MUSIC: OUT OF JAIL--AND IDEAS

THE FORMERLY INTERESTING TUPAC SHAKUR SPEWS GANGSTA CLICHES ON HIS NEW ALBUM, ALL EYEZ ON ME. IT'S NOT A PRETTY SIGHT

DESPITE HIS CONTROVERSIAL REPutation, Tupac Shakur was always an ambivalent gangsta, at least on record. His 1993 album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., included an anthem called Keep Ya Head Up that was chivalrously supportive of black women; on his last album, the confrontationally titled Me Against the World, he rapped a surprisingly tender tribute to his mother titled Dear Mama. Even as Shakur was being vilified in the mainstream press as a tough-talkin', gin-and-juice-drinkin' gangsta rapper, his songwriting was becoming increasingly intelligent and introspective.

Too bad the trend comes to a halt with the release of his ambitious new album, All...

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