Trying to come up with a list for the best Tupac albums is sure to generate heated debate among his fans – such was the quality of his work. Tupac Shakur was gunned down in 1996, but his music lives on in the six albums he released while alive and in the eight albums that were released following his death at only 25 years old. Tupac is a legend in the rap community, and so are his masterful albums.
- “All Eyez on Me” – This was the fourth studio album released by Pac. It easily qualifies as one of the best rap albums ever released and went on to sell over five million copies in its first two weeks. This double-album contained 27 tracks and was a glorious salute to the thug lifestyle done Tupac-style. It produced two number one singles, "How Do U Want It" and "California Love,” while "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” was a collaboration with Snoop Dogg. If you’re going to own one Tupac album, this is the one.
- “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory” – The fifth and final Tupac studio album was released by Tupac under the name of Makaveli. He had used the Makaveli name (a nod to the Italian Renaissance philosopher Machiavelli, who influenced Pac) before, but this was the first release using that as his stage name. The album was Tupac’s third straight number one album in the U.S. and charted at that same position across the world. It was recorded in August, 1996, but was released after he died on September 13, 1996. Pac is perhaps more spiritual than he'd ever been before on this album with cuts like “Hail Mary” and “Blasphemy,” but keeps his gangsta style on “Life Of An Outlaw,” and “To Live And Die In L.A.”
- “Me Against the World” – Released when Tupac was in jail for a rape conviction and just after his recuperation from being shot-up at a recording studio, this is probably Pac’s most reflective album. The fifteen tracks on this album are filled with emotion and depth. “Dear Mama” is the standout single on this album and one of the best Tupac recordings ever.
- “2Pacalypse Now” – Tupac’s debut album isn’t as slickly-produced as his later albums, but it makes up for that with gritty realism. The thirteen tracks on the album are perhaps the most political of Pac’s career. In fact, then-Vice President Dan Quayle cited the album after an individual killed a cop in Texas and said that listening to this album made him do it. After that, getting a single from “2Pacalypse” played on radio was nearly impossible due to all the negative attention. However, the album is really about what it’s like to grow up as a young black man in urban America. This is best illustrated on the tracks "Young Black Male" and "Trapped.”
- “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.” – Tupac’s second studio album was similar to his debut album in that many of the tracks emphasized his political and social views. Hit singles that from the album include "I Get Around" and "Keep Your Head Up,” but the title track, a rack and rock fusion, is the true standout as is "Papa'z Song.”