Diddy originally envisioned The Notorious B.I.G: The Final Chapter as a double-disc duets LP in the vein of duets albums by the likes Ray Charles and Nat King Cole. Although the LP will now be a single disc, Diddy says he still feels he accomplished his mission of releasing one last classic from his deceased best friend.
While putting the LP together with the likes of producers such as Eminem, R. Kelly, Just Blaze and Clinton Sparks, the head of Bad Boy said he had no problems obtaining guests to rap alongside some of Biggie's most cherished verses and even a few that people might not be familiar with (see "Diddy Doin' It In The Studio, Gearing Up For Biggie Duets LP").
"Everyone in the industry wanted to be a part of this, and we got just about everybody," Diddy said last week in New York during a listening session.
Em and Kelly both lend their voices to the LP, as do the Diplomats, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Nas, the Game, Ludacris, Twista, Akon, Redman, T.I. and Mary J. Blige.
"Puff called, he said he needed me for this Biggie album," Blige said last week of how she got on the track "Living in Pain," which also features Tupac and Nas. "I went to the studio and he played the track. Biggie and Pac was on it, I didn't hear Nas. ... I was listening to the lyrics and I came up with my lyrics based on what they were saying. Mario Winans helped me write it."
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony appear on "Spit Your Game," which is basically an updated version of their 1997 collaboration with Big, "Notorious Thugs."
"I was glad to contribute, be a part of that and put a tight somethin' somethin' down for my man," Twista said.
"They picked me to be on one of those songs where he was kicking that [fast] style," he added. "It was real easy. I was like, 'I'm finin' to lock in right now, make him sound good, make us bounce off each other. I made sure I did my thing, but the way I did it was a tribute."
Jagged Edge, Nelly and Diddy pay tribute to Big and the ladies on "Nasty Girl," the official first single ("Hold Your Head" with Bob Marley has been leaked to the Internet and mixtape circuit). Jazze Pha produced the party anthem, which incorporates the first verse from Biggie's classic "Nasty Boy."
"I love my little girls/ All the ladies, if you feel me/ Grab your t--ties, scream B.I.G.," Jagged Edge sing on the hook. Diddy and Nelly rap on their respective verses about loving women as well. "I'll make you spring a leak/ When I'm done, flip the mattress, change the sheets," Nelly raps. According to Bad Boy, a video is going to be shot for the song.
Elsewhere, Jay-Z reunites with the other half of Brooklyn's Finest via "Whatchu Want," and Mobb Deep rhyme on "Beef," a new version of Biggie's "What's Beef?" R. Kelly and Charlie Wilson sing on "Mi Casa," Diplomats Juelz Santana and Jim Jones join Lil' Wayne and B.I.G. on "I'm Wit Whateva," and Game spits all over "1970 Somethin'."
The Final Chapter is due December 20.
For a feature on the lasting impact of Biggie and his lyrics, check out "Notorious B.I.G.: Still The Illest."