While Tupac was in prison in 1995, as part of his come back plan, Shakur formed the group Outlawz consisting of artists named after United States enemies.
In a recent excerpt by author Sulaiman Jenkins who captures the life of Mutah ‘Napoleon’ Beale for the upcoming book ‘Life is ЯAW’, it is explained how Tupac would ensure his newly formed group the Outlawz would instantly distinguish themselves from all other artist in the world of Hip Hop.
Tupac was locked up for eleven and a half months, and was quickly consuming books during that time. Something he did even before his incarceration. Pac’s thirst for knowledge, would bring him to the readings of Niccolò Machiavelli, a 16th century philosopher known best for his political ideas.
Counting the days until his release from prison and ready to come back fifty times stronger, Tupac took on an important Machiavellian concept as told in this particular excerpt of ‘Life is ЯAW’. “Pac was becoming what Irvington had been to him his entire life: raw and unforgiving. Interscope was cool and all, but it was foreign; now he was getting back to the familiar. Having killed off the old Tupac, Pac had to do away with Dramacydal as well; one important Machiavellian concept is being able to change accordingly when circumstances necessitate change.”
“A new order was taking place, so Dramacydal had to be no more. No more Lil’ Mu. No more Young Hollywood. No more K-Dog. No more Big Malc. Pac had to reinvent his young, thorough protégées, but he couldn’t just choose any names. They had to have significance. Influenced by a Machiavellian principle which overlooked brutality if it meant maintaining power, Pac suggested they assume the names of some of the worst militaristic tyrants in history with a clear message; war was looming on the horizon.”
Tupac was on the verge of signing to Death Row records, part of an agreement that would have Suge Knight put up over a million dollars to bail Shakur out of prison. In return Tupac would record three albums with the label.
With Tupac’s work ethic of multiple songs recorded daily, he would have no problem holding up his end of the deal. Two of the three albums came with Tupac’s double album in ‘All Eyez On Me’. Leaving him with only one album left to release, Tupac would record his final album for Death Row records in three days.
Forming the Outlawz, would also include Tupac reinventing himself, as he also took on a new alias in Makaveli. With that new alias Shakur would release one of Hip Hop’s most controversial and classic albums of all time, ‘The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory’.
Big Malc, K-Dog, Lil’ Mu, and Young Hollywood would all take on new alias forming the Outlawz. “He mostly chose enemies of the West. Big Malc became E.D.I. Mean (now E.D.I. Don), after the African dictator of Uganda, Idi Amin. K- Dog was now Kastro, after Fidel Castro, a sworn enemy of the US who ruled Cuba for decades. Young Hollywood became Yaki Kadafi, after the Libyan dictator, Muamar Qaddafi, who ruled his country with an iron fist, eventually being killed by his people in 2011,” the excerpt reads.
“Last but not least, Lil’ Mu was now Napoleon, after Napoleon Bonaparte, a fiery French general who never let size determine how many people he would have to murder to conquer Europe. The stage was set. The Outlaw Immortalz and Makaveli were ready to mobilize to the front lines of the rap industry. Operating. Under. Thug Lawz. As. Warriors. OUTLAW.”
E.D.I Mean who was interviewed by VLAD TV, also spoke about how Tupac nicknamed the Outlawz after enemies of the United States.
“While he was in jail, he was reading a lot of books, and when we would come and visit him we would just talk about a lot the (ishh) he was reading,” E.D.I Mean explained. “Just building off the information he was getting. That’s when he was like, ‘Yo, going forward we gon be the Outlawz Immortalz, and I’m taking the name Makaveli’.”
Author Jenkins captions the latest except by reminding readers that the history of the Outlawz will be explained further when they get their hands on the new book, “Although Fatal is not mentioned in this specific excerpt, his joining comes a few pages later in the book. Other prominent Outlaw members (e.g. Storm and Young Noble) joining are also mentioned a little later on.”