Tupac Shakur Drops Me Against the World – Today in Hip-Hop
XXL celebrates 50 years of hip-hop with this moment:
March 14, 1995: Tupac Shakur released his third solo studio album, Me Against the World, on this day in 1995. Featuring classic tracks like “Dear Mama” and “So Many Tears,” the album was hailed by critics as one of the best releases of 1995, and Tupac‘s most personal work to date at the time.
The project included leftover tracks from Thug Life Vol. 1, which were recorded during the period between 1993 and 1994. Me Against the World was released while ’Pac was serving a one-and-a-half to four-and-a-half-year prison sentence for sexual abuse.
One of the most obvious and eerie themes of Me Against The World was ’Pac spitting so prolifically about his own death. Tupac and his Outlawz had been involved in shootings before, but as if predicting the future, songs like “If I Die 2Nite,” “Lord Knows” and “Outlaw” directly reference Tupac going through a shooting, which would result in his death. That actually happened in 1996.
The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 during the charting week of April 1, 1995, and held the position for four weeks. The LP sold over 240,000 copies in its first week and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on Dec. 6, 1995. Additionally, Tupac‘s beloved song “Dear Mama,” his tribute to his late mother, Afeni Shakur, is certified triple platinum.
In 2017, Tupac was enshrined into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and saluted as a “definitive hip-hop anti-hero” who “wrote lyrics that spark conversations about rap, race relations and young Black men in America today.”
More than 20 years later, Me Against the World remains one of Tupac Shakur‘s most beloved music projects and a certified classic album.