Some may only recognize Thug Life as the two words infamously tattooed across 2Pac's abdomen, but interviews from the mid-90s reveal that he had big plans for the brand—he foresaw it as the name of a worldwide movement, culture, and lifestyle of a revolutionary urban lower class. As we all know, Shakur never lived to see this dream realized, and before any of these ideas could be put into effect Thug Life was the name of a group and an album by 'Pac and his friends. Already infamous for his first two solo albums and various run-ins with the law yet not quite the household name he would become in his final two years of life, "Thug Life: Volume 1" was released by Interscope in September 1994, just two months before the New York shooting that embattled the star with Bad Boy Records, five months before beginning his eleven-month stay at Clinton Correctional Facility, a year before signing on with Suge Knight and Death Row, and two years before his Las Vegas murder. This album thus provides a snapshot of a pivotal albeit overlooked time in Shakur's life. His incarceration strongly influenced the volatile and deeply philosophical recordings of his Death Row days, which produced the most celebrated and controversial music of his catalog, and his output immediately before might serve as a suggestion of another path his career may have taken had he faced different circumstances.
|A1||Bury Me A G||4:59|
|A2||Don't Get It Twisted||3:19|
|A3||Shit Don't Stop||3:46|
|A4||Pour Out A Little Liquor||3:30|
|B1||How Long Will They Mourn Me?||3:53|
|B4||Cradle To The Grave||6:13|