Keep Ya Head Up
On Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., 2Pac is stuck in the Public Enemy-style noise machine that marked hip-hop at the dawn of the '90s. But unlike that group (or Ice Cube, who guests on "Last Wordz"), 2Pac's rants against the cops, newfound celebrity (thanks to a star-making appearance in the film Juice) and Oakland's mean streets sound incoherent. The album's two funk-oriented hit singles, "I Get Around" and "Keep Ya Head Up," pointed the way forward for an artist better at relating everyman concerns than exploring racial polemics. Other standouts include "The Streetz R Deathrow."