Amaru/Death Row – 2001 - 124 minutes
"Good career move" was the rumoured verdict of one record company executive on hearing John Lennon had been shot. Cynicism and the music industry have always been comfortable bed-fellows and the ceaseless posthumous flogging of Biggie Smalls, Big Punisher and Tupac Shakur is one of hip-hop's more regrettable tendencies.
It rankles to speak ill of the dead, but Tupac Amaru Shakur was, in truth, a second-rate rhymester who was better suited to the screen than the stage. His irritating style does little to convince on this selection of tracks that didn't make the cut onto his 'Makaveli' album.
'Until The End Of Time' boasts occasionally impressive beats from producers including the Trackmasters and QDIII, the third generation of the Quincy Jones dynasty. Most are from the smooth, seventies-influenced West Coast school, though the title track follows the horrible trend of 1980s MOR ballad samples by lifting the chorus of Mr Mister's execrable 'Broken Wings': it's as bad as you'd imagine.
The Tupac phenomenon may not be as stomach-churning as Puff Daddy's relentless profiteering from the corpse of his friend, Biggie Smalls, but beyond morbid fascination there is little reason to buy this album as it never hits any creative heights. The time has definitely come for Tupac Shakur to rest in peace.
Tracklisting: Disc 1: Ballad Of A Dead Soulja - F*** Friendz - Lil' Homies - Let Em Have It - Good Life - Letter 2 My Unborn - Breathin - Happy Home - All Out - F***** With The Wrong N**** - Thug N U Thug N Me (Remix) - Everything They Owe - Until The End Of Time - M.O.B. - World Wide Mob Figgaz
Disc 2: Big Syke Interlude - My Closest Roaddogz - N***** Nature (Remix) - When Thugz Cry - U Don't Have To Worry - This Ain't Livin' - Why U Turn On Me - Lastonesleft - Thug N U Thug N Me - Words 2 My First Born - Let Em Have It (Remix) - Runnin On E - When I Get Free - Until The End Of Time (RP Remix)