Thug Life ‘Volume 1’ Album Review by Dead End Hip Hop

On September 26, 1994 Hip Hop group, Thug Life released their first and only studio album, Volume 1. The group featured Big Syke, Macadoshis, Mopreme, The Rated R and Tupac Shakur.

The crew from Dead End Hip Hop share their thoughts on the rare group project.

Does Thug Life: Volume 1 make it on your list of iconic albums? Leave your thoughts below.

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Hari Sunner says:


Camera man is trippin’

unun septium says:

It would only be iconic if he had Volume 1 tatted on his stomach too.

Corey Brown says:

Agree with Feefo, B, and Mike, this isn’t or should be iconic, the album is what it is.

Douglas Jones says:

The fall of 94: Big Mike, Scarface and Thug Life; all amazing albums to me as a teenager.

Vinícius Boaventura Dias says:

Very good album, but I gotta agree with Myke, though. Plus, I waited for you guys to review/discuss anything 2Pac related since the beginning of DEHH, and this was a little disappointing 🙁

Please tell me you will have another discussion 100% focused on something Pac related soon, because this didn’t do it for me.

Tago Jones says:

“Str8 Ballin” “Bury Me A G” til this day, SLAPS! “Stay True” “Cradle To The Grave” (another Classic). Nate’s joint. It Dont Stop and Under Pressure. I think there’s two joints w/o Pac (so it shouldn’t be Pac, but Thug Life: like Pac said, its not a group, its an idea (see Thug Angel docu). BONUS INFO: Easy Mo Bee did “Str8 Ballin” (as well as ‘If I Die 2nite’, ‘My Block’ (from The Show SDTRACK) and ‘Temptations’. He said Pac took those joints, and spread em out on several albums/soundtracks (cuz he smart, even tho they did em same period). Like U guys said, there’s a whole ‘nother album of songs that were deemed too controversial (hi Jimmy Iovine) to be put on the release. Pac didn’t show for the intro of the vid for ‘Pour Out a Little Liquor’, cuz the label was changing his vision for the vid. ALSO, why in the hell ‘Pain’ wasn’t released on the album, or the ‘Above The Rim’ soundtrack – FAIL! They should re-release Thug Life – digitally remastered, with Pain on it (and maybe other songs that weren’t released from the project).


no it shouldn’t be considered an iconic album…and modest media was copping pleas throughout the video and it was bloody annoying to listen to

Jamal I says:

In Texas we was jammin the hell out if Str8 ballin.

Tago Jones says:

It is part of 2Pac’s discography. Every album/book Afeni put out they ALWAYS include Thug Life, Vol. 1. Whether reading VIBE’s book on Pac, or every Magazine giving a timeline of his career – Thug Life album is always there. It went GOLD before Pac died – so, it wasn’t big. But GOLD mid-90s wasnt bad either. Thank you for doing this vid – devoted Pac fans always go back to this album (not background noise, haha)

Varient says:

I agree with Mike Thug Life is a just a solid ok album. Just cuz Pac is on doesn’t mean its Iconic.

Christophe Charest-Latif says:

You guys should make a difference between a classic album and a cult classic album. This record has a cult following , a legion of dedicated fans, thats undeniable. For that alone, to a certain part of the scene, it’s iconic.

Nick Scott says:

I never heard of this album until y’all brought it up. When I think of the iconic 2Pac album, it’s All Eyez On Me. I remember people had posters of that album in their rooms when I was in 4th – 6th grade. That album made a HUGE impact on culture.

Thanks for turning me onto this though! How Long Will They Mourn Me? is the only song I’d heard before because it was on 2Pac’s Greatest Hits.

Keon Jordan says:

Thug Life album is a street classic because at the time the streets embrace it it just didn’t blow up mainstream wise and plus 2pac was the founder behind the group it was his whole idea he put that group together

NewCapital14 says:

I don’t agree with these guy’s at all. cradle to the grave, str8 ballin, bury me a G, this album was talked about and played fam, dude with the dreads is wrong, company flow tee talking about Pac. cult classic album. those who know respect this album.

Blast This says:

lol youre right never heard of this

Anthony Celestin says:

Yall should review Me Against the World

Reevesbeatz1 says:

The songs on that album are Iconic!

ExpatMiliBrat says:

Iconic no…classic YES! Iconic means widely recognized and well established. Classic means something of lasting worth or with a timeless quality!

Will Rucker says:

This actually would be considered a part of Tupac’s discography. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t a collaborative album still count as being part of an individual artist’s catalog?

DeVonne Hawkins-Fipps says:

Pac was dealing with the 94″ shooting and the rape case when this came out. He was shot during the recording of this album. So he couldn’t really promote this album . Hell he barely promoted “Me Against the World” but him being in prison kinda help push that album. Plus it’s a classic. He promoted the ThugLife concept on “Strictly for my niggaz” album

Brandon Murray says:

I loved the dirty unrefined beats especially on songs like Street Fame and Pour out a little Liquor

Eddie Neloson says:

Miseducation of Lauren hill would be dope

James Valaitis says:

Didn’t know about this until I saw you had reviewed it. I found it, listened to it, loved it, and then watched this and want you guys to know I’m really grateful because I wouldn’t have known about it if not for you.

dEssert 4 THought says:

Been listening to this album, Westside for life

Chris Subo says:

This is definitely an overlooked album. I’ve heard some of the songs from it, but never even knew this album existed. Thanks guys for letting me know about it, dope project! Too bad it got terrible promotion

MalikEKC says:

Every Pac fan should give this album a listen. It is definitely not iconic though. We gotta stop calling every hip hop album we like iconic or classic

Dennis Stevenson says:

Most underrated rap album of all time.

Luke James says:

“Pour Out A Little Liquor” is still one of my favorite 2Pac tracks of all-time!

Brandeno kbranded says:

Bury me a G changed my life

Brandon Luciano says:

not an iconic album at all. good album but not iconic

Tago Jones says:


onecollar says:

redman – muddy waters review

GeorgetheGreat says:

Idk if the whole alum is iconic or classic but it def has some iconic/classic Pac songs

Diko Avtorizacija says:

I think it’s also the fact that so many dope albums dropped from 92-96 even 97 that this got overlooked and was forgotten plus when you put Pac’s solo projects (and he was flooding the industry with his music,Pac was known for music output) that overshadowed this,I can understand how it flew under the radar.

Narcissistic Batman says:

y’all should’ve reviewed Me Against The World instead.

2psah2 says:

I wish i was there with you guy to counter some of the issues mentioned.. This album is dope as fuck. I’m from the Netherlands, and when this album came out, we went crazy over it..

Douglas Jones says:

I remember this album from the fall of 94; certainly was not promoted in the manner that we know modern albums to be, but the streets knew about this. I was a 14 year old paperboy at the time, rocking with this during afternoon deliveries. I still have the cassette tape….memories.

Andres leclerc says:

how long will they mournnnnnn me !!!!

RAPSTA says:

It is slept on, not iconic.

kiaba360 - says:

Don’t Get It Twisted!

PJPayway says:

This album is not iconic but it was important to 2Pac’s progression as an artist. On 2pacalypse Now and most of Strictly 4 My Niggaz Pac sounded like a lot of other rappers from the late 80s- early 90s. By the time Thug Life came out he developed his own distinct style…. that emotional aggressive flow that made him stand out. This album basically set the stage for Me Against The World, which is no doubt an iconic album. What’s funny is that this album still went Gold in ’94 even with the lack of promotion.

Reese NineEightNine says:

Its funny how I know at least 4 of these songs on this album but never knew this album existed until today smh you learn something new everyday

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