Artist: 2 PacTitle: Nu-Mixx KlazzicsRating: 1 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Damainion Ewell
It would be very interesting to hear what 2Pac would have to say about the state of his music. While his legion of fans continues to grow to enormous levels, a lot of the music made before his untimely demise should have been kept on the shelf. His latest posthumous album, Nu-Mixx Klazzics is a definite testament to that theory. It almost seems deliberate that Suge Knight and his cohorts have taken ten of Pacs timeless classics and recreated them into average tracks at best. The beats have been totally revamped and some of the original artists have been replaced, and not necessarily in a good way.
Two of 2Pacs all-time greatest hits, 2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted, and Hit Em Up are absolutely laughable on this album. 2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted features fellow West Coast mudslinger Crooked I on the album, and albeit that Snoop Doggs original lyrics were conspicuously replaced, he did a good job of keeping the spirit of the song alive. Lyrics such as I got both heaters cocked and Im ready to ride/whoevers ready for beef better be ready to hide are key to keeping the songs purity. However, the beat falls way short of the glory that was the original tunes final component. The producers managed to keep the West Coast flavor on the song and mastered it to the point where consumers may think Crooked I and 2Pac himself shared the same studio space to create it. All in all, the lack of bass kick and the abundance of drum snares make this version a lot less listener-friendly.
Hit Em Up, quite possibly the greatest diss song ever written in any era of Hip-Hop, would not win any verbal battles in any arena if the Nu-Mixx Klazzics version came out first. The drums, sequencing, and keyboards lack the substance necessary to carry the hardcore lyrics that made this song legendary. The beat does not bode well with 2Pacs harsh and extreme lyrics on this record, and The Outlawz were not a complimentary addition to this song. Again, the producers did a fine job regarding the continuity and authentic sound that the track provides, but the beat is too smooth and too non-threatening to make this a beef song. Had this version been the original, it is almost a certainty that Mobb Deep, Chino XL, and the late Notorious B.I.G. would have toppled over with hysteria.
New versions of Hail Mary and How Do You Want It? (Featuring K-Ci & Jo-Jo) are also available on the album, and they are also victims of the downward spiral in production savvy. It is unfathomable that a bona fide legend such as 2Pac has to take such a tremendous loss with the unceremonious revelation of these remixes. A lot of the Thug Life persona that 2Pac represented has seemingly been cleaned up and washed away with no hard edge to the music in sight. Death Row Records has further disgraced itself by putting out less than legendary 2Pac music. If there is any consolation to hardcore 2Pac fans, his original lyrics were never rewritten, and his true spirit will forever live in the true essence of his words.