On the same day the late 2Pac would have turned 49, a birthday celebrated by his friend and collaborator Snoop Dogg, it feels appropriate to highlight one of the many classic tracks in his discography. And while Pac's versatility is well documented, there are few who had a handle on the dark gangsta rap anthem like Makaveli. While songs like "Troublesome 96" and "Ambitionz Az A Ridah" are among his finest haunting cuts, there's something eerily hypnotic about the Makaveli: The 7 Day Theory standout "Hail Mary."
Perhaps it's the allusion to a Catholic prayer, herein repurposed with darker intentions. Though Pac maintains that he's "not a killer," his willingness to cross that line should never be questioned. "Revenge is the sweetest thing next to getting pussy," he reflects, his words resounding over Hurt-M-Badd's ominous chimes and gothic bells. "Let's go deep inside the solitary mind of a madman," he raps, his imagery as foreboding as the instrumental. "Screams in the dark, evil lurks, enemies see me flee / activate my hate, let it break to the flame."
Though it can be difficult to come to terms with Pac's musical descent into darker themes, especially given the violent circumstances of his death, it's certainly fascinating to hear his perspective unfold. Especially on songs like "Hail Mary," on which Pac's formidable presence is at its most imposing, a true larger than life figure. Rest in peace to one of the true pioneers.
I ain't a killer, but don't push me
Revenge is like the sweetest joy next to gettin' pussy
Picture paragraphs unloaded, wise words bein' quoted
Peeped the weakness in the rap game and sewed it
Bow down, pray to God, hopin' that he's listenin'
Seeing n***as coming for me through my diamonds when they glistenin'
Now pay attention, bless me please, Father, I'm a ghost
In these killing fields, Hail Mary, catch me if I go