Q-Tip Remembers Biggie's Passion For Rhymes And Music

The new posthumous Notorious B.I.G. record, "Born Again," finally arrived in stores this week, and despite the tragic circumstances surrounding the LP, a bevy of hip-hop and rap all-stars helped turn "Born Again" into an unabashed celebration of Biggie's life and rhymes.

Much in the same spirit as Natalie Cole's "Unforgettable" track, which allowed Cole to duet with her late father thanks to digital recording and editing, artists such as Juvenile, Method Man, Busta Rhymes, Lil' Kim, and Lil' Cease were all able to lay down new vocals alongside Biggie's.

Those artists and more recently turned out for the album's listening party, and Q-Tip talked with MTV News about why Biggie still looms so large in the hip-hop universe.

"What Biggie Smalls represents to me," Q-Tip said, "especially as an MC, is that he's just lethal with the rhymes. And his whole approach to being an artist is

felt here. [It's] passionate, the same way when he had to do his thing when he was on a corner. He did it with a passion. Obviously he used the same mind-set with the rhymes than with the music, and it's really about the music with him." [RealVideo]

"Born Again" is in stores now.

-- Andréa Duncan