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The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

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The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
Studio album by Makaveli
Released November 5, 1996 (USA)
23 April 2001 (UK)[1]
Recorded July 8 - August 12, 1996; Can-Am Studios, (Tarzana, Los Angeles)
Genre Hip hop
Length 59:24
Label Death Row, Makaveli, Interscope Records
Producer Makaveli (exec.) Suge (Simon) Knight
Darryl "Big D" Harper, Hurt-M-Badd, Reggie Moore, Dametrius Ship, Kevin Lewis* Additional production by Tommy D. Daugherty, Lance Pierre, and Justin Isham*
Makaveli chronology
All Eyez on Me
The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
R U Still Down? (Remember Me)
Singles from The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
  1. "Toss It Up"
    Released: September 26, 1996
  2. "To Live & Die in L.A."
    Released: September 26, 1996
  3. "Hail Mary"
    Released: February 11, 1997
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly D[3]
MVRemixReview 9/10[4]
RapReviews 7.5/10[5]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[6]
XXL 5/5 stars[7]
Muzik 5/5 stars[8]

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (commonly shortened to The 7 Day Theory or Don Killuminati and sometimes called Makaveli) is the fifth studio album by Tupac Shakur. Released under his new stage name Makaveli, it was his first studio album to be posthumously released.[9] The album was completely finished in a total of seven days during the first week of August 1996.[10] The lyrics were written and recorded in only three days and mixing took an additional four days. These are among the very last songs Shakur recorded before his fatal shooting on September 7, 1996. The album was originally due for release in March 1997, but due to his death, Suge Knight released it four months earlier.

George "Papa G" Pryce, Former Head of Publicity for Death Row, claimed that "Makaveli which we did was a sort of tongue-in-cheek, and it was not ready to come out, [but] after Tupac was murdered, it did come out... Before that, it was going to be a sort of an underground."[11]


  • Concept 1
    • Lyrical themes 1.1
  • Production and recording 2
    • Title 2.1
    • Album artwork 2.2
  • Reception 3
    • Accolades 3.1
  • Commercial performance 4
  • Track listing 5
  • Personnel 6
  • Unused tracks 7
  • Recorded during Makaveli sessions 8
  • Certifications 9
  • Charts 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12


Though Shakur had been using the new name Makaveli or Makaveli Tha Don as far back as All Eyez On Me, the Makaveli album was conceived as a sort of introduction for Shakur's alternate stage name. Thus, the album’s sleeve contains the text, "Exit 2Pac, Enter Makaveli". The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory was recorded and mixed in a mere 7 days in August 1996.

Before his death, Shakur wanted to start his own record label, which he envisioned as Makaveli Records. Shakur fulfilled his three-album obligation to Death Row quickly in order to move on from Death Row Records and start Makaveli Records. According to personal bodyguard Frank Alexander, Shakur didn't like Death Row. Artists slated to be on Makaveli Records included not only himself, but the rest of The Outlawz, as well as Storm, Bad Azz, One Nation, Bobby Brown and Greg Nice among others.

Lyrical themes

While All Eyez on Me was considered by Shakur "a celebration of life", The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory is a much darker album. Shakur's style of rapping is still emotional, but is intensified throughout this album. Some songs on the album contain both subtle and direct insults to Shakur's rivals at the height of the East Coast–West Coast feud. Rappers insulted on the album include The Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, Q-Tip, De La Soul, Dr. Dre & Nas.

Although Shakur insulted rapper Nas on "Intro/Bomb First (My Second Reply)" and "Against All Odds", rapper Young Noble, who appeared on several songs on The 7 Day Theory, stated in an interview that the Nas song "I Gave You Power" served as a main inspiration for Shakur's "Me and My Girlfriend".[12]

Production and recording

Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory has also gained praise for its production. Although many of Shakur's usual producers were not involved in the project, the producers still managed to come through for the project. The only producer with whom Shakur had worked prior to this album was QD3, the son of Quincy Jones and brother of Shakur's girlfriend Kidada Jones. Shakur also co-produces three tracks on the album. The other two producers were Hurt-M-Badd and Darryl “Big D” Harper. E.D.I. Mean of the Outlawz recalls:

At the time Hurt-M-Badd, who was just an up-and-coming producer at Death Row, and Darryl Harper, who was an R&B producer - Suge had him working on all the R&B projects - they had a green room up in Can-Am [Studios] which everybody around Death Row called the "wack room" because they said "Ain't nothing but wack shit come out of there." But we was up in the studio one day and we trying to get music done - ain't none of us producers - we see them two niggas in the "Wack room" and 'Pac like, "Go get them niggas." So niggas go bring them, 'Pac just putting niggas to work like, "I need a beat here, I need y'all to do this, do that." And these are niggas that nobody at Death Row was fucking with. They'll tell you themselves.[13]

