Monday, January 13, 2003

while I still wish 2pac hadn't been so enraptured by the thug life - I think he might still be with us if he hadn't been - his latest back-from-the-dead single, "thugz mansion" (featuring nas), is prime stuff in its acoustic version (a "new york version" appears on nas' latest full-length, and sucks - most of the song's poignancy is gutted by the contempo production). nas, notably, seems to've rediscovered his lyrical voice in the last few years, and has returned to the top of the lyricists' heap. eerily, this is another 2pac track talking about death and the afterlife (akin to "I ain't mad atcha" in that regard) - but it's more thoughtful, and less fatalistic than much of pac's similar oeuvre. the fact that "mansion"'s instrumentation is nothing but an acoustic guitar lends an intimacy to the track, and brings its lyrics into starker relief than you find in most rap. fortunately, 'pac and nasir's rhymes do them justice. stellar, simple hiphop from two giants of the form.

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