What music would you expect to find in a Vatican-created MySpace playlist? Some spiritual works? Of course. Inspirational masterpieces? Sure.
Tupac Shakur? Umm.
Right there he is, sitting at No. 10 with his take on "Changes." It's the 1998 posthumous hit for the rap icon that not only carries the Vatican seal of approval, apparently, but also a parental warning label for explicit lyrics about guns, drugs and violence in the urband landscape. Pac drops rhymes like: "Is life worth living should I blast myself?" and "Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares, one less hungry mouth on the welfare."
In case you haven't listened in a while, it goes a little something like this:
Shakur, enormously popular and controverisal was known as an egalitarian chronicler of life in the 'hood. He died in 1996 in a hail of bullets in Las Vegas - the second time he had been targeted.
It's not know if Pope Benedict has listened to the whole playlist, compiled by Father Giulio Neroni, artistic director of St Paul's Multimedia, a church publisher. He's also the man behind the recent Alma Mater album - a mix of everything from Gregorian chants and prayers with classical music accompaniment to Pope Benedict himself speaking in five languages.
A note on the MySpace page describing the collection, which also includes the recently omnipresent Muse track "Uprising," perhaps familiar for "V" fans, and a Fleet Foxes offering, describes the section:
This playlist is a perfect mix of classical, world and contemporary music. The genres are very different from each other, but all these artists share the aim to reach the heart of good minded people.
The Vatican isn't the only "celebrity" contributor to the playlist feature, with Beyonce, among other artists, chipping in selections for the masses.
The rest of the songs, which you can listen to for free at the playlist.
- 1. Advocata Nostra - Music From The Vatican. From the album Alma Mater featuring the voice of Pope Benedict XVI.
2. Uprising - Muse. Single from the album, The Resistance.
3. Causa Nostrae Laetitiae - Music From The Vatican. From the album Alma Mater.
4. Il Mare Mi Salva - Rossomalpelo. Song from the band led by contemporary Italian singer songwriter Serge Gaggiotti
5. After The Rain - Dame Shirley Bassey. From the album The Performance.
6. Coexist - Nour Eddine. Song from Moroccan Musician, based in Italy.
7. Don Giovanni - Mozart.
8. Rafaele Merry Del Val - Lorenzo Perosi Inni Mottetti e Canzoni, Pablo Colino & Coro Academica Filarmonica Romana.
9. He Doesn't Know Why - Fleet Foxes.
10. Changes - Tupac Shakur.
11. Regina Coeli - Music From The Vatican. From the album Alma Mater.
12. Mi sarete Testimoni - Santo Subito! (DVD). Music DVD embodying the voice and image of The Pope.