Mixtape Daily: Cornerstone Credentials
For the king of rap, Notorious B.I.G., it was imperative the king of rock, DMC, bless him with a few of his domineering bars on the classic double-disc set Life After Death. At the pinnacle of B.I.G.’s career and arguably his best recording material to date, it was only fitting he bring it back to the essence of rap and reignite one of the culture’s most memorable voices.
“When Biggie called for me to go put this hook on the record, I was souped,” Run-DMC’s Darryl McDaniels recalled in the MTV offices Monday. “I got a call from Diddy, and Puff was like, ’Yo, D, we wanna make that the chorus.’ ”
The hook, originally snatched from the Run-DMC record “Together Forever,” saw D back in the recording booth where he and partner Rev Run made countless smash records. “But that’s not all/ MCs have the gall/ To pray and pray for my downfall,” D spewed on the track’s chorus.
“My Downfall” would go on to be one of the defining moments on Life After Death. B.I.G.’s lyrics spoke of a man battling turmoil among his rap peers, and DMC, no stranger to fame and misfortune, gladly accepted the opportunity to appear on the track.
“Here is the hottest dude at that time, in the era of that generation, wants to use my little piece of my rhyme,” D marveled. “Because when I said that, he understood. See, only kings can understand what that meant: Shut ’em down, step back, because they pray for your downfall.”
Although DMC didn’t have the pleasure of getting in the studio with the late, great Notorious for “Downfall,” the song left an impression on the iconic MC.
“It’s funny, he said the same thing Will Smith and 50 Cent — all said the same thing to me when I met them: ’Man, one day, I hope to be as big as you,” D reflected. “But it was an honor, having the opportunity to do that with Biggie.”
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