While he was here on this earth 2pac was one of the most influential, controversial, and hardest working artists in the Hip-Hop industry. This uncanny work ethic has lead to what seems like a never ending release of posthumous releases from 2pac. While some have been memorable such as the 2pac/Outlawz album, most have been lackluster such as his last album "Until The End Of Time". The main problem with "Until The End Of Time" was the album's production staff's decision to remake most of 2pac's unreleased material. Instead of releasing the exact material 2pac made when he was alive, they tried to cash in on a quick buck and liter the album with guest appearances, corny R&B hooks and worst of all new production that didn't match anything like the original. While most prayed that this trend would not continue on this year's edition of 2pac album's entitled "Better Dayz" it has and to everybody's disapproval it has gotten worse.
As a 2pac fan I have had the opportunity to witness his unreleased material on various bootlegs and Makaveli album's one to infinity. The material present on these albums was mostly stellar, capturing that raw, intense 2pac energy, charisma and hunger. However, the production minds behind "Better Dayz" somehow believe remaking these tracks into something they feel is suitable is what 2pac fans want to hear. Blasphemy for most die hard 2pac fans, but for the average joe, it will go unnoticed. Take for example the sounds on "When We Ride On Our Enemies", "This Life I Lead", "Never Be Peace" and "Military Minds". These were some of the best unreleased material 2pac had to offer, only now to be remade and ruined with horrific production that absolutely takes all the original feeling and aura out of the tracks. Maybe those not so lucky to hear the originals will be more suited to appreciate the sounds, but others will surly be cringing in response to these remakes, as the production aspect is truly horrible. Thankfully Afeni Shakur and her staff didn't touch the original recordings of the DJ Quik produced "Late Night" which features a funky Saturday night type vibe and the insightful religious tales of "Who Do U Believe" featuring the late great Khadifi, who puts forth one of his finest verses.
More blasphemy on "Better Dayz" comes from the unnecessary guest appearances cluttered throughout the album such as Trick Daddy on "Still Ballin", Tyrese on "Never Call U Bitch Again" and Mya on "Fair Xchange Remix". Of course lurid production continues to take place, however the bigger question is are these guest appearances really necessary? However it's the production aspect of the album that continues to be the driving force in "Better Dayz" demise. Tracks such as "There U Go", "Catchin Feelins", "U Can Call", "Whatcha Gonna Do" and "Fuck Em All" all feature disgraceful production. It is without a doubt that "Better Dayz" is the worst posthumous release from 2pac in every imaginable aspect especially in the album production department.
With two discs worth of material there is bound to be a couple of worth while efforts, even though they are fare in-between. "Street Fame" is one track that finally sees some solid production along with "My Block Remix" and "Ghetto Star". The lead title "Better Dayz" featuring Mr. Biggs is definitely the type of effort we would see if 2pac was alive, as is "Mama Just A Little Girl". Of course every posthumous 2pac album has to have that one big hit, this time around its "Thug Mansion", which is one of the better singles released from Pac after his death. It's your typical effort from Pac mixing street tales with social awareness and inner reflections. Pac was always the best at depicting such tracks in his lifetime.
However, these sorts of efforts just aren't enough to overshadow the fact that "Better Dayz" is horrible put together. If the 2pac family behind these albums truly cared about 2pac's music they would release the tracks he made as they were and as he intended them to sound. 2pac is an artist that is going to sell regardless, cluttering his album with catchy/radio friendly production, guest appearances and r&b hooks is pointless. After this release, lets just hope there are "Better Dayz" ahead for posthumous 2pac releases. If not maybe it's time to give it a rest and let the man's legacy stay as it is, instead of trying to tarnish it after his death.