A member of hip hop ensemble Outlawz, E.D.I. Mean (his name is intended to sound like that of Idi Amin – although why anyone thought that was a good idea is a matter of considerable speculation) is best known for his work with Tupac. Mean met Tupac through his third grade classmate, Katari “Kastro” Cox, a cousin of Tupac.
His first recording was a guest appearance on Tupac’s 1993 single, “Holler If Ya Hear Me”. Mean would frequently record with Tupac between 1995 and Tupac’s death in 1996. E.D.I. Mean remains an active recording artist, although his recent work has largely consisted of guest appearances on other artist’s recordings.
The man in charge of all the muscle for Al Capone’s Chicago Outfit, Nitti was busted along with Capone in 1931. But where his boss got eleven years, Nitti served only 18 months. Upon release, he went back to the Outfit, but despite the press hailing him as the new leader of that gang, he was only a figurehead to the powers behind the throne. Nonetheless, the Chiacgo Outfit prospered and expanded until 1943.
In 1943, Nitti, along with seven other prominent mobsters, was indicted for extorting money from Hollywood. And the day before Nitti was scheduled to testify, Nitti, rather than betray the Mob he had worked for his entire adult life, got very drunk, and deliberately shot himself in the head and died. There was a man who took omerta seriously.
The first single from Xzibit’s first album, “Paprazzi” exists to deride those rappers who are not in it for the music, but for the fame and fortune. Xzibit, real name Alvin Nathaniel Joiner, was a big believer in art for art’s sake, and it shows in the lyrics of this song.
The song was a top ten hit on the Billboard US Rap chart, and also in Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It made the Billboard US Hot 100 also, reaching a high of 83. Not bad for a first timer.
In 1995, Tupac was sent to prison for molestation. While serving his time in Clinton Correctional Facility, he read, among others, Niccolò Machiavelli, which inspired his pseudonym “Makaveli” – under which he released his next album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. He also read Sun Tzu and other works of politics and philosophy.
The album was very different from Tupac’s earlier works, perhaps unsurprisingly given that it was largely inspired by his time in prison. The title was inspired by how long it took him to record the album – 3 days to write and record, 4 more to produce.
By the time it came out, Tupac had been dead for almost two months, fatally shot on September 7.
Hold ya Head — Makaveli
Introbomb First (My Second Reply) — Makaveli
Born Tupac Amaru Shakur in New York City on June 16 of 1971, Tupac was a rap artists. In addition to his own name, he also used the stage names 2Pac, Pac and later Makaveli (although that last name never really caught on).
He grew up in Harlem and many of his songs reflect his background, dealing with topics such as growing up amid the violence and hardship of ghettos, racism and crime. In addition to his career as a rapper, Tupac was also an actor and a social activist known for his advocacy of racial egalitarianism.
In the course of his career, he sold over 75 million albums worldwide and was named the 86th Greatest Artist of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine. He was shot in a drive by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996, and died from his wounds in hospital shortly thereafter. Tupac was mourned by rap fans the world over, and remains one of the best known rappers in history.