Tribute Sundayz – Album Review – The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory

Studio album by Makaveli

Released – November 5, 1996
Recorded – August, 1996
Genre – West coast hip hop, gangsta rap
Length – 59:24
Label – Death Row, Interscope
ProducerSimon (exec.),

Darryl Harper, Hurt-M-Badd, Makaveli, Reggie Moore, Dametrius Ship, Kevin Lewis* Additional production by Tommy “D” Daugherty, Lance Pierre, and Justin Isham*
Makaveli chronology
All Eyez on Me
(1996)The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
(1996)R U Still Down? (Remember Me)
Singles from The 7 Day Theory
“Toss It Up”
Released: September 26, 1996
“To Live & Die in L.A.”
Released: September 26, 1996
“Hail Mary”

Released: February 11, 1997

Professional ratings

Review scores



Entertainment WeeklyD[2]



The Rolling Stone Album Guide[5]

The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (commonly shortened to The 7 Day Theory or Don Killuminati and sometimes called Makaveli) is the fifth and final studio album by Tupac Shakur. Released under the new stage name Makaveli, it was his first studio album to be posthumously released.[7] The album was completely finished in a total of seven days during the month of August 1996.[8] 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.

In 2005, ranked The 7 Day Theory at #9 on their greatest hip hop albums of all time list[9] and, in 2006, recognized it as a classic.[10] The emotion and anger showcased on the album has been admired by a large part of the hip-hop community, including other rappers.[11] Ronald “Riskie” Brent is the creator of The 7 Day Theory cover painting.[12] 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 really to come out, [but] after Tupac was murdered, it did come out… Before that, it was going to be a sort of an underground.”[13] The album peaked at number one on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and the Billboard 200.[14] The album generated the second-highest debut-week sales total of any album that year,[15] selling 664,000 within its first week in stores. The album was certified 3x platinum in April 1997 and then 4x Platinum on June 15, 1999.[16]

It had sold 3,911,787 copies in the United States by 2004.[17]


Though Shakur had been using the name Makaveli 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 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 and according to some of his fans a literal one after his death. 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.

While All Eyez on Me was considered by Shakur “a celebration of life”[citation needed], The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory is a much darker album[citation needed]. Makaveli’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 Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, Mobb Deep, Jay-Z & Dr. Dre . 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”.[18] Nas was to appear on Makaveli: 7 day theory, due to his and Shakur’s reconciliation in 1996; Shakur was murdered before any collaboration could occur. The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory was recorded and mixed in a mere 7 days in August 1996. It was released November 5, 1996 and debuted at number one on both the pop album and R&B/Hip-Hop album charts, with 663,000 albums sold in its first week.

Studios in Tarzana, Los Angeles, California over 3 days in the month of August 1996.[citation needed] During those three 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.”[19]


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.[20]

Track listing

Credits adapted by album booklet.[21]

1.”Bomb First (My Second Reply)” (featuring E.D.I. and Young Noble)
Makaveli E.D.I. Young Noble
Darryl “Big D” Harper4:57
2.”Hail Mary” (featuring The Outlawz)
Makaveli Kastro Noble Kadafi Tyrone Wrice Prince Ital Joe Fatal
3.”Toss It Up” (featuring Danny Boy, Aaron Hall, K-Ci & JoJo)
Makaveli Aaron Hall Danny Boy Dimitri Ship Reggie Moore K-Ci & JoJo Hailey
Dametrius Ship Moore
4.”To Live and Die In L.A.” (featuring Val Young)
Makaveli Young QDIII
Makaveli Wrice Ital Joe
6.”Life of an Outlaw” (featuring The Outlawz)
Makaveli E.D.I. Kastro Noble Napoleon Big D
Makaveli Big D
7.”Just Like Daddy” (featuring The Outlawz)
Makaveli Wrice E.D.I. Noble Kadafi
8.”Krazy” (featuring Bad Azz)
Makaveli Big D Bad Ass
Big D5:15
9.”White Man’z World” (featuring Big D)
Makaveli Big D
Big D5:38
10.”Me and My Girlfriend”  
Makaveli Ricky Rouse Wrice Big D
Makaveli Big D Hurt-M-Badd
11.”Hold Ya Head” (featuring Tyrone Wrice)
Makaveli Wrice
12.”Against All Odds”  
Makaveli Wrice
Hurt-M-Badd Makaveli[a]
Total length:


^a signifies a co-producer
“Toss It Up” features vocals by K-Ci and JoJo of Jodeci.
Sample credits
“Toss It Up” contains a sample of “No Diggity” as performed by Blackstreet.
“To Live & Die In L.A” contains a sample of “Do Me Baby” as performed by Prince.
“Just Like Daddy” contains a sample of “Impeach the President” as performed by The Honey Drippers.
Credits for The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day of Theory adapted from Allmusic.[22]

2Pac, Makaveli — composer, primary artist, producer
Simon, Suge Knight — executive producer
Steve Anarden — engineer
Bad Ass — composer
Ronald “Riskie” Brent — paintings
Danny Boy — featured artist
Yaki Kadafi – Featured artist
Kastro – Featured artist
Tommy “D” Daugherty — engineer
E.D.I. — composer, featured artist
Fetal Embrace — composer
Scott Gutierrez — associate engineer
Cedric “K-Ci” Hailey — composer, featured artist
Joel “JoJo” Hailey — composer, featured artist
Aaron Hall — composer, featured artist
Darryl Harper — producer
Hurt-M-Badd — producer
Justin Isham — digital editing
Marika Kastrouni — composer
Reggie Moore — composer, producer
John Morris — associate engineer
Napoleon — composer
Outlawz — featured artist
Lance Pierre — associate engineer
Ricky Rouse — composer
Dametrius Ship — mixing, producer
Guy Snider — engineer, track engineer
Troy Staton — mixing, producer, unknown contributor role
Tyrone Wrice — composer, featured artist
Young Noble — composer, featured artist
Val Young — composer, featured artist

Chart positions
Charts (1996)Peak

Australian Albums Chart[23]7
Deutsche Alternative Charts[24]5
Dutch Albums Chart[25]6
New Zealand Albums Chart[26]1
Swedish Albums Chart[27]8
UK Albums Chart[28]3
US Billboard 200[29]1
US Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums[29]1
Preceded by
Anthology 3 by The BeatlesBillboard 200 number-one album
November 23–30, 1996Succeeded by
Tha Doggfather by Snoop Doggy Dogg

Red Everything Movement


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