Makaveli In This… Hail Mary Released
21 Years ago, on March 7th 1997, the single ‘Hail Mary’ was released, taken from Tupac’s final studio album ‘The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory’. The album was released a little under two months after Tupac’s murder, in November 1996.
On the album ‘The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory’ Tupac goes by a new stage name of Makaveli, inspired by the Italian philosopher and political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli, who Tupac studied while he was in prison. The album is darker than any of his other works, the emotion he shares with the listener is somewhat intensified. The album was completely finished in seven days.
The artwork for the album is a drawing by Ronald ‘Riskie’ Brent, it shows Tupac on a cross and was portraying the crucifixion of Tupac by the media. The album peaked at number one on the Billboard 200. By 1999 it was certified 4 times platinum. The single Hail Mary peaked at number 12 in the R&B chart and was featured on Tupac’s Greatest Hits in 1998.
The song Hail Mary features verses from Kastro, Young Noble and Yaki Kadafi of The Outlawz and Prince Ital Joe. Tommy D, who worked as Tupac’s Chief Engineer on the album, stated once that Hail Mary took under one hour to complete and that Kadafi’s part where he raps ” Outlawz on a paper chase, can you relate?” was originally going to be the hook but Tupac decided to put it at the end.
Hail Mary was played in the 2001 John Singleton film Baby Boy, in which Tupac was going to play the lead before his death and the 2015 boxing film Creed. It was also played in the 2017 Tupac biopic All Eyez on Me with him performing it at The House Of Blues in July 1996. However, he never publicly performed Hail Mary.
In April 2012 at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival a computer generated hologram of Tupac performed the track along with the 1996 hit ‘2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted’ and was joined on stage by Snoop Dogg. That performance spiked a 1,530% sales increase and earned the track in excess of 13,000 the week following the festival.
As recent as last week West Coast artist The Game kicked off his European tour in Poland and dedicated part of the show to Tupac, posting a video online of fans rapping the lyrics to Hail Mary.