Today in Hip Hop History: September 13, 1994
21 years ago today, The Notorious B.I.G. released one of the most classic hip hop albums of all time, Ready to Die, through Bad Boy Records in 1994. Ready to Die was the first released by Puff Daddy’s newly conceived Bad Boys Entertainment, and quite possibly the best released by the label. The album was Biggie’s sole release during his brief rap tenure.
Ready to Die featured production from Easy Mo Bee, The Hitmen, Bluez Brothers, DJ Premier, Lord Finesse and others. It featured a sole outside performance from Method Man. Biggie recorded the album in New York from 1993 to 1994 at the young age of 21. Half of the album was finished via Uptown Records when Puff Daddy was fired, causing a necessary hiatus until they continued on Bad Boy. One can tell the difference between the two sides of the albums, as the first half sports more gritty and dark production and rhymes, while the second half resonates more as commercial music.
The album contains many storytelling aspects to it. Biggie speaks on selling drugs, the streets in NY, crime and his semi-autobiographical lifestyle. Critics as well as the general public applaud his lyricism coupled with his nearly perfect deep-voiced flow.
Ready to Die is without a doubt one of the most successful and classic hip hop albums of all time. The list of accolades for the album remains too long to speak on in such a brief time. It has been featured on several greatest albums of all time lists, including Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, and The Source among others. The album has gone several times RIAA Platinum. Ready to Die will forever pinnacle the short career of Notorious B.I.G., one of the greatest MCs of all time.
Stream Ready to Die below and let us know what you think in the comment section!