The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

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The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
2Pac Makaveli-The Don Killuminati front.jpg
Studio album by Makaveli
Released November 5, 1996
Recorded August 1–7, 1996
Studio Can-Am Studios, Los Angeles, California
Length 59:05
Makaveli chronology
All Eyez on Me
The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
R U Still Down? (Remember Me)
Singles from The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
  1. "Toss It Up"
    Released: September 26, 1996
  2. "To Live & Die in L.A."
    Released: September 26, 1996
  3. "Hail Mary"
    Released: February 11, 1997

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (commonly shortened to The 7 Day Theory or Makaveli) is the fifth and final studio album by American rapper Tupac Shakur. It was released on November 5, 1996, almost two months after his murder. Published under his new stage name Makaveli, on Death Row Records and Interscope Records, it was his first studio album to be posthumously released. The album was completely finished in a total of seven days during the first week of August 1996.[1] These are the last songs Shakur recorded before his fatal shooting on September 7, 1996. The album was originally scheduled for release in March 1997, but as a result of his death, producer Suge Knight released it four months earlier.

The album peaked at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 664,000 within its first week. By 1999, it was certified 4× platinum. The album was supported by three singles: "Toss It Up", "To Live & Die in L.A" and "Hail Mary" .


The album was completely finished in seven days during the first week of August 1996.[1] The lyrics were written and recorded in only three days and mixing took an additional four days. These are the last songs Shakur recorded before his fatal shooting on September 7, 1996. The album's original title was "The 3 Day Theory", (originally consisted of around 14 tracks). E.D.I. Mean of The Outlawz & Ronald "Riskie" Brent revealed in an August 2014 interview that the official name of the album was mixed up upon release. Tupac wanted the album to be called; "Don Makaveli - Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory". Don Makaveli referenced as the artist name and Killuminati as the main title.[2] Ronald "Riskie" Brent is the creator of The 7 Day Theory cover painting. The album cover, which features Shakur on the cross in an attempt to convey his crucifixion by the media, is intended to imply an artistic resurrection.[3]

George "Papa G" Pryce, Former Head of Publicity for Death Row, claimed that "Makaveli which we did was a sort of tongue-in-cheek, and it was not ready to come out, [but] after Tupac was murdered, it did come out... Before that, it was going to be a sort of an underground."[4]

Recording and production[edit]

Although many of Shakur's usual producers were not involved in the project, the producers still managed to come through for the project. The only producer with whom Shakur had worked prior to this album was QD3, the son of Quincy Jones and brother of Shakur's girlfriend Kidada Jones. Shakur also co-produces three tracks on the album. The other two producers were Hurt-M-Badd and Darryl “Big D” Harper. E.D.I. Mean of the Outlawz recalls: At the time Hurt-M-Badd, who was just an up-and-coming producer at Death Row, and Darryl Harper, who was an R&B producer - Suge had him working on all the R&B projects - they had a green room up in Can-Am [Studios] which everybody around Death Row called the "wack room" because they said "Ain't nothing but wack shit come out of there." But we was up in the studio one day and we trying to get music done - ain't none of us producers - we see them two niggas in the "Wack room" and 'Pac like, "Go get them niggas." So niggas go bring them, 'Pac just putting niggas to work like, "I need a beat here, I need y'all to do this, do that." And these are niggas that nobody at Death Row was fucking with. They'll tell you themselves.[5]

The album was recorded at Can-Am Studios in Tarzana, Los Angeles, California in 7 days in the month of August 1996. During those seven days 21 songs were completed, 12 of which made the final product. The album did not feature the star-studded guest list that All Eyez on Me did. Most of the guest verses are supplied by Shakur's group The Outlawz. The only verse that was not from one of the Outlawz was from Bad Azz. Young Noble of the Outlawz recalled: We had started writing the shit and we was taking long. 'Pac was like, "Who got something? Bad Azz you got something?" and it fit perfect, so it was meant for Bad Azz to be on that song. We had already been on a million 'Pac songs. That was his way of motivating us like, "If y'all ain't ready, then you don't make the song."[6]

