An indispensable and definitive collection showcasing the passionate genius of the late rapper. The album's nonchronological sequence highlights the contradictory impulses that made Tupac's music so commanding; the 21 well-loved "hits," some slightly reedited for legal reasons, are accompanied by four previously unheard songs. Of the new material, the raw-sounding "God Bless the Dead" has been the subject of the most speculation, owing to its subject matter: a eulogizing of the late Notorious B.I.G.
--a mysterious feat, since Tupac was killed six months before Biggie. And, making its first proper appearance on a Tupac album, the B-side "Hit 'Em Up" stands as the most intense outburst of pure venomous rage ever captured on tape. Whether he's waxing political, philosophical, or just plain paranoid, Tupac's empathetic, charismatic style remains unmatched. --Charley Gothic