How can Tupac Shakur be resurrected if the record industry won’t let him die? The most padded of his many posthumous releases, this soundtrack to a Tupac biopic of the same name includes album cuts, hits and recent recordings created around previously unreleased rhymes and familiar Tupac samples. The oldies, however recycled, are at least respectful: Tupac’s mainstream debut, Digital Underground’s “Same Song,” was also the last classic track by the mischievous but musically substantial Bay Area hip-hop collective of which he was a member.
Unfortunately, Resurrection abuses Tupac’s vocal tracks — and his legend. Teaming him with the similarly exploited Notorious B.I.G. in “Runnin’ (Dying to Live),” Eminem speeds up an old Edgar Winter ballad to corny and annoying effect, and in “The Realist Killaz,” 50 Cent condemns Tupac wanna-be’s, bragging that he was playing with guns while others were playing tennis. Both tracks use gunshots as percussion. Is this the way to pay tribute to a man murdered by bullets?