Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Notorious B.I.G. "Ready To Die" (The Source, 10/94)


"While an America that I don't understand worries about the immortality of Elvis, the evils of the fur industry and Oprah's love handles - the legendary "Everyday Struggle" leaves the rest of us stuck in a world where life's a bitch, cash rules everything around us and then we die (though not always in that order). Ready To Die, the debut from Brooklyn's own Biggie Smalls (a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G.), echoes this attitude in full Ghettovision color, showing us that the true "American way" is to hustle for yours. He shows us both sides of the coin. Whether underground in the crack game, or legit in the rap game - it's all the same shit. Lots of tricks, egos, beef, gas, jelly, $, sex, etc. After being on The Source's Unsigned Hype and hittin' with "Party and Bullshit" off the Who's The Man soundtrack, Biggie's underground reputation is about to blow up nationwide with this summer's illiotic bomb. Like a lyrical version of the movie The Killer, Big weaves tales like a cinematographer. Each song is like another scene in his Lifestyles of the Black and Shameless, the Tec and stainless. If you're looking for abstract poetry and deep scientifics, Big is not the one. But he's got style out the ass." Check out the visuals to Biggie's smash single "Juicy", continued below...


"The pitch, the timing, the role playing, the details are automatic and perfect. I can't do his flow justice on paper... peep Big and Method Man's bionic duet, "The What," for the ill slogan of the summer: "Fuck the world, don't ask me for shit / And everything ya get, ya gotta work hard for it (Honey, shake ya hips) / Ya don't stop (and n!ggas pack the clips) / Keep on." I can see the t-shirts on 125th St. already. Overall, this package is complete: ridiculous beats, harmonizing honeys, ill sound effects, criminal scenarios, and familiar hooks (see Mtume's beat on "Juicy" and the "I Get Lifted" beat on Big's "Respect")... Whether the street essence is your reality or whether you just like feeling hard through someone else's stories, Biggie will captivate you with his "machine gun funk." - The Source (October, 1994) // The full review is available below (click to enlarge)...