They don’t make rappers like the Notorious B.I.G. anymore. During his tragically short career, Christopher Wallace combined an unerring sense of rhythm and flow with winning charisma and a knack for complex lyrical arrangements. He could bring a hardcore and technical aesthetic to songs like “Hypnotize” without turning off pop fans; he could woo the ladies and still spit as hard as any thug on the block. His unique blend of talent makes his still-unsolved 1997 murder at the age of 24 all the more tragic. As Canibus later rapped on “Second Round K.O.,” “The greatest rapper of all died on March 9th.”
During his too-brief life, Biggie seemed to prefer quality over quantity. His oeuvre mostly consists of his two epochal albums and a smattering of cameos. But unless you’re a Biggie fanatic, this collection of ten obscure verses from the once and future king of New York may surprise you.