2Pac’s The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, which was released just two months after the September 1996 murder under the alias Makaveli, is not a well-known event like his previous album, All Eyez On Me.
Where All Eyez On Me boasts blockbuster collaborations with names like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Method Man, DJ Quik, and George Clinton, Makaveli are primarily R&B singers and members of the group ‘Pac’s, the Outlawz, with production coming from lesser-known names from Death Row’s “wack room” at Can-Am Studios.
However, the album almost had an A-list collaboration that went down in history.
In BET’s oral history of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory published earlier this month to coincide with 2Pac’s 51st birthday, Quincy “QD3” Jones III – son of legendary Quincy Jones and producer production of “To Live & Die in LA” – revealed “Pac’s Camp contacted Michael Jackson in hopes of featuring him on “Thug Nature”, originally intended for the album.
However, the King of Pop turned down the request for one simple reason: out of loyalty to Pac’s rival, The Notorious BIG, whom he worked with on “This Time Around” the previous year.
“So I arranged a meeting at Neverland [Ranch],” said QD3, who has worked with director Allen Hughes on the upcoming FX documentary Dear Mama, looking at Pac’s relationship with Black Panther’s mother, Afeni. “I went up there and told Michael about it. And do you know what Michael said? He likes Biggie. ”
“Thug Nature,” sampling Jackson’s 1983 Thriller hit “Human Nature,” ultimately failed to make an album. Finally, it ends with Death Row’s 2000 collection of Too Gangsta For Radio, as well as post-leaving 2Pac projects.
QD3, who also produced All Eyez On Me’s “Heaven Ain’t Hard 2 Find,” delved deeper into his experience working with Tupac Shakur during a chat with BET.
“’Pac would take all my beats, including ones that I would never play for people,’ he said. “I learned a lesson that you have to be more spontaneous and he taught me how to just think and just do. “Pac will grow when you sit there and play with sounds almost like you don’t respect his time one bit.”
He added, “I would say he was manic. There would be songs asking for quiet voices and sitting down and all that and he would scream and smoke Newports. He cleared up with this complete euphoria. He’s always pushing. You could tell he was uncomfortable in some way and something was making him uncomfortable.”
Despite missing out on a collaboration with Michael Jackson, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory remains one of 2Pac’s biggest albums yet. The project debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 after selling over 660,000 copies in its first week and has since been certified quadruple platinum.
It is also still his most attractive thing. The crucifixion cover and the nickname Makaveli – a nod to the 16th-century Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli, who is said to have faked his own death to fool his enemies – further fueled conspiracy theories about the place is said to be his.
As for Michael Jackson, the late King of Pop has worked with a select number of rappers since his death in 2009, including 50 Cent (“Monster”) and Drake (“Don’t Matter To Me.” ).