The song "Me and My Girlfriend" was inspired by rapper Nas song, "I Gave You Power"

Lyrical themes[edit]

While All Eyez on Me was considered by Shakur "a celebration of life", The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory is a much darker album. Shakur's style of rapping is still emotional, but is intensified throughout this album. Some songs on the album contain both subtle and direct insults to Shakur's rivals at the height of the East Coast–West Coast feud. Rappers insulted on the album include The Notorious B.I.G., Junior M.A.F.I.A., Puff Daddy, De La Soul, Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, Nas and former Death Row label mate Dr. Dre, as well as New York based hip hop executives Jimmy "Henchman" Rosemond, Jacques "Haitian Jack" Agnant and Walter "King Tut" Johnson with accusations of being associates of Puff Daddy and Bad Boy Records in orchestrating the 1994 Quad Studio assault.

Although Shakur insulted rapper Nas on "Intro/Bomb First (My Second Reply)" and "Against All Odds", rapper Young Noble, who appeared on several songs on The 7 Day Theory, stated in an interview that the Nas song "I Gave You Power" served as a main inspiration for Shakur's "Me and My Girlfriend".[7] Shakur and Nas eventually squashed the beef at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards days before Shakur was murdered. They were scheduled to meet in Las Vegas, but they never got the chance.[8] Death Row associate Kurt Kobane revealed in an interview in 2016 that Shakur was listening to Nas album It Was Written the day he got shot on September 7, 1996, on his way to Las Vegas.[9]


The first two singles, "Toss It Up" and "To Live & Die in L.A" was released, September 26, 1996, just under 2 weeks after Shakur's death. After hearing No Diggity (which features Dr. Dre) for the first time, several of Dr. Dre's former Death Row colleagues, including Shakur, recorded and attempted to release "Toss It Up", containing numerous insults aimed at Dr. Dre and using a deliberately similar instrumental to "No Diggity", but were forced to replace the production after Blackstreet issued the label with a cease and desist order stopping them from distributing the song.[10] "Toss It Up" music video features Shakur, Danny Boy, K-Ci & JoJo, Aaron Hall, and was directed by Lionel C. Martin.[11] According to Death Row Records, it was the last music video Shakur filmed. The video also includes an appearance from actress LisaRaye McCoy.[12] A unreleased version of the video was leaked some years later, known online as "Toss It Up Beach Version".[13]

"To Live & Die in L.A, was produced by QDIII who was the only outside Death Row producer on the album besides Demetrius Shipp who did "Toss It Up". QDIII was one of Shakur's favorite producers. QDIII told XXL Magazine:

A music video for "To Live & Die in L.A" was shot. It features Shakur working at a fruit stand, driving around Los Angeles in a car filled with women, and also features various scenes and pictures of notable places and events in Los Angeles. It was the first video shot for the album.[15]

The album's final single, "Hail Mary" was released, February 11, 1997. The videos for "Hail Mary" and "To Live & Die in L.A can be found on the DualDisc of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory.[16]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[17]
Entertainment Weekly D[18]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[19]
MVRemixReview 9/10[20]
RapReviews 7.5/10[21]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[22]
Sputnikmusic 5/5 stars[23]
XXL 5/5 stars[24]
Muzik 5/5 stars[25]

AllMusic reviewer Thomas Erlewine gave the album 2.5 out of 5 stars saying, "Everything about The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory smacks of exploitation. Released only eight weeks after Tupac Shakur died from gunshot wounds, Death Row released this posthumous album under the name of Makaveli, a pseudonym derived from the Italian politician Niccolo Machiavelli, who faked his own death and reappeared seven days later to take revenge on his enemies. Naturally, the appearance of Don Killuminati so shortly after Tupac's death led many conspiracy theorists to surmise the rapper was still alive, but it was all part of a calculated marketing strategy by Death Row - the label needed something to sustain interest in the album, since the music here is so shoddy. All Eyez on Me proved that Tupac was continuing to grow as a musician and a human being, but Don Killuminati erases that image by concentrating on nothing but tired G-funk beats and back-biting East Coast/West Coast rivalries".[17] Los Angeles Times critic Cheo Hodari Coker said, "while there are moments of power and poignancy in The Don Killuminati, it lacks the full ambition and range of Shakur's epic All Eyez on Me and Me Against the World packages. It's in those albums--and songs such as "Brenda's Got a Baby", "Lord Knows" and "Only God Can Judge Me"—that the legacy of this tortured, talented artist will be best found."[19]


