  9. ^ The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Rolling Stone. 2004. ISBN 9780743201698. Retrieved 26 April 2011. Portions posted at "Tupac Shakur: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
  10. ^ Hull, Tom. "Grade List: 2Pac". Tom Hull – on the Web. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  11. ^ a b "Tupac Month: 2Pac's Discography". Retrieved May 27, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i 2Pac. "2Pacalypse Now" (Album Notes). Interscope Records. 1991.
  13. ^ a b c "2Pac Releases his Debut Album...(1991)". RVM. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  14. ^ a b "2Pac...Now (The Samples)". Hip Hop Is Read. 18 March 2008.
  15. ^ "2Pac Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
  16. ^ "2Pac Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
  17. ^ "2Pac Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
  18. ^ "2Pac Chart History (Catalog Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  19. ^ "2Pac Chart History (Vinyl Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  20. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 1992". Billboard. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  21. ^ "American album certifications – 2 Pac – 2 Pacalypse". Recording Industry Association of America.