Today in Hip Hop History: November 5, 1996
Death Row Records released Tupac Shakur‘s first posthumous album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, under his pseudonym Makaveli in 1996. The album was recorded, mixed, mastered and finished in just 7 days during the span of August 1996. Amazingly enough, only 3 of those days were writing and the mixing and mastering encompassed the last 4 days. Unfortunately, Pac never saw the release of the album due to his unfortunate passing in September from being shot.
The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory featured production from Pac himself in addition to outside help from Big D, Hurt-M-Badd, QDIII, Dametrius Ship and several more. The album contained outside vocals from E.D.I., The Outlawz, Bad Azz, K-Ci & JoJo, Danny Boy and more.
The album was perceived to be an underground hit by Death Row and Pac himself, but it was magnified due to his untimely death. Because of that, they released it early. The album served as an introduction for Pac’s alternate stage name Makaveli, which he coined from the famous Italian author Niccolò Machiavelli, who famously faked his own death.
The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory was definitely a darker album than his previous, All Eyez on Me. Cuts like “Hail Mary” and “Krazy” explicitly display Pac’s sentiments and depressed feelings at the time. There are also hints of Makaveli predicting his own demise within the album. In addition, it contains several disses of East Coast rappers including Nas, Notorious B.I.G., De La Soul, Mobb Deep and several more.
The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory was an instant classic. Although debatable, many see it as one of Pac’s more underground LPs. Regardless, it became 5x RIAA Certified Platinum. Additionally, it’s #9 on MTV’s list of Greatest Hip Hop Albums of All Time and BET’s #2 Best Posthumous Albums of All Time. The list of accolades for the album goes on and on. Personally, it is one of my favorite LPs of all time.