record label Amaru Entertainment recently condemned the piracy of Tupac’s
latest posthumous release Loyal to the Game, which has been prematurely
leaked through illegal downloading in the past few weeks.
While some sites
provide the single "Uppercut" from Loyal to the Game for
download, the track has yet to be officially released through Amaru or their
parent label Interscope.
fans as Pac’s “extended family,” said many have alerted the
label to illegal reproduction of the album through email, out of love of the
fans are completely intolerant of this bootlegging and piracy,” Amaru
said in a statement. “The reality of today’s music industry is that
Internet piracy and bootlegging runs rampant like a plague.” The label
added that most of the bootlegging violations usually proceed during pressing
and distribution once the album is complete.
Tupac was no stranger
to bootlegging throughout his lengthy career. The rapper’s earlier albums
have faced similar bootlegging concerns, though he attempted to stop the infringement
at its source.
Tupac had frequently
claimed that bootleggers were stealing hard-earned money from him, Amaru said,
recalling footage of Tupac confiscating tapes from street merchants attempting
to sell bootlegs in the 90s.
that the merchant was taking money that did not belong to him for a product
that Tupac put his blood, sweat and tears into.”
Afeni Shakur—executive producer for the album along with rapper Eminem—has
financed an investigation and is determined to eradicate illegal operations,
The label also
thanked those who have expressed concern and taken action. “Tupac had
always said that he ‘could not do any of this without his fans and today
is no different,” Amaru said. “It is your undying loyalty to Tupac
and your undying devotion to carrying out his legacy in a respectful manner
that gave us enough warning to take measures to insure an early release of our
Eminem was on deck
to produce much of Loyal to the Game, Tupac’s seventh album since
his untimely death. Eminem used Tupac’s unreleased verses to construct
12 of about 16 tracks.
The album also
features Eminem’s label mates 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck and Obie
Trice, as well as Sleepy Brown, Nate Dogg, Ron Isley and Outlawz. Red Spyda,
Raphael Saadiq and Scott Storch also contributed to production.
Amaru plans to
set up the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, Georgia,
using a portions of all proceeds from Tupac’s album sales.