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No high-pitched man, no beef needed to sell ...


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The 300-plus pound hoodfella is crowned king, and how the West kept winning. ...






Jermaine Dupri Talks Ready To Die


Nas: The Genesis


1994 Essential Albums


In Their Own Words






  A Look Back At 1994

  Remembering Biggie Photo Flipbook




Notorious B.I.G.: The Last Interview

Nas: Stillmatters

Tupac: Reconstructing Tupac

Outkast: Black Dog/Black Wolf




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Puff Daddy wasn't the only blinging CEO Notorious B.I.G. used to hang with. Jermaine Dupri, who produced Big's "Big Poppa" remix and the notorious one's collaboration with Da Brat, "Da B-Side," also has a story to tell.

Jermaine Dupri: Hands down, Ready to Die was the best [1994 hip-hop album]. There were so many tracks on Big's album I could relate to. That was the era when n---as was getting money. When he said, "Damn n---as wanna stick me for my paper" in "Warning," that sh-- was classic. That's when n---as was really hustling out here as far as my dope boy friends that went to jail. That was their album. My man used to hustle hard. He came to the club one night with this Porsche, and his system was damn near louder than the club's. He stood on top of the Porsche playing "Juicy." That was like the 'hood dope man song. Once n---as got on that record, it wasn't nothing else.

"The What" with Method Man and Biggie was some sh-- you would never expect. Meth came from such a different area, and Biggie was coming from the floss side of things.

I remember Brat and Big was on tour together at the time. It was a Big, Brat and Craig Mack tour. I remember Biggie more than anything. Ninety-four was successful for Brat but it was kind of tough for Biggie in the beginning. Biggie used to come to my room every day and be like, "JD, what y'all doing differently that I'm not? Why is Honey selling all them records?" He used to call Brat "Honey." He'd be like, "Do something for me. I need you to do something for me." That's when me and Big got cool and started kicking it. It was fun. Big came down to the studio in Atlanta. He was just like a kid in a candy store. He was so amazed. I had a whole bunch of sh--, cars and everything, before him. He's got a lyric in one of his songs where he says, "I bought my momma a crib and bought the Mafia a arcade/ Mad weed, pool tables and candy." He's talking about my house.

The more I kept watching him and the crowd participation as it was growing, I started realizing that people loved Biggie for the lyrics more than anything. I never thought it could be as big as it got to be, but I knew it was going to be big. People was on him as a lyrical assassin. They was really listening to everything he said. It was like the first time in an artist's career that people wasn't looking at the size or shape of the artist or anything. He was coming out telling people, "I'm ugly." That opened the doors for guys like Ruben Studdard and Pun.

In 1994, Nas spoke to Fab Five Freddy about Illmatic. Here's what he had to say. ...


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  Notorious B.I.G. feat Method Man
"The What" live
Ready To Die
(Bad Boy)

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