-Editors Note : This post will serve as a good starting point for this series that will likely stretch at least a half dozen parts before its all over. These parts will all be very well marked within their titles as to make them easy to organize for the potential reader.
Hidden within the composition of Tupac’s 1996 Death Row era releases is a harder to see but decidedly present seperate set of messages encoded within their designs.
When ‘decoding‘ this kind of information for the specific reason of presenting a case to the potential reader showing clear and purposeful intent, my goal is is to leave an impression that the findings are undeniable rather than coincidental.
I am of the opinion that much of what i have discovered was in fact specifically woven into the design by the artist & therefore it deserves my best attempt at presenting it to other die-hard fans & students of the esoteric that may not otherwise had thought to look for it in these places.
The first thing to be examined is who had creative control of the design and artwork contained within 2Pac’s Death Row work? After all, if 2pac didn’t put it together himself in this way, then i’d be solving a riddle left by a much less influencial person and the impact would be much less noteworthy.
Using known information from the time here are the players as i see them.
1. Tupac Amaru Shakur One thing that is known about 2pac’s run at death row is that he had a lot of influence in how his work was going to be presented. This can be stated very solidly and without much second guessing in regards to the 1st project All Eyez On Me.
I do have to acknowledge the existence of talk that Suge Knight directly affected the track listing and played a decision making role on what content was included on the 7 Day Theory and in this way may have taken some of the “final say” out of 2Pac’s grasp. We’ll contemplate this more specifically later on in this examination. In the meantime i think its safe to say that 2pac still had heavy sway in the composition of The 7 Day Theory album along with close to Full final control in regards to AEOM.
Tupac was much more hands on in the creative control of his overall product than many artists are able to be, for a variety of reasons.
This is something that i always took notice of when following the available “behind the scenes” content at the time. As more & more of a view of that particular process has made itself available as time has went on due to the internet, this picture has only been solidified in my opinion.
However, other parties are known to have contributed to the projects in notable and important ways.
2. George Pryce aka Papa G
For anyone fascinated by 2pac’s Death Row Records era, i suggest searching for any & all Papa G content on youtube and in other mediums.
Pryce was involved in most if not all of the art, composition, & advertising of the 2pac albums. He tells great stories that provide a much more complete look into how it all came to look the way it did. He also helps solidify the knowledge that 2Pac signed off on virtually anything that became part of the final product.
In Pryce’s interviews he mentions a book he is working on about his Death Row experience and i periodically search to see if this book has been announced or possibly released. So far i have not found anything solid, but if any readers do ever hear of something please leave any info in the comments for me.
A couple of interesting stories that have come into my knowledge from my Papa G Youtube research:
A. Papa G tells a story about how the Brown Paper bag design came to be on the 7 Day Theory album. He then gives an even further account of how the fingerprint on the inside jacket came to be. My thought on this is that he is being playfully misleading and he does so in such a “tongue in cheek” way that its almost winking at the listener and encouraging deeper examination.
B. Within these interviews Pryce also describes some of the “tasteless” touches intended for the original 7 day theory project and its also evident that he was prominent in their non-inclusion.
This is my opinion only but i do believe that Suge at this point did begin strongarm some of his considerable influence onto this project. I do not think that 2pac’s vision and Suge’s lined up much in this way. I do think that Pryce tactfully and skillfully steered this projects art much more towards what 2Pac’s preferred vision had held.
I credit Tommy D & company for doing the same thing with the lyrical content overall as well, although I very much would like to one day hear the original version of Friendz.
3. Ronald ‘Riskie‘ Brent
Creator of the Iconic Artwork featured on the cover of The Seven Day Theory. First off, creating that image is quite an inspired artistic moment in any genre of artistic expression and while we all can picture exactly what it looks like in our minds eye, it bears a second much more detailed look as well. There is a lot more meaning there than meets the eye in an immediate sense.
Riskie also is responsible for some of the art included in AEOM and its worth noting that Brent confirms that 2Pac had an audience with the final 7 dayz artwork before his exit, in which it was green lit for the project.
4. SUGE KNIGHT
What we know about Suge’s influence.
Its come from enough seemingly credible sources to state that Suge most likely suggested the All Eyez On Me title which 2Pac ran with over his original title choice of Supreme Euthanasia. I call this a job well done by Suge as i believe its the better title and the overall concept really took off from that title.
I will bring up the original choices name later as it does have some very interesting aspects to it.
After the title choice it seems as if Suge just let 2pac go to work pretty well uninterrupted regarding AEOM.
He had recently just famously announced to an auditorium full of recording talent that he was a hands off executive producer and he seemed to still take that guarantee serious in this case.
On the 7 day theory he did definately seem to want to be closer to the creative process at times. I believe that some of this desire was brought on by his wish to be closer to 2Pac at this same point in time. Somewhat for control, but also somewhat due to a man crush that is really evident if you look back at it with clear eyes. I think that this fascination can be explained in that he just knew something special was surrounding 2Pac & he simply hoped that being closely associated with 2Pac at this exact moment in time would make himself privy to that same effect.
Most of the aspects on 7 dayz that seemed to point at Suge were things that didnt make the final cut. They were all of these bits and pieces that came to light much later as the project was dissected more & more.
I do find this one thing very interesting. Suge’s meddling on this project seemed to exist almost entirely pre September 7th 1996. It would appear that Suge mostly left the project alone concerning changes during the time period that 2pac wasnt around to have to “protect” it.
Suge aka Simon did one other highly important thing. He released it right on time. What we will discover as we continue down this rabbit hole is that there is a very specific reason that Don Killuminatti The Seven Day Theory was released exactly Fifty Three Days after September 13th 1996. The release date of November 5th 1996 is specific in nature as is the number 53. Suge came thru on this.
PART 2 coming soon
Im going to show you some things you’ve never noticed before.
The Author can be followed on Twitter @ZenOfTupac