Tupac / Tha Dogg Pound Tupac: Live at the House of Blues

Another 2pac CD, bringing the number of records he has released posthumously to 15 — 11 more than he released when alive. While the quality of his work has plummeted since his death, this disc delivers. Captured live in Los Angeles, just two months before he died, this is 2Pac at his best. He’'s the enigmatic thug in "Ambitions AZ a Ridah,” a relentless foe on "Troublesome” and "Hit ’em Up, but sensitive in "Never Call You Bitch Again.” And even though the CD bears his name, he’s the opening act for Snoop Dogg & Co. With Pac around, everyone else played second fiddle. His nine tracks personify gangsta rap — music conceived by pain and hardship and delivered with fury. Then Tha Dogg Pound take over — when what you want is more Pac — and drop the classics ("Gin and Juice,” "Murder Was the Case” and "Who am I (What’s My Name).” Still, when Pac returns for "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” with the opening salvo, "Picture perfect, I paint a perfect picture,” the true worth of 50 Cent becomes clear. (Treetrunk)