The gem here is a 1993 Biggie Smalls birthday party at the Arena in Brooklyn. In addition to the remix of his "Party and Bullsh--," Big, thugging it out in a sweatshirt, bandanna and jeans, performs a couple of records that have never seen the light of day.
With his hypeman, Puff Daddy, helping to keep the small crowd excited, Big raps about giving someone's testicles a swift kick in one record, and later calls on some of his friends for an all-star freestyle session where everyone raps over Redman's "Tonight's the Night" beat.
"We got mad MCs in the house," Big yells.
Lord Finesse commences the throwdown with lines about being gutter yet smooth as crooner Al Jarreau. Wu-Tang Clan's ODB, who was onstage during most of Big's performance, then grabs the mic and starts rapping some of his lyrics from "Shimmy Shimmy Ya."
"Baby, baby come ooonnnn, come ooonnn," Dirty, who looks about as skinny as Whitney Houston and is clad in a Karl Kani hoodie, howls, much to Biggie's delight. You'll see the hefty man of the hour dancing hard during ODB's time on the mic.
The Lost Boyz's Mr. Cheeks bats cleanup with his party rhymes and lets the crowd know that "a booty ain't a booty unless it's butt naked."
Later in the DVD we see Biggie's progression to Big Poppa as he performs with iced-out wrists at a fifth-anniversary party for Vibe magazine in 1995 and then clad in Versace as he takes to the stage with Lil' Kim and Lil' Cease at a 1996 platinum party for Mary J. Blige.
The Bad Boy family is also represented on another Rock Vegas and Don Vito Productions product on the streets, "The Best of the Legendary Palladium," which is a look at some classic moments that went down at the famous New York nightclub.
When Puff isn't busy having a stunting contest with Cash Money's Baby and Juvenile (circa 1999), he's onstage (circa 1997). P.D. and Mase kill the spectators with "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down," "Mo Money, Mo Problems" and "It's All About the Benjamins." The Bad Boys get a little — and we mean little — from DJ Just, who looks to be no older than 6.
Another musical highlight finds Jay-Z not making the wisest fashion decision by wearing a see-through Versace shirt while performing "Who You Wit" and an a cappella version of "Imaginary Player." Irv Gotti serves as his DJ.
Speaking of DJs: We haven't forgotten about them this week. A plethora of spinners are featuring the new record by Jadakiss, "Kiss of Death," on their mixtapes. That cut from the album of the same name looks like it's going to be huge for the raspy-voiced member of the LOX.
Kay Slay and Big Mike aren't shy about letting it be known they were victorious more than once at this year's Mixtape Awards on Unfinished Business: We Are the Champions (see "Lloyd Banks, Whoo Kid, Big Mike Win At Mixtape Awards"). In addition to Jadakiss' record, you can find the first song to come from LL Cool J and Timbaland's studio session on "Moove Sumthin." Then the Funk Doc Spock, Redman, is back — hard — with the "Saga Continues." Listen to Red rhyme about how his label Def Jam "lost their soul."
Another mix master who can boast a 2004 Mixtape Award is DJ Green Lantern. His Invasion Part Three: The Countdown to Armageddon is an instant collector's item. He has a plethora of freestyles from the G-Unit, Sheek Louch and Wyclef, Lil' Flip and Cassidy, and of course, Eminem. Em once again responds to The Source alleging that he is a racist and thief of hip-hop culture (see "Eminem Fires Back At The Source On Green Lantern Mixtape").
Also, don't sleep on Dame Dash's fifth installment of his Warriors mixtape. The CD features virtually his whole Roc la Familia.
For other artists featured in Mixtape Mondays, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines.
For a full-length feature on the role of mixtapes in the music industry, check out "Mixtapes: The Other Music Industry."