The King of New York
Spread love the Brooklyn way and that is what The Notorious B.I.G aka Biggie Smalls aka Frank White the King of New York did when he enter the music scene. The year was 1993 and this would be a pivotal year for HIP HOP with Snoop Dogg hailing from the west coast making his most highly anticipated debut with Doggystyle, the Wu Tang Clan with their 36 Chambers album, & A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders album.
THE RED & BLACK LUMBERJACK WITH THE HAT TO MATCH
So with that being said the stage was set in 1993 those three afore mentioned albums are undisputed classics and here comes a young hungry lyricist from BedStuy who showed his lyrical ability on a slew of R&B and Rap remixes to put the rap game on notice that he’s next up. It’s funny how the planets align in order because if it wasn’t for Mary J.Blige being discovered by Puff aka Sean Combs aka Diddy things could’ve went way different. Because Mary J.Blige’s What’s The 411? debut album was such a hit and went multi platinum that is spawned a remix album, which Biggie spit classic verses on “Real Love” and “What’s The 411,” also Neneh Cherry’s Buddy X and Supercat’s “Dolly My Baby.” When he dropped his solo record “Party & Bullshit” off Who’s The Man soundtrack in 1993 the music world took notice.
If there was a XXL Freshman class in the 90’s Biggie would be one the most anticipated MCs to make their album debut in 1994 aside from Nas’ Illmatic. It’s 1994 and Bad Boy Entertainment is trying to make a name for itself and turn its artists into household names similar to what Suge Knight did with DeathRow Records. Bad Boy Ent. CEO Sean “Puffy”Combs had a lot riding on his two MCs Biggie Smalls and another hailing from Long Island Craig Mack both artists were releasing their debut albums in the same calendar year. For those who are unfamiliar with this process of album releases this was unheard of back in that era, yet alone to release them in the same month and a week apart. However, Puffy had a vision both Biggie and Mack have different styles when it came to MCing, but it paid off because Puff chose to run with Craig Mack as the very first single “Flava In Ya Ear” in the summer of ’94.
Summer of ’94 was about to come to a close and with “Flava In Ya Ear’ reaching the top ten on the Billboard charts, so Puffy released “Juicy” the first single off Biggie’s highly anticipated album Ready to Die. Too much of Biggie’s dismay he was reluctant on recording the James Mtume sampled Juicy, but Puffy knew this was the single that would ingratiate him with female listeners and get radio airplay.
DON’T BE MAD UPS IS HIRING
September of ’94 Ready to Die hit the shelves Biggie did not stop one bit he had one of the most memorable verses on the “Flava In Ya Ear” remix and released two more singles “Big Poppa” and “One More Chance” and that catapulted him into becoming one of Hip Hop’s rising stars. The MC from do or die BedStuy known as The Notorious B.I.G after releasing his debut album that produced gold and platinum singles decided to spread the wealth by forming Junior MAFIA a group that consisted of childhood friends from his neighborhood a young teenager and his hypeman Lil’ Cease and Lil’ Kim. Junior MAFIA’s album Conspiracy went gold and gave us two classic singles “Player’s Anthem” and “Get Money,” which featured The Notorious B.I.G.
SKY’S THE LIMIT
From ’93 to ’95 Biggie Smalls you a could hear him on the radio, whether it was a remix or his own song, so fans were anxiously waiting for his next album Life After Death. Originally it was supposed to be released Halloween of 1996, but was pushed back to March 25th in 1997. Life After Death was a double disc and masterfully put together making it an instant classic. It was like a double feature film on wax from the club records and street tales intertwine with each other and it perfectly made sense no skips whatsoever. Life After Death was bittersweet because biggie didn’t get to see in the physical form on how his final project was critically acclaimed across the globe and it went on to sale 10 million copies.
It’s been 25 years since The Notorious B.I.G’s untimely demise and he would’ve turned 50 this upcoming May, so play some Biggie today and may his soul rest in eternal peace…WE ALWAYS LOVE BIG POPPA!