The emotion and anger showcased on the album has been admired by a large part of the hip-hop community, including other rappers.[26] "There are a lot of 2Pac records I like," said 50 Cent, "but this is consistent all the way through. You could put this on and clean your whole house."[27]


Publication Accolade Year Rank Ref.
BET The 25 Best Posthumous Albums of All Time 2014
Complex The 90 Best Rap Albums of the '90s'
MTV Greatest Hip-Hop Albums Of All Time 2007
9 2008
Vibe 51 Albums representing a Generation, a Sound and a Movement 2004
150 Albums That Define the Vibe Era (1992-2007) 2012
The Greatest 50 Albums Since 93 2014
30 The 25 Best Posthumous Albums of All Time
* denotes an unranked list

Commercial performance[edit]

The album peaked at number one on the Billboard 200.[32][33] The album generated the second-highest debut-week sales total of any album that year, selling 664,000 within its first week in stores.[34] The album was certified 3x platinum in April 1997 and then 4x Platinum on June 15, 1999.[35] As of 2013, the album had sold 5 million copies in the United States, which made it #24 on a list of highest selling hip-hop albums of all time.[36]

Track listing[edit]

  • Credits adapted by album booklet.[37]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Bomb First (My Second Reply)" (featuring E.D.I. & Young Noble)
2. "Hail Mary" (featuring The Outlawz & Prince Ital Joe)
Hurt-M-Badd 5:09
3. "Toss It Up" (featuring Danny Boy, Aaron Hall, K-Ci & JoJo)
  • Dametrius Ship
  • Reggie Moore
4. "To Live & Die in L.A." (featuring Val Young) QDIII 4:33
5. "Blasphemy"
  • Shakur
  • Wrice
  • Paquette
Hurt-M-Badd 4:38
6. "Life of an Outlaw" (featuring The Outlawz)
  • Makaveli
  • Darryl "Big D" Harper
7. "Just Like Daddy" (featuring The Outlawz)
  • Shakur
  • Wrice
  • Greenridge
  • Cooper III
  • Fula
Hurt-M-Badd 5:08
8. "Krazy" (featuring Bad Azz)
Darryl "Big D" Harper 5:15
9. "White Man'z World" (featuring Big D)
  • Shakur
  • Harper
Darryl "Big D" Harper 5:38
10. "Me and My Girlfriend"
  • Shakur
  • Ricky Rouse
  • Wrice
  • Harper
  • Makaveli
  • Darryl "Big D" Harper
  • Hurt-M-Badd
11. "Hold Ya Head" (featuring Tyrone Wrice)
  • Shakur
  • Wrice
Hurt-M-Badd 3:58
12. "Against All Odds"
  • Shakur
  • Wrice
  • Hurt-M-Badd
  • Makaveli[a]
Total length: 59:07
  • ^a signifies a co-producer
  • "Toss It Up" features vocals by K-Ci and JoJo of Jodeci
  • "White Man'z World" features uncredited vocals from Danny Boy
  • "Blasphemy" features vocals by Prince Ital Joe & JMJ
  • "Life Of An Outlaw" features vocals by Bo-Roc
  • "Me And My Girlfriend" features vocals by Virginya Slim

Sample credits[edit]

Bomb First (My Second Reply)[38]
Toss It Up[39]
To Live & Die In L.A[40]

