Prior to the release of 2Pac's posthumous Loyal To The Game,Eminem asked Afeni Shakur if he could personally executive produce the project. Upon being granted permission, Em went on to produce the entirety of the 2004 album, which ultimately went on to receive mixed reviews upon release. Now, seventeen years removed from its arrival, enough dust has settled to reassess Eminem's addition to 2Pac Shakur's musical legacy. And where better to start than with the album's introductory cut, and one of Em's only vocal contributions, "Soldier Like Me."
Over an instrumental that sounds like something Eminem might have laced for himself, Obie Trice, or 50 Cent during their early millennium Shady Records run, 2Pac's vocals retain the same commanding presence we've come to expect from the late legend. "A ni*ga's got enough knocks, I'm poppin' at corrupt cops," raps Pac, over Slim's creeping keyboards. "Them motherfuckers catch a hot one / You wanted to start a problem, now you coward cops have got one."
While the production is certainly different territory for Pac, it's interesting to hear his music imagined through Eminem's creative lens -- seventeen years removed from the release of Loyal To The Game, how do you feel about Eminem and 2Pac's collaborative project?
A ni**a's got enough knocks, I'm poppin' at corrupt cops
Them motherfuckers catch a hot one
You wanted to start a problem
Now you coward cops have got one
And there's no prison that can hold a
Motherfuckin' soldier, ready to roll and take control
So now I jack 'em while they sleepin'
Roll to the door, throw a grenade in the precinct