If there's any record that makes the case for 2Pac as not only rap's most powerful emotional wrecking ball but also a great lyricist in the most traditional sense, it's probably Me Against the World. Where he was still finding his voice on earlier efforts and he completely unhinged from craft in the name of urgency with the later ones, Me Against finds him balancing his usual rage with some of the most tightly constructed writing of his career. Whether he's indulging his increasingly frantic mortality obsession with "Death Around the Corner" or having a heart-to-heart with that special lady on "Dear Mama," every song has a purpose, every word has its place. The production is as thin as it ever was—all G-Funk wheeze cliches, Quiet Storm chords and canned slap bass—and yet none of it detracts from 2Pac's potency. It's hard to imagine any backdrop that could.
Andrew Nosnitsky, Google Play