We know the B.I.G. story, so
there's really no need to tread on some sort of a history lesson when leading
into this review of Life After Death.
What's more important is to recognize why this album was not as good as it was
originally perceived as well as pointing out a few reasons why this could have
been easily just as good, if not better, than Ready To Die. It could be argued that it was the best double CD
ever created; but honestly, it doesn't mean a whole lot when placed up against
a bunch of mediocre efforts by good artists (Jay-Z and Tupac easily
come to mind). What you got from Biggie
was some of his finest work crushed in between extremely painful formulaic
moments. With a production conglomerate that featured the likes of the RZA, DJ Premier, Havoc, Easy Mo Bee, Clark Kent and others, the
expectations were just that much higher for this album. But let's begin with
what made Biggie recognized as the
total package emcee we knew over a decade ago.
There were three things that made B.I.G.
arguably the most colorful and larger than life emcee we have ever witnessed.
When combined, he was simply the finest of his time. These were things that
emcees simply do not possess at the same time but B.I.G. owned them and when put on full display, it was hard to deny
him the title of G.O.A.T.
Intimidation: When it was meant for B.I.G.
to drive the point home that he was the most intimidating lyricist, he stood
tall on songs like "What's Beef ," where the intimidation level reached an all
time high for all opposing emcees and enemies. When he spoke the words "Make my name taste like ass when you speak
it" many could feel the metaphors purpose and understood why the throne of King
of NY was given (not claimed) to Christopher
Wallace. Some of his most phenomenal and intimidating work was captured
with a DJ Premier backdrop.