Biggie Smalls is The Illest: 10 Songs To Remind Us We’ll Always Love Big Poppa
September 13 made it 20 years since Bad Boy Records dropped its first release: Ready to Die by the Notorious B.I.G. 1994 is considered the greatest year for hip hop music only second to 1988. Nas’ Illmatic told stories of the street from a twenty-one year old looking out of the project windows and Southerplayallisticaddilacmuzik showed that the South has something to say.
However, B.I.G.’s vivid ability to tell street tales with such candor, charisma, and humor was something special. While I still believe that Life After Death was a better project and showed off a more polished emcee, Ready to Die cast a shadow that every emcee worth their grain of salt has had to acknowledge and owe something to. To commemorate that Biggie Smalls is still the illest, here are ten songs of his to enjoy. There will be no Versace, canes, or boulder hats…take a ride down to a non-gentrified Brooklyn and throw down some rice for the nicest emcee.