I missed the Biggie/2pac era in which people looked left and right to each coast of America to produce its next biggest track. (Instead, I grew with Badboy's later artists like Mase, 112, and Danity Kane.) But with the hugely anticipated Notorious movie coming up which portrays the life and death of the the famous rapper, I decided to take a more honest listen to the entire album that started Biggie's career and took the label to high places even after his death.
Before listening to Ready to Die, I was well familiar with the single tracks that have echoed since the 90s. Songs like Juicy (which I wouldn't mind being the national anthem) and Big Poppa are songs that perhaps everybody who is into rap knows. But some other great songs from this albuminclude Give Me the Loot,Machine Gun Funk, and Ready to Die. They are as original as a fresh pair of black and varsity red, Jordan 1's.
A good thing about this album is that there is nothing fancy about tracks on Ready to Die - no supertuned tone changes, no catchy studio made sequences, and no rhythyms that begin to sound like sound effects more than they do beats. Just simple stage set tracks that allow for the listener to enjoy what the rapper has to say while being accompanied by an appropriate and mood syncing beat. As somebody who was truly introduced to rap and hip-hop post late 90s, I finally heard the root of inspiration of Notorious' impact to artists after him. The quick pair rhymes, the slow chatter-like flow style, the out in the open gangster attitude...Ready to Die illustrates a lot about where today's artists got their ideas. I think it's really interesting to see and experience hip hop today, and then look back at one of its biggest influences and watch music in one of its most original form.
I'm not too big of a fan of really explicit lyrics that talk about guns, drugs, and a whole lot of crimes, and if you are the same - then you'll most likely get turned off on a couple of the tracks. But the evolutionary sound of Ready to Die is something I wish I could have been old enough to be around for to witness a true "first-of-its-kind" type debut of music. I'm not sure something like that has happened since...
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
Angelo Ignacio (angelodignacio)
I'm a Filipino-American living life as a post undergrad making a start here in beautiful Los Angeles. I love the weather and diversity here and enjoy everything this city has to offer. I'm excited to … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
Ready to Die was the first album released by the late rapper, Notorious B.I.G., and was debuted the label now known today as Badboy Records. The album was released on September 13, 1994, and contains 19 tracks.
In 1998, the album was chosen as The Source Magazine's 100 Best Rap Albums.