Outlawz

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Outlawz

West Coast rappers Outlawz are known primarily for their affiliation with 2Pac. It was on 2Pac's "Makaveli" album that Outlawz first came to the greater rap community's notice, appearing on a few songs. In 1999 they were co-billed on the posthumous 2Pac album "Still I Rise", granting them even more recognition and furthering their short-lived affiliation. It wasn't until late 2000, though, that they finally got the go-ahead to release their debut album, "Ride Wit Us or Collide Wit Us". Featuring a cover that placed 2Pac's image in the foreground, along with numerous references to the deceased legend, this debut made the most of Outlawz' reputation for being 2Pac's supposed protégés.

Unfortunately, the album didn't prove to be much of a success, and neither did the group's follow-up album a year later, "Novakane", also released on the group's Outlaw Recordz label (distributed by Koch). While the group no doubt retained 2Pac's West Coast thug/gangsta style, they unfortunately were fairly average rappers in terms of skills and too often fell back on their 2Pac affiliation and far too often descended into generic thug motifs.

And it didn't help that they were not aligned with any of the West Coast's better producers. In fact, Outlawz were not really aligned with anyone on the West Coast -- not Snoop Dogg and his Dogghouse clique, nor the Bay Area scene centered around E-40 and Spice 1. Ultimately, the group never lived up to the expectations they heaped upon themselves by forever comparing themselves to 2Pac.