The Source - 4/93, pp.69-703.5 Stars
- Good Plus - "...a combination of '60s black political thought and '90s urban reality, 2Pac is not afraid to speak his mind....balances the gangsta tendencies of street life with insightful revelations..."
Melody Maker - 5/1/93, p.34
"...[on STRICTLY] 2Pac drops rhymes that drip with the sweat of hardcore funk....this is an adventure into life on the streets of America..."
Personnel includes: 2Pac (rap vocals); Poppi, Treach, Apache, Ice Cube, Ice-T, Deadly Threat, The Black Angels, Live Squad, Wycked (vocals); Stan Franks (guitar); The Piano Man (keyboards); D.J. Fuze (programming); Pacific Heights, Shockalock, Money-B (background vocals).
Producers include: Tupac Shakur, Stretch, The Underground Railroad, Big D The Impossible, Bobby "Bobcat" Ervin.
Engineers: Darrin Harris, Mike Calderon, Bob Morse.
Recorded at Starlight Sound, Richmond, California, Echo Sound Studio, Los Angeles, California and Unique Recording Studio, New York.
Personnel: 2Pac (vocals); Black Angel, Live Squad, Shockalock, Money-B (vocals); Stanley Franks (guitar); The Piano-Man (keyboards); DJ Fuze (drums); Pacific Heights (background vocals).
Audio Remixer: Lea Reis.
Recording information: Echo Sound Studio, Los Angeles, CA; Starlight Sound Studio, Richmond, CA; Starlight Sound, Richmond, CA; Unique Recording Studio, New York, NY; Unique Recording Studiom, New York, NY.
Photographer: Jeffery Newbury.
Although Tupac Shakur had already released one solo album after leaving Digital Underground, it was 1993's STRICTLY 4 MY N.I.G.G.A.Z. that cemented his place in the hip-hop universe. A more musically diverse and lyrically heavy album than 2PACALYPSE NOW, this set included some of Tupac's sharpest writing yet. In particular, the singles "Papa'z Song" and "Keep Ya Head Up" were early proof of the rapper's more sensitive and thoughtful side, while "Souljah's Revenge" and "Point The Finga" addressed the state of the hip-hop nation in the wake of the anti-gangsta controversies of the previous three years. Musically, the album is of a piece with the stripped-down retro-funk style that Dr. Dre was turning into the dominant sound of West Coast hip-hop, although there's one throwback to Digital Underground's loopy playfulness on the party track "I Get Around."