Though it was released on the eve of the busiest year in 2Pac
's posthumous career, Better Dayz
shouldn't be overlooked -- and with the schedule including a feature documentary (with soundtrack), plus two books and another double album, it might be easy for this one to slip from the radar. A lengthy two-disc set, it benefits from a raft of still-compelling material by one of the two or three best rappers in history, as well as excellent compiling by executive producers Suge Knight
and Afeni Shakur
's mother. Organizing the set roughly into one disc of hardcore rap and one of R&B jams makes for an easier listen, and the R&B disc especially has some strong tracks, opening with a remix of 1995's "My Block" and including quintessentially 2Pac
material -- reflective, conflicted, occasionally anguished -- like "Never Call U B**** Again," "Better Dayz," "Fame," and "This Life I Lead." Most of the tracks are previously unreleased, the rest coming from scattered compilations like Knight
's Chronic 2000: Still Smokin'
or 1995's The Show
soundtrack. It's 2Pac
's best album since his death, and bodes well for future material by, and concerning, rap's most legendary figure.