The Notorious B.I.G.

"Where I wanna be in ten years?…
…I’m gonna be seein’ dough for real, man….
…but if it ain’t, so be it…"

Notorious B.I.G.


With a dramatic, but touching intro in which you can hear B.I.G. say these words, the second album released after his death starts of. Born again is an album with many faces, for every taste in HipHop there’s at least one piece of candy on it. From the typical Puff Daddy sound to some west coast shit to some deep down Brooklyn flavor. No doubt how come: Biggie got mad people coming by on most of the tracks. Just to mention a few: Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Redman & Method Man, Too $hort, Craig Mack, Mobb Deep and Sadat X.

The first cooperation is with Lil’ Kim and Sean Combs in "Notorious B.I.G.", definitely a Puff Daddy joint. After this, the album gets interesting. Eminem drops by in "Dead Wrong". The beat’s got a slight touch of an old MC Lyte track. Biggie raps with a more uptight voice, but…all the nasty words are cut out… CENSORSHIP!(on the CD). What’s happening?! The man is dead. I don’t know if he wrote these lyrics to not be heard, due to censorship. Or is it a commercial move? Will the public receive an uncensored version on CD down the line, so sales will be even more? But good news for all the real heads: the vinyl is uncensored.

On "Biggie" B.I.G.’s own Junior M.A.F.I.A. is honoring Biggie for his suport and hooking them up with skills. The doo wop gives the track a 70’s TV series sound.

One of my favorite tracks is "Niggas", which has a nice piano loop- beat. Just too bad that the title word has been erased. You just hear:"…for all my Brooklyn…,for all my Uptown…, for all my Bronx…" It doesn’t do the track, nor Biggie any good.
Also nice is ‘Big Booty Hoes’, a player’s track with a typical Too $hort guitar loop and, yes, $horty The Pimp is in the house himself, too. Just like Sadat X on ‘Come On’ (Dope shit! Check the last second of it. Oldskool heads will understand…). These guys give flavor to the record.

Talkin’ about dope? The get together with The Infamous Mobb Deep in ‘Tonight’. No words needed. Especially the trumpets in combination with a beat that’s straight up pumpin’.

With this track I actually heard what I wanted to hear. The last tracks are alright, just a little of everything: some east coast, some west coast and some stuff with K-Ci, Jo-Jo & Nas.

I must put the spotlight on the outro: ’Ms.Wallace’, in which Ms. Wallace, B.I.G.’s mother, is talking about her son. How she saw him growing up, about his love for hip hop and how his career choice was in a way the cause of his death, but most of all how she saw him as a person.
It’s a very loving word over a sweet but sad hip hop beat.

Peace, Mickey

© 1999 ART12/VanderHoek Publishing. All rights reserved.