25 years ago, on February 16, 1993, rap artist 2Pac released his second studio album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. on Interscope Records. Debuting at number 4 on the R&B chart and number 24 on the Pop chart, the album contains many tracks emphasizing 2Pac’s political and social views. Divided in to a Black Side and Dark Side, Strickly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. features guest appearances from the group Live Squad, 2Pac’s stepbrother, The Wycked (later known as “Mopreme), Ice-T, Ice Cube, Treach, Apache, Poppi, Deadly Threat, R&B singer Dave Hollister and Digital Underground.
“Holler If Ya’ Hear Me” (an anthem of resistance) and “Papa’z Song” were the notable street anthems. However, “I Get Around” (a classic party jam) and “Keep Ya Head Up” (an anthem for black women) were the singles that made Strickly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. 2Pac’s “breakout” album, having earned him his first platinum-selling LP.
The 1992 L.A. Riots and gang culture in Los Angeles influenced the recording of Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. This was a pivotal moment in 2Pac’s rap career because he changed his image and became more street. He began sporting a bald head and bandannas. The Bloods and Crips culture in LA led to 2Pac creating his movement and rap group called Thug Life. The acronym of the words are The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone. He even had it tattooed across his abdomen.