IT WAS ON THIS DATE FEBRUARY 16, 1993 TUPAC DROPPED HIS SOPHMORE STUDIO ALBUM STRICTLY 4 MY NIGGAS

Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z… is the second studio album by American rapper 2Pac, released on February 16, 1993, by Interscope and Jive Records. N.I.G.G.A. in the title is punctuated to refer to 2Pac’s backronym “Never Ignorant in Getting Goals Accomplished”.The album features guest appearances from the group Live Squad, 2Pac’s stepbrother the Wycked (later known as “Mopreme“, later a member of 2Pac’s groups Thug Life and the Outlawz), Ice-TIce CubeTreachApache, Poppi, Deadly Threat, R&B singer Dave Hollister and Digital Underground

Similar to his debut, 2Pacalypse Now, the album contains many tracks emphasizing 2Pac’s political and social views. The original album was going to be named “Troublesome 21” and released in September 1992, but it was scrapped due to being rejected by Time Warner. Many of these tracks still remained unreleased while “Keep Ya Head Up”, “I Get Around”, “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.”, “The Streetz R Deathrow” and “Souljah’s Revenge” were utilized for the new track listing. Debuting at number 24 on the Billboard 200, this album saw more commercial success than its predecessor, and there are many noticeable differences in production. While 2Pac’s first effort included a more underground or indie-rap-oriented sound, this album was considered his “breakout” album. It spawned the hits “Keep Ya Head Up” and “I Get Around”. As of 2011, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z… has sold 1,639,584 units in the United States.

In commemoration of its twenty-fifth anniversary, it was released on vinyl on February 16, 2018.

Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z… received generally positive reviews from critics. Melody Maker called the album “an adventure into life on the streets of America”, delivered through raps that “drip with the sweat of hardcore funk”. The Source said: “A combination of ’60s black political thought and ’90s urban reality, 2Pac is not afraid to speak his mind … [balancing] the gangsta tendencies of street life with insightful revelations”. Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…, wrote Ian McCann in Q, “found 2Pac feted by Hollywood and Ice Cube no longer an influence but a guest. Bitter, more distant, it offers the legendary 5 Deadly Venomz, Keep Ya Head Up and, ominously, Something 2 Die 4, on which 2Pac’s ma warns him if he can’t find something to live for, he should find something worth dying for. Gulp.”

In a less enthusiastic review for the Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Gold found the production accomplished and 2Pac’s raps “sort of entertaining” but regarded him as “a gifted mimic” with “no discernible style of his own” and “not an especially deep thinker”. Robert Christgau singled out “Keep Ya Head Up” as the record’s only worthy track.

Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. debuted at number 24 on the US Billboard 200 and number four on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, selling 38,000 units in its first week. On April 19, 1995, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over one million copies in the United States. As of September 2011, the album has sold 1,639,584 copies in the United States.

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