Friday, March 23, 2007

Lyrical Douches: A Biggie-Sized TANBR Tribute

I keep promises, gentle readers. I told you I had to wait until I had access to my own computer to pace you with a proper Notorious B.I.G. tribute, and good things come to those who wait. This is a mixtape featuring rarities; freestyles; mash-ups; remixes; and, in general, stuff that not many people have. By the way, I only have some of these on mixtapes, so they might be shortened from the original versions.

R.I.P., Biggie. Hopefully, God didn't take that whole "When I die, fuck it, I wanna go to hell" line to heart.

Lyrical Douches: A Biggie-Sized TANBR Tribute

Okay, so Em was the real star of this track, as this was a key moment in his acceptance as a legitimate hard-core rapper. But the whole thing, buoyed by that simple but insistent beat, is heat rocks.

This flawless mash-up was part of an album that paired Biggie's vocals with '50s rock and roll, which, as you'll see below, has been done since then. Cheekyboy also did a send-up of "Gimme the Loot" that you won't be able to find. Pace.

4. Craig Mack feat. Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, and LL Cool J- "Flavor in Ya Ear (Remix)"
I realize this isn't a rare song, but it was pretty much the foundation of the entire Bad Boy label. It holds up pretty nicely, and the video is still being ripped off to this day.

So many people linked to this last week that it's not really a rarity anymore. Still pretty tight. I like that he has to shout out Brooklyn, even in a Pepsi commercial. "Non-alcoholic: I can feed it to my children."

I could only include one song from No Way Out (again, a platinum album, not exactly a rarity), and I chose this over "All About the Benjamins," which is a better song but less significant to me. See, "Victory" the song is inextricable from "Victory" the video. It's a mammoth Running Man rip-off, except if The Running Man were more self-indulgent and less coherent. At the time, everyone was touting it as the next "Thriller" or "November Rain" or whatever, but it never really reached that same level of familiarity--though it's still one of the most expensive music videos ever made, for whatever that's worth. I even remember Carson Daly on "MTV Live," the predecessor to "TRL," blustering, "It feels like more than just a video." In the "3002 A.D." caption, in the Dennis Hopper cameo, you see what Diddy brings to the game. Seriously, who else would have the balls to do this? No one does anymore. Can you imagine MIMS doing the "Victory" video? Bring this stuff back, you humorless rappers. Also, I love that Busta Bust got a check for that bank robbery of a chorus.

8. Shaquille O'Neal feat. Notorious B.I.G.- "Can't Stop the Reign"
Shaq's a much better rapper than people want to give him credit for, and he's obviously indebted to Biggie's flow. I even liked the DJ Kay Slay sequel to this that dropped a few years ago.

This is from Blue Eyes Meets Bed-Stuy, which is a full-length mash-up album that pits Big vocals against Frank Sinatra loops and choruses. It's one of the more accomplished works of the scene. Worth checking out if you can find a copy.

The King of Pop collaborated with Big twice, on this from Invincible and the more well-known "This Time Around." Invincible was eviscerated by the press upon its release, but it's actually not that bad, especially if you're a crazy MJ fan who will write things like, "Invincible was eviscerated by the press upon its release, but it's actually not that bad." Anyway, the best part is that MJ's ego is so uncontrollable that he can't even extend a featuring credit to one of the greatest rappers of all-time. In the liner notes it just says something like, "rapping by C. Wallace," as if it's just anybody. What a douche. The record might not have been such a sales disaster if he had advertised that, you know, a legend had an unreleased verse buried on the album.

Umm...kind of NSFW.

Uh-huh. Yeah.

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