"Do Me, Baby" performed by Prince

Just Like Daddy[41]
White Man'z World[42]
Hold Ya Head[43]


Credits for The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day of Theory adapted from AllMusic.[44]

  • 2Pac, Makaveli – primary artist, producer, executive producer
  • Suge Knight, Simon – executive producer
  • Tommy D. Daugherty – chief engineer, mixer, additional production
  • Steve Anarden – engineer
  • Ronald "Riskie" Brent – paintings
  • Danny Boy – featured artist
  • Yaki Kadafi – featured artist
  • Kastro – featured artist
  • E.D.I. – featured artist
  • Scott Gutierrez – associate engineer
  • Cedric "K-Ci" Hailey – featured artist
  • Joel "JoJo" Hailey – featured artist
  • Aaron Hall – featured artist
  • Darryl Harper – producer
  • Hurt-M-Badd – producer
  • Justin Isham – digital editing
  • Reggie Moore – producer
  • John Morris – associate engineer
  • Outlawz – featured artist
  • Lance Pierre – associate engineer
  • Demetrius Shipp – mixing, producer
  • Guy Snider – engineer, track engineer
  • Troy Staton – mixing, producer, unknown contributor role
  • Don "Dubb" Smartt – associate engineer, unknown contributor role
  • Tyrone Wrice – featured artist
  • Young Noble – featured artist
  • Val Young – featured artist


Charts positions Peak
Australian Albums Chart[45] 37
Deutsche Alternative Charts[46] 5
Dutch Albums Chart[47] 61
New Zealand Albums Chart[48] 17
Swedish Albums Chart[49] 28
UK Albums Chart[50] 53
UK R&B Album charts[51] 9
US Billboard 200[52] 1
US Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums[52] 1