The album was recorded at Can-Am Studios in Tarzana, Los Angeles, California over 7 days in the month of August 1996. During those seven days 21 songs were completed, 12 of which made the final product. The album did not feature the star-studded guest list that All Eyez on Me did. Most of the guest verses are supplied by Shakur's group The Outlawz. The only verse that was not from one of the Outlawz was from Bad Azz. Young Noble of the Outlawz recalled:

We had started writing the shit and we was taking long. 'Pac was like, "Who got something? Bad Azz you got something?" and it fit perfect, so it was meant for Bad Azz to be on that song. We had already been on a million 'Pac songs. That was his way of motivating us like, "If y'all ain't ready, then you don't make the song."[14]

Prince Ital Joe also made an appearances on two tracks - the single "Hail Mary" and "Blasphemy". Death Row artist Danny Boy was featured on the single "Toss It Up" along with K-ci & Jojo and Aaron Hall. Originally the song was produced by Dr. Dre, but when he left Death Row Records he gave the beat to Blackstreet for the song No Diggity. In a result 2Pac wrote second verse for the song and dissed Dre.


The album's original title was "The 3 Day Theory", (originally consisted of around 14 tracks). E.D.I. Mean of The Outlawz & Ronald "Riskie" Brent revealed in an August 2014 interview that the official name of the album was mixed up upon release. Tupac wanted the album to be called; "Don Makaveli - Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory". Don Makaveli referenced as the artist name and Killuminati as the main title.[15]

Album artwork

Ronald "Riskie" Brent is the creator of The 7 Day Theory cover painting.[16] The album cover, which features Shakur on the cross in an attempt to convey his crucifixion by the media, is intended to imply an artistic resurrection. Within the next year in 1997, a music video entitled Smile by Scarface of the Geto Boys on his album The Untouchable featured Shakur as a performer, some showing his name listed as Makaveli. The video showed him depicted in a very similar type of crucifixion resembling the cover of this album.


AllMusic reviewer Thomas Erlewine noted that The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory felt like an exploitative release.[17]

In 2006, MTV recognized the album as a classic.[18] The emotion and anger showcased on the album has been admired by a large part of the hip-hop community, including other rappers.[19]


 • (*) signifies unordered lists

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank USA Greatest Hip-Hop Albums Of All Time 2007 9 2008 29
Vibe 51 Albums representing a Generation, a Sound and a Movement[20] 2004 *
Vibe (magazine) 150 Albums That Define the Vibe Era (1992-2007) 2012 *
Complex (magazine) The 90 Best Rap Albums of the '90s' 2014 17
BET The 25 Best Posthumous Albums of All Time 2 4
Vibe (magazine) The Greatest 50 Albums Since 93[21] 2013 30
Complex (magazine) Kendrick Lamar's 25 Favorite Albums[22] 2012 *

Commercial performance

The album peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 knocking The Beatles out of the No. 1 spot, also making Shakur the second artist to have a number-one album while deceased since 1995 when Latin-pop singer, Selena posthumously released Dreaming of You, which also peaked at number one on the Billboard 200.[23][24] The album generated the second-highest debut-week sales total of any album that year,[25] selling 664,000 within its first week in stores. In the second week of its release, it dropped to the number two spot, selling a strong 250,000 units. The album was certified 3x platinum in April 1997 and then 4x Platinum on June 15, 1999.[26] As of 2004, the album has sold more than 5 million copies in the United States which makes it one of the highest selling hip-hop albums of all time.[27]

The album was also certified Gold Canada for 50,000 units sold by December 3, 1996.[28] On 22 July 2013 the album was also certified Silver (60,000 units) by BPI.[1]

