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Rap and Hip-Hop Playlist Game Changers - Notorious B.I.G.

By Edited Dec 19, 2013 0 0
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Credit: CSJW

If you’re looking to make your Rap and Hip-Hop playlists better, then you can do a lot worse than adding some Notorious B.I.G. Arguably one of the greatest rappers of all time, Biggie doesn’t have the largest body of work, but he does have some of the best songs. Some of them are your typical Gangsta Rap style tracks, and some of them are more laid back slow jams. He had a gift for getting it right no matter which style he pursued. I haven’t included the most common Biggie songs in this list because many of them are played out. This list aims to give you an insight into some of the lesser known stuff, so that you can make your Rap playlist stand out from the rest.

N**gas

Mass Appeal: 10

Street Cred: 10

Old School Appeal: 2

Head Nod Factor: 2

Tear the Roof Off: 9

This track just flows. A lot of Biggie’s tracks just bounce along on a high tempo rap adventure and this one is no different. Most people will only play this if they have Born Again on in the car; only connoisseurs will have it in a dedicated playlist. There are some tight lines in it too, so you can get the grin of appreciation as Biggie demonstrates real lyrical skill. Add this to your playlist and you won’t be disappointed.

Juicy

Mass Appeal: 10

Street Cred: 10

Old School Appeal: 8

Head Nod Factor: 10

Tear the Roof Off: 1

This song is an instant indicator of your Rap class. If you don’t own this track then you just can’t claim to be a rap lover. As soon as the Juicy Fruit sample kicks in you know that you’re in for a real treat. Biggie gives us a tale about how he came up from nothing to be the artist that we all loved, and although there are many rags to riches rap songs, there are few that work as well as this one. Ready to Die is packed with excellent track after excellent track, but Juicy stand out as the cream of the crop.

Machine Gun Funk

Mass Appeal: 10

Street Cred: 10

Old School Appeal: 8

Head Nod Factor: 2

Tear the Roof Off: 9

When this track starts, you might be excused for thinking that you’re going to get another slow jam, but as soon as the beat kicks in, you get Biggie at his best. Machine Gun Funk has everything that you want from a top quality rap song. The lyrics are tight, the flow is tight, and the whole thing keeps you rocking from start to finish. This song is full of little breaks and features that made Biggie the rap legend that he still is today. Add it to your Teat the Roof Off playlist now.

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Big Poppa

Mass Appeal: 10

Street Cred: 10

Old School Appeal: 8

Head Nod Factor: 8

Tear the Roof Off: 1

Not all of Biggie’s tracks are about guns and drugs. Big Poppa is a slow jam that used the Isley Brothers’ Between the Sheets sample to perfection. Although there is still a healthy amount of ego in this track, it still sounds relaxed and chilled. There’s no way that you could put it in an amorous type playlist, but if you want some slow jams in a playlist then Big Poppa should be included. A lot of Biggie’s slower numbers are difficult to listen to because his singing voice sucked, but this track just works.

Notorious Thugs

Mass Appeal: 10

Street Cred: 10

Old School Appeal: 3

Head Nod Factor: 7

Tear the Roof Off: 5

The Life After Death album really lived up to Ready to Die and there are some quality tracks on it. I haven’t included the most popular songs because everybody should already know which ones fit where. Notorious Thugs features Bone Thugs-N-Harmony so you know the tempo is going to be high, and when Biggie comes in on the first verse, you can hear that this track is another piece of quality work.  This song isn’t a roof raiser, but it is a solid track that compliments the rest of the album.

Sky's the Limit

Mass Appeal: 10

Street Cred: 10

Old School Appeal: 3

Head Nod Factor: 7

Tear the Roof Off: 1

Juicy was one of the best tracks on Ready to Die. We all enjoyed the fast paced Gangsta Rap songs from Biggie’s first album, but the change of pace that Juicy offered was one of the things that set the album apart from lesser rap albums. On the Life After Death album, the slow paced masterpiece was Sky’s the Limit. The base line from Bobby Caldwell’s My Flame looped through the song in a somber tone which matched the somber tones of the chorus. Biggie’s lyrics masterfully complimented the music so that the finished article was as close to perfection as a slow jam could be. For those of us that were looking for something from the rap industry that had more depth, Sky’s the limit provided it.

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You're Nobody (Till Somebody Kills You)

Mass Appeal: 10

Street Cred: 10

Old School Appeal: 3

Head Nod Factor: 8

Tear the Roof Off: 3

If you ignore Puffy dribbling at the start of this track then you can really enjoy it as one of the best songs on the whole Life After Death double album. The guitar riff, along with the other melodic influences, add a feeling of suspense that lingers throughout the whole song. The lyrics are quite dark, and apart from other snippets, they are all sung by Biggie himself. You won’t be throwing your hands up while listening to this song, but you will sit back and appreciate its craft and quality.

Victory featuring Puff Daddy and Busta Rhymes

Mass Appeal: 6

Street Cred: 10

Old School Appeal: 3

Head Nod Factor: 6

Tear the Roof Off: 8

This track comes from the Puff Daddy and the Family album, so most casual Biggie fans may have missed it, but for those rap lovers that know their stuff, Victory is a much loved rap anthem. It starts off slow but suspenseful and there is a build up worthy of a movie montage. No surprise really, when you learn that Going the Distance from Rocky is the main sample. When the beat kicks in you feel like you’ve been preparing for it for your whole life. You’re carried along on a wave of tight beats and tight lyrics that are complimented by Busta Rhymes in the chorus. Even Puff Daddy’s verse can’t spoil this track, because you’ve got Biggie at his best and a beat that has a proven track record. If you haven’t already got this track then you need to get it.

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Of course, the Notorious B.I.G. catalogue has many more songs that would compliment any Rap and Hip-Hop playlist, but if you’re already a fan, you’ll have a lot of them included already. For those of you that are new to Biggie, this list should give you a taste of the lesser known tracks. As with any artist, exploration is the key to discovering which songs really get you moving. Take some time to enjoy all that Biggie has to offer, then check back and tell me which songs you would have added to the Biggie Playlist Game Changers.

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