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[53] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[54] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[55] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b XXL Magazine, October 2003 issue
  2. ^ "Riskie Talks Makaveli Album Cover". YouTube. August 3, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Airbrush Artists Memorialize Tupac at Amoeba Hollywood at the Amoeblog". 2011-09-14. Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  4. ^ "Tupac The Workaholic. (MYCOMEUP.COM)". YouTube. 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  5. ^ XXL Magazine, October 2003 issue, Page 111
  6. ^ XXL Magazine, October 2003 issue, Page 118
  7. ^ Miloszewski, Filip. "The Making of Makaveli - The 7 Day Theory". Scribd. Retrieved 27 November 2016. 
  8. ^ Nguyen, Hao. "HIP-HOP GEM: 2PAC AND NAS SQUASHED THEIR BEEF BEFORE PAC'S DEATH". Stop The Breaks. Retrieved November 27, 2016. 
  9. ^ "2pac Was Listening To A Nas Album The Day He Was Shot 9/7/96 & Makaveli Records - Kurt Kobane RAW". YouTube. Retrieved 27 November 2016. 
  10. ^ Arnold, Paul W. (May 27, 2010). "Danny Boy Tells All About Death Row Years, Part Two". HipHopDX. Cheri Media Group. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  11. ^ Lionel C Martin (January 21, 2015). "2Pac-"Toss It Up" - Feat. Danny Boy, KC & JoJo - directed by @vidjunkie #stilldope…". Twitter. Retrieved 28 November 2016. 
  12. ^ Death Row Records (March 30, 2010). "2Pac - "Toss It Up" - Featuring Danny Boy, KC & JoJo - Official WIDEawake Death Row Upload". YouTube. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  13. ^ "2Pac Toss It Up Beach Version High Quality 1996". YouTube. Retrieved 28 November 2016. 
  14. ^ Miloszewski, Filip. "The Making Of Makaveli - The 7 Day Theory". Scribd. Retrieved 28 November 2016. 
  15. ^ "2PAC - To Live and Die in L.A". YouTube. Retrieved 28 November 2016. 
  16. ^ "Don Killuminati: 7 Day Theory Dual Disc, Enhanced". Amazon. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  17. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (1996-11-05). "The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory - 2Pac, Makaveli : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  18. ^ Browne, David (1996-11-22). "Music Review: 'The Don Killuminati/The 7 Day Theory' Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  19. ^ a b Coker, Cheo (November 3, 1996). "Makaveli: the 2 Sides of Tupac". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 11, 2017. 
  20. ^ Low Key. "MVRemix Urban Album Reviews: Makaveli - The 7 Day Theory | Online Hip Hop, Rap and Soul Magazine | US and Canadian Mainstream and Underground - exclusive interviews, articles". Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  21. ^ Juon, Steve "Flash" (2002-05-14). "2Pac/Makaveli :: The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory :: Death Row Recordintroduction of s/Interscope". Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  22. ^ The New Rolling Stone Album Guide - Nathan Brackett, Christian Hoard - Google Books. Google Books. Retrieved 2012-06-26.  Portions posted at "Tupac Shakur: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  23. ^ BigHans (May 3, 2010). "2Pac - The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved January 11, 2017. 
  24. ^ XXL (December 2007). "Retrospective: XXL Albums". XXL Magazine. 
  25. ^ Muzik (1/97, p. 113) - 5 out of 5 - "... one of the most important [albums] of the year.... perfectly captures the dark tensions arising from the centre of the vicious heat that is the City of Angels...
  26. ^ XXL Magazine, October 2006 issue
  27. ^ Blender, April 2003
  28. ^ "The 25 Best Posthumous Albums of All Time". BET. Retrieved January 11, 2017. 
  29. ^ "MTV Debates the Top 10 Hip Hop Albums of All-Time". Political Palace. Retrieved 27 November 2016. 
  30. ^ "NME's Albums of the Year 2016". NME. November 24, 2016. Retrieved November 24, 2016. 
  31. ^ "The Greatest 50 Albums Since '93". Vibe. April 18, 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2016. 
  32. ^ The Don Killuminati chart peaks on Allmusic.
  33. ^
  34. ^ Crowe, Jerry (1996-11-14). "All Eyes on Shakur's 'Don Killuminati'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  35. ^ "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. 2017-02-12. Retrieved 2017-02-12. 
  36. ^ Ross, Erik (May 18, 2013). "The 50 Best Selling Rap Albums of All Time - 24. 2Pac The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (1996)". Complex. Retrieved November 27, 2016. 
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Bomb First (My Second Reply) by Makaveli". WhoSampled. Retrieved November 27, 2016. 
  39. ^ "Toss It Up by Makaveli feat. K-Ci & JoJo, Danny Boy and Aaron Hall". WhoSampled. Retrieved November 27, 2016. 
  40. ^ "To Live & Die in L.A. by Makaveli". WhoSampled. Retrieved 27 November 2016. 
  41. ^ "Just Like Daddy by Makaveli". WhoSampled. Retrieved 27 November 2016. 
  42. ^ "White Man'z World by Makaveli". WhoSampled. Retrieved 27 November 2016. 
  43. ^ "Hold Ya Head by Makaveli". WhoSampled. Retrieved 27 November 2016. 
  44. ^ "The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved November 28, 2016. 
  45. ^ Steffen Hung. "Makaveli - The Don Killuminati - The 7 Day Theory". Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  46. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche". Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  47. ^ Steffen Hung. "Makaveli - The Don Killuminati - The 7 Day Theory". Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  48. ^ Steffen Hung. "Makaveli - The Don Killuminati - The 7 Day Theory". Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  49. ^ Steffen Hung. "Makaveli - The Don Killuminati - The 7 Day Theory". Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  50. ^ "2PAC". Official Charts. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  51. ^
  52. ^ a b "2Pac". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  53. ^ "Canadian album certifications – 2 Pac – The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory". Music Canada. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  54. ^ "British album certifications – 2 Pac – The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 15 September 2013.  Enter The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  55. ^ "American album certifications – 2 Pac – The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 15 September 2013.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
Anthology 3 by The Beatles
Billboard 200 number-one album
November 23–30, 1996
Succeeded by
Tha Doggfather by Snoop Doggy Dogg