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6.20 The Cooler

On 2Pac’s Forgotten Battle Record

By J. Tinsley / 06.19.11

The comments in the Meek Mill post actually spawned this. Not that there was anything wrong with them, because there wasn’t. Tupac’s conscious side often receives the sunny side of noteriety when the topic of his legacy is mentioned. And that’s a wonderful thing. Yet, his intense (also dubbed as “ignorant”) side was equally as extraordinary. Never one to bite his tounge, Pac’s battle records have grown to become benchmarks in the span of Hip-Hop mythology. They bled ferocity that made the listener feel it was deeper than rap with him, often times because it was literally just that.

“Holla At Me,” from 1996′s All Eyez On Me, is an interesting footnote when the topic of his catalog is discussed. There was maliciousness. Even more than that though, there was genuine hurt for assumed ill wills by a man he was saw as a close confidant.

“No one informed me it was all a scheme
You infiltrated my team and sold a nigga’s dreams
How could you do me like that
I took ya family in, I put some cash in ya pocket
Made you a man again
And now you let the fear put your ass in a place complicated to escape
It’s a fool’s fate
Without your word you’re a shell of a man
I lost respect for you nigga, we can never be friends
I know I’m runnin’ through your head now
What could you do?
If it was up to you I’d be dead now…”


Those words represented a far cry from the insanity and psychotic vengeance “Hit ‘Em Up” personified or militaristic, bomb first serenade seen on “Against All Odds” (there was a slew of additional diss records). This was, in fact, Pac at his most vulnerable juncture of disrespect. Sleeping with Faith, whether it was ever a valid boast or not, always personally came off as a Pac who was lost in the emotions of depression, petulance and ultimately living up to his own claim of a darker, more spiteful person post-prison. Ironically, in a chronological order, “Holla At Me” was the first of the aforementioned trio proving his venom only intensified as the supposed East/West war grew with each magazine cover.

Whether Dexter Issac was telling the truth when he admitted to robbing Pac in Quad Studios, we’ll probably never know. Maybe it’s better that way. His life was never a mystery due to him putting everything on front street. He even addressed his sexual assault case and prison stint in the third verse, so it is almost an awe-inspiring oxymoron his death remains one.

This is for damn certain however. Someone pulled that trigger. Someone sent Pac to the hospital that November night. Someone turned a constantly evolving friendship into a vitriolic feud. And in the grand scheme of things, someone is the indirect reason for this record’s creation. It lit a fire in Mr. Shakur that produced some of the most memorable songs, interviews and urban legends the genre has ever or will see and was only extinguished via a shower of bullets.

“I gotta be careful, can’t let the evil of the money trap me
So when you see me nigga
You better holla at me…”

Legendary records aside, the ironic perspective behind the title “Holla At Me” was that the single most important person he needed to “holla” at, he didn’t.

2Pac – “Holla At Me”

Previously: To Hell And Back With DMX

Photo: Getty

TAGSAll Eyez On MeMP3sMUSICThe Notorious B.I.G.Tupac ShakurWhat's Beef?

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