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Notorious B.I.G. -
Ready to Die


Biggie mastered the game. Like Chuck D, his voice was so unique that all he had to do was utter an ad-lib like "Ugh" and you automatically knew it was him. Match that with rhymes that left most lyricists with sleepless nights and a delivery that flowed like a 1987 L.A. Lakers fast break and you have the impeccable birth of one of hip-hop's most beloved geniuses.


The Argument

Originally, two Biggie albums, Ready to Die and Life After Death, made the list, but no Tupac Shakur albums did. The majority decided that this shouldn't stand, and one of the Biggie albums would have to go to make room for a Pac LP ...


Buttahman: I think if I was gonna take either of these Biggie albums, I would take Ready to Die just because back when it came out, that was the be-all, end-all.

Shaheem Reid: I think Ready to Die definitely had a great impact, but to me, Life After Death was better. I mean, if he didn't kill it with the style, lyrically he slaughtered it, and he was just a better artist at that point. Biggie on Ready to Die was like Michael Jordan in 1987, then on Life After he was Jordan in '92 and '93 — he was perfect.

Buttahman: But honestly, for me, that's the reason I go with Ready to Die, because he's hungry, and there's that rawness.

Tone Boots: I do think that Life After was a better album, but we gotta decide what we're judging on. If we are judging on impact, then it would be an easy decision: Ready to Die. But if we're judging on a better album ... when Ready to Die came out, even then I didn't think it was a great album.


 Have a problem with any of our choices? Got a better list? Let us know, and check back later for our readers' own hip-hop top 10 lists.

Buttahman: To me, as a hip-hop head, there's just that tightness on Ready to Die. Brother's talking about everything from "my mother got cancer in her breast" to beatin' mother------s like Ike beat Tina." Just take the classic sh-- off of Ready to Die that you still hear other rappers using in their raps today.

Rahman Dukes: Ready to Die was the person you fell in love with, you know what I'm saying, that's Big.

Reid: And you didn't love Life After Death? Y'all act like you never danced to "Mo Money Mo Problems"!

(Everyone yells)

Tone Boots: Big got better in between albums. He didn't even rap the same. It was corny, the first one.

Bridget Bland: Let's vote ...

Dukes: If it's gotta be one that goes off, then it's Life After.

Tone Boots: All right ... the one that goes off ... Life After ... Sway? What Biggie album comes off?

Sway Calloway: Uhhh ... I love them both, man ... uhhh ... damn ... both of those albums are like one of my favorites of all time. But you know what? I'm gonna have to say Life After goes off.

Reid: I think Life After is a better album.

Tone Boots: You?

Bland: I vote Life After goes off.

Tone Boots: You?

Buttahman: Life After.

Tone Boots: Life After goes. That's it.




NEXT: Ain't nothin' but a 3 thang, baby ...
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Photo: Bad Boy

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