Track listing

  • Credits adapted by album booklet.[29]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Bomb First (My Second Reply)" (featuring E.D.I. and Young Noble)
  • Makaveli[30]
  • Darryl "Big D" Harper
2. "Hail Mary" (featuring The Outlawz & Prince Ital Joe)
Hurt-M-Badd 5:09
3. "Toss It Up" (featuring Danny Boy, Aaron Hall, K-Ci & JoJo)
  • Dametrius Ship
  • Moore
4. "To Live and Die In L.A." (featuring Val Young)
QDIII 4:33
5. "Blasphemy"  
  • T. Shakur
  • T. Wrice
  • J. Paquette
Hurt-M-Badd 4:38
6. "Life of an Outlaw" (featuring The Outlawz)
  • T. Shakur
  • M. Greenridge
  • K. Cox
  • R. Cooper III
  • Mutah Beale
  • T. Shakur
  • Big D
7. "Just Like Daddy" (featuring The Outlawz)
  • T. Shakur
  • T. Wrice
  • M. Greenridge
  • R. Cooper III
  • Y. Fula
Hurt-M-Badd 5:08
8. "Krazy" (featuring Bad Azz)
Big D 5:15
9. "White Man'z World" (featuring Big D)
  • T. Shakur
  • Big D
Big D 5:38
10. "Me and My Girlfriend"  
  • T. Shakur
  • Ricky Rouse
  • T. Wrice
  • Big D
  • Makaveli
  • Big D
  • Hurt-M-Badd
11. "Hold Ya Head" (featuring Tyrone Wrice)
  • T. Shakur
  • T. Wrice
Hurt-M-Badd 3:58
12. "Against All Odds"  
  • T. Shakur
  • T. Wrice
  • Hurt-M-Badd
  • Makaveli
Total length:
  • ^a signifies a co-producer
  • "Toss It Up" features vocals by K-Ci and JoJo of Jodeci.
  • "Blasphemy" features vocals by Prince Ital Joe & JMJ
  • "Life Of An Outlaw" features vocals by Bo-Roc
  • "Me And My Girlfriend" features vocals by Virginya Slim
Sample credits


Credits for The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day of Theory adapted from Allmusic.[31]

Unused tracks

  • "Friendz" (from the unused version of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, later remixed and used under the title of "Fuck Friendz" on his album Until The End Of Time
  • "Killuminati" (from the unused version of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, later remixed and used on Still I Rise)
  • "Lazt Praya (Last Prayer)" (from the unused version of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Unreleased)
  • "Let Em Have It" (from the unused version of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day theory, later remixed and used on Until The End Of Time)
  • "Lost Souls" (from the unused version of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, later released and used on Gang Related Soundtrack)
  • "Niggaz Nature" (from the unused version of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day theory, later remixed and used on Until The End Of Time)
  • "Watch Ya Mouth" (from the unused version of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Unreleased)
  • "When Thugz Cry" (from the unused version of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, later remixed and used on Until The End Of Time)
  • "When Thugz Cry Interlude/Hidden Track 12" (from the unused version of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Unreleased)

Recorded during Makaveli sessions

  • "Ain't Nuthin Wrong (Interlude)" (Unreleased)
  • "As The World Turns" (later released and used on Still I Rise)
  • "Black Jesus" (later released and used on Still I Rise)
  • "Catching Feelings" (later remixed and used on Better Dayz)
  • "High Speed" (later released and used on Still I Rise)
  • "Pac's Life" (later remixed and released on Pac's Life)
  • "Runnin on E" (later released and used on Until The End Of Time)
  • "Street Fame" (later remixed and used on Better Dayz)
  • "The Good Die Young" (later released and used on Still I Rise)
  • "U Don't Have 2 Worry" (later remixed and used on Until The End of Time)
  • "War Games" (Unreleased)


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[32] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[33] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[34] 5× Platinum 5,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


Charts positions Peak
Australian Albums Chart[35] 37
Deutsche Alternative Charts[36] 5
Dutch Albums Chart[37] 61
New Zealand Albums Chart[38] 17
Swedish Albums Chart[39] 28
UK Albums Chart[40] 53
US Billboard 200[41] 1
US Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums[41] 1
Preceded by
Anthology 3 by The Beatles
Billboard 200 number-one album
November 23–30, 1996
Succeeded by
Tha Doggfather by Snoop Doggy Dogg

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Portions posted at
  7. ^
  8. ^ Muzik (1/97, p. 113) - 5 out of 5 - "... one of the most important [albums] of the year.... perfectly captures the dark tensions arising from the centre of the vicious heat that is the City of Angels...
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ XXL Magazine, October 2003 issue
  11. ^
  12. ^ 2Pac."The Making of Makaveli, the 7 Day Theory "The Making of Makaveli, the 7 Day Theory XXL Magazine
  13. ^ XXL Magazine, October 2003 issue, Page 111
  14. ^ XXL Magazine, October 2003 issue, Page 118
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Album Review
  18. ^
  19. ^ XXL Magazine, October 2006 issue
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ The Don Killuminati chart peaks on Allmusic.
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ Album credits.
  32. ^
  33. ^ Enter The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  34. ^ If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ a b
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