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DISCS

GANGSTA RAP
Still I Rise

2PAC Outlawz

Interscope

* 1/2

Isn't this guy supposed to be dead or something?

"How Long Will They Mourn Me?" 2Pac Shakur once prophetically asked, but at this point the weepy tributes are scrapping the bottom of the barrel. This third posthumous hodgepodge, in fact, raises the question: Is 'Pac still alive and firing off these inferior missives from some potato cellar in the Midwest, just about the only place no one is looking for him?

Unfortunately, what he's done here isn't very good. However it is that we keep getting these leftovers (no thanks to supposed friends the Outlawz), they need to stop. They only serve to show the limits of 'Pac's artistry -- in that he tended to repeat himself several times before moving on to a new and better topic.

"Baby Don't Cry (Keep Your Head Up II)" could be read as a lesson about his legacy, but it doesn't top anything from "Me Against the World." The routine "Homeboyz" (as in you ain't nothin' without your ...) doesn't hold a candle to any of the similar anthems on "All Eyez on Me." And everything, even the most meaningful cuts (and there are a few), just goes on way too long, the light Latin lilt of "High Speed," for instance overstaying its welcome at six minutes.

-- Ben Wener, Orange County Register

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