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New Broadway Tunes Soften Tupac’s Edge

Written by Tom Williams on May 31, 2014

Three tracks from the new Broadway musical inspired by the music of late rapper Tupac Shakur, titled Holler If Ya Hear Me, have made their way online, but they aren’t quite as abrasive as Tupac’s original rhymes.

The fresh and at times unintentionally amusing new takes on Tupac’s international hit California Love and posthumous single Unconditional Love are accompanied by the musical’s title track, which lacks the echoing police sirens of the 1993 original.

California Love kicks off with some slam poetry, a specialty of Saul Williams who is taking on the lead role, before the once soulful hook is wrestled into timidity by a burly chorus of dudes.

The down-tempo Unconditional Love, on the other hand, retains the ’90s R&B vibe of the original but mostly strips the grit from the beat to turn the track into a full blown Boyz II Men makeover. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it sure ain’t Pac.

Holler If Ya Hear Me is being described as a non-biographical story centred around the themes of friendship, love, family, and hope. The musical, which begins preview performances on 2nd June, is written by Todd Kreidleris, directed by Kenny Leon and co-produced by the late rapper’s mother, Afeni Shakur.

Watch the musical’s TV spot below.

Watch: 2Pac – Holler If Ya Hear Me

Watch: Holler If You Hear Me Broadway TV Spot

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