20 years after 2Pac Shakur’s first posthumous release, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, his murder remains unsolved, the internet continues to buzz with conspiracies surrounding the rapper’s death, and in almost any place around the world at given moment, you can bet there’s a 2Pac song in rotation.
The Don Killuminati album is special for several reasons; it reintroduced 2pac under the alias Makaveli, it clearly identified 2Pac’s targets in the so-called east coast-west coast beef on “Against All Odds,” and it also produced timeless hip-hop classic tracks such as, “Hail Mary,” and “Me and My Girlfriend.”
The Don Killuminati will forever be remembered as 2Pac’s “excuse me, Makaveli’s…” darkest, and arguably most intriguing release. Special thanks to http://www.2pac-forum.com for creating a platform that continues to keep 2Pac’s legacy alive. Here are seven facts surrounding the making of The Don Killuminati.
- “Suge Shot Me!” is what some listeners reported hearing during the intro to “Bomb First (My Second Reply).” This is one of the earliest conspiracies surrounding
2Pac’s death; however, according to engineer Lance Pierre, there were several effects added during the intro that lead to the auditory illusion “there was a lot of background noise, kids in a playground, you hear weird birds flying over head.” He went on to say, “I call it studio magic.”
2. During the recording sessions for “Me and My Girlfriend,” a tape malfunction occurred while 2Pac was laying verses. When 2Pac rapped “baby 45 but she still live, one shot makin n—– heartbeat stop…” the tape machine went silent, and The engineering
team immediately began brainstorming on how to cover up the mishap. It was decided to create a skit, featuring lyricist Virginia Slim that would become apart of what makes the song so memorable.
3. The environment in the studio during the making of the album was unlike the traditional set up of smoking, alcohol, and the typical melees that occurred at Death Row Records. The production and engineering staff worked closely with 2Pac and the outlaws in a very focused atmosphere. For hours, 2Pac would work with the Outlaws and The Don Killuminati staff until complete exhaustion set in. There were times when 2Pac, along
with the Outlaws and some of the producers, would sleep on the floor of the “wack” room through the night. Daryl Harper, one of the lead producers on the album, recalls the family bond that he developed between 2Pac and the outlaws. There were candles lit during studio sessions, and an overall spiritual feeling in the studio, according to Pierre.
4. 2Pacs’s intent was to create an uncut, rugged album, a far cry from the polished sound and presentation of All Eyez on Me. Whenever editing needed to be done, 2Pac would deny it. The album was slated to be released as a swap meet-mixtape, but ended up as a commercial release.
5. During the mid-90’s, most albums were still completed using analog tape. The Don Killuminati was the exception, and it became one of the first albums ever to use
Pro Tools. 80% of the album is analog and 20% is digital, because the engineering team received notification that the album had to be mastered right away, after 2Pac’s death.
6. Gunshots at the end of “Against All Odds,” during 2Pac’s declaration of war, were taken from the Godfather part III.
7. The “wack” room, where the album was recorded, was the studio room where all the bad equipment, and unexperienced producers were placed. 2Pac was the only artist on the label interested in the beats that were being made in that room.