Released: May 26, 2006
℗ 2006 Death Row Records) Tupac Shakur's final album was written and recorded over just seven days in August of 1996. Unlike its predecessor, All Eyez On Me, Don Killuminati is lean and focused. The only guests present are members of Tupac's crew, the Outlawz. Most of the beats were crafted by Hurt-M-Badd, an underutilized Death Row R&B producer, and by Tupac himself. The accelerated nature of its recording gives Don Killuminati has an emotional urgency and directness that makes it one of Tupac's most arresting works. Explosions of anger segue into pleas for peace, and celebrations of the street lifestyle. Amidst all the paranoia and aggression, Pac has premonitions of his own death. "I'm a ghost in these killin' fields," he says on "Hail Mary." No one can be certain that Tupac intended this to be his last will and testament, but there is that aura about this album. The final two songs epitomize the conflict that burned in Pac's soul. "I hope for better days," he says in "Hold Ya Head." Then, in "Against All Odds," he turns around to blast all of his peers, like a kamikaze pilot on a final suicide mission. The album's final words linger like an uncanny echo: "Now I want war."