Often regarded as the greatest of all time, receiving awards for his work did not always favor Tupac Shakur and the same can be said about The Source and its 5 mics.
P. Frank Williams, former executive editor of The Source Magazine, explained why Tupac’s “Me Against The World,” did not receive 5 mics.
As the leader in hip hop publication, artists albums were rated by writers from The Source magazine. If your album was considered the best of the best, then you received the highest of praises during those times, 5 mics.
Not everyone was able to receive such praise for their work. Despite his dominance in hip hop and at times in the music industry period, Tupac Shakur never received 5 mics.
Appearing on The Outlaw Show hosted by E.D.I. Mean, one of the men responsible for honoring artists with the 5 mic award, was guest P. Frank Williams. E.D.I., member of the Outlawz, was all too familiar with Shakur’s body of work and wondered why Tupac never received 5 mics for “Me Against The Word.”
“Wel, I’ll say this, sometimes you don’t know how good things are until you listen to it a few years later,” explained Williams. “Musically the first album, umm ‘Me Against The World’ was better. The music hadn’t caught up to his lyrics yet. ‘All Eyez On Me’ is like the volcano where the best beats in the world connect with him at the highest of his craft.”
During his incarceration, Tupac’s third studio album topped the charts as he became the first ever artist to have a number one album behind bars. The album gave us the forever classic ‘Dear Mama’ and is regarded as Tupac’s best album by die hard fans.
With that being said, the album would receive 4 mics, but as told by Williams on The Outlaw Show, Tupac was not the only artist to come 1 mic short with an incredible album.
Dr. Dre’s “Chronic” also missed the incredible feat. “When ‘The Chronic’ came out I gave it 4.5 mics in The Source and I also regretted it. “And we always knew we f***** up, because 5 mics in The Source was a big deal,” said Williams. Eminem was also another artist whose debut album did not receive the 5 mics honor, but eventually claimed the publication’s highest honors on his sophomore project.