100 Best Albums of the '90s

From Moby to Nirvana, the records that defined a decade

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The Notorious B.I.G., 'Life After Death'

66. The Notorious B.I.G., 'Life After Death'

Having sex, dealing drugs and making the heads of niggas who fucked with him rock & roll are the cornerstones of the B.I.G.'s landmark double album; Big's heavy voice, light flow and distinctive lisp slalom between biting comedy, frightening threats and narratives so sharp that you could tell the temperature in the room where the bullets were flying. Rhyming over melodic funk with his trademark diction, Brooklyn's finest made what was almost an L.A. album, topped off with a loving tribute to the City of Angels. "Going Back to Cali" is a chilling counterpoint to the album's final three songs, answers to the beef with Death Row that haunted Biggie for the last year of his life.

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