An album that suffers under it own sheer size. Much like Biggie probably did
Ready to Die is the debut studio album by American rapper The Notorious B.I.G., released on September 13, 1994, by Bad Boy Records and Arista Records. The album features productions by Bad Boy founder Sean "Puffy" Combs, Easy Mo Bee, Chucky Thompson, DJ Premier, and Lord Finesse, among others. It was recorded from 1993 to 1994 at The Hit Factory and D&D Studios in New York City. The partly autobiographical album tells the story of the rapper's experiences as a young criminal, and was the only studio album released during his lifetime, as he was murdered sixteen days before the release of his second album Life After Death in 1997. Ready to Die peaked at number 15 on the Billboard 200 and was subject to widespread critical acclaim and soon a commercial success. Three singles were released from the album: "Juicy", "Big Poppa", "One More Chance" and a promotional track of Biggie: "Warning". "Juicy", the lead single, peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 14 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks and reached number 3 on the Hot Rap Singles. "Big Poppa" was a hit on multiple charts, peaking at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and also being nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 1996 Grammy Awards. The Notorious B.I.G.'s lyrics on the album were generally praised by critics, with many praising his story-telling ability. In April 2018, Ready to Die was certified 6× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album was significant for revitalizing the East Coast hip hop scene, amid West Coast hip hop's commercial dominance. It has been ranked by many critics as one of the greatest hip hop albums, as well as one of the greatest albums of all time. In 2020, the album was ranked 22nd on Rolling Stone's updated list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
An album that suffers under it own sheer size. Much like Biggie probably did
I really wanted to give the GOAT a 5, but the skits on this album are out of control, in a bad way. This is definitely one where you put several tracks in a playlist and never touch the rest of it again. Best track: The What
We need to talk about Puffy. It’s universally acknowledged that this is one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time from possibly the greatest rapper to ever do it. Nobody comes close to Biggie for having it all - lyrical dexterity, whip smart word play, ingenuity and the flow - god that flow - play any beat, any style and he nails it every time, whether swapping verses with himself on Gimmee the Loot, messing with the beat on Unbelievable (‘The gat's by your liver, your upper lip quiver Get ready to die, tell God I said hi’) or that laid back slow flow on Big Poppa. Impeccable choice of producers and beats (The What, Juicy) make for a thrilling, enthralling, near perfect rap album. But we need to talk about Puffy. There’s no doubting his contribution to shaping and developing Biggie as an artist but, my god, let that be enough! We don’t need your lousy skits, hype man contributions and especially not not your wack ass acting on Suicidal Thoughts. Let the man rap! Back down and shut up! It’s Puffy and the skits that made me hesitate over five or four stars … but it’s a tribute to Big that even this cannot ultimately spoil this classic five star (five mics) album.
Misogynist lyrics made this nauseating, despite any potentially good musical qualities.
This three-star review hurts to give. Biggie's skills are literally the stuff of legend but, man ... the album just didn't age well. The lyrical content is a one-note gong that he just keeps banging over and over and over. The majority of the album can be summed up in the phrase "I'm gonna shoot you." There's very little that strays from that central theme. And that ... well, that gets old after a while, doesn't it? Even if the delivery is fantastic. And then there are the skits. Pure cheese. The skits alone dragged the score down a whole star. Overall, a disappointing re-listen from one of the greatest rappers of all time.
Great timing as i just watched I Got a Story to Tell, the documentary about Biggie. What a dude. How could i not give this a 5?
Sex noises! How rude.
Absolute classic album. Do I wish there were fewer skits with him having sex? Of course. But the rhymes are enough to keep it a 5.
Juicy is everything that hip-hop is about perfectly encapsulated into one song. Big Poppa is the perfect player’s anthem with an even more perfect sample. The rest of the album is proof that Notorious BIG was the best rapper alive at the time. And the closing track is a haunting look at the dark side of fame in a troubled mind. A hip-hop masterpiece.
Like the Goodfellas of rap albums
It is difficult to listen to this album detached from the events of Biggie's career as a result of the feud between Bad Boy and Death Row, the East vs. the West. Biggie and his style of storytelling is definitely a cut above his contemporaries and even today against the current lineup of rap artists. The feud between East and West, whether manufactured or real, Biggie had a real story to tell. This album is dirty rap, with a very specific story that will resonate with specific audiences because of how personal this all comes across. Toxic masculinity as a result of the struggle for respect, the unbridled sexual conquest of generically available women, and the consequences of these actions are played out as ending in tragedy through violence. Where art imitated life, Biggie would be murdered a mere three years after this album was released. All in all, the album is sad and Biggie is telling a truth that happened to him as a young kid, in spite of academic success and great opportunity, that respect, money, maybe even love, could not be granted to anyone other than from the streets. This listener is not really looking for a story to be told in music, but Biggie explored and rather explicitly at times, a story about life that is contraindicative for people listening to music to feel nice or good. In a way, the authenticity of the struggle supersedes that of the rhythmic blues, where we are forced to perhaps understand something that for many people, is impossible.
Liked the beats and music, struggled to connect to the content.
As someone that doesn't listen to much rap, I'm pretty choosy on this genre. Part of it is that I can't identify with a lot of the content, and some of it is distaste for some of the ways it perpetuates and glorifies violence and gangsta lifestyle. Biggie was an excellent rapper, the pure talent and flow are amazing, he can weave a story so well and you do get a sense of his upbringing and coming out of that life to stardom throughout this album. For me what drags it down is a lot of the content though, the violence and gunshots, the music video where he blows away a bunch of guys from a balcony and it pans down to dead bodies, the juvenile skits and sex noises. I'm not a square but I just don't enjoy this, though as a teen I would have thought it was edgy and hilarious. 3 Stars from me, the talent is there and there are some bright spots in the album where he really gets into some great poetry, but it drags on too long and I just don't enjoy some of the content regardless of the talent behind it.
Biggie sure does have good flow, and the beats are for the most part great. At first I felt like he surpassed the typical Rap culture tropes of just talking about themselves and their accomplishments. Because the album started as more of a nostalgic feel. But then it descended into the same old tropes and I quickly got bored of the lyrics. I stopped halfway into "**** Me" because I really don't want to hear people having sex. So I would say this album is garbage, not something you want to listen to as an album. Maybe individual songs are great. And musically some of the songs are 5/5. But thematically it is pretty much boring rap themes, with a little originality at the beginning of the album. Also I really disliked how it tried to be explicit in every way possible in a way that seemed on purpose just for explicitness.
Re-listening for the generator. What a superb album, tons of fun (rimshot). When he's in the zone, no one does it like Biggie. From all-time opener Things Done Changed to endlessly quotable story of impending conflict Warning to the gloriously victorious Juicy, this work by the notorious one is simply awesome. 9/10 and a probable future 10
Wow. Knowing very little, in the grand scheme of things, about rap and hip-hop, I don’t think I could tell you what makes this a standout example of its genres. But do know art when I see it, know an artist when presented with one. The concept of this album (loose though it may be at times), is well considered. Starting with Biggie’s birth and childhood, and ending with his suicide, it explores all aspects of his life, past and present. He tackles his criminal past, love, sex, fame and wealth (which I was confused about since this is his debut album and he presumably hadn’t achieved widespread fame yet; think I’m missing something there), poverty, stress, and much more. It’s a mosaic of his life, and each track feels like it was intricately written and produced to tell a specific part of it. It’s quite engaging. His delivery feels buttery-smooth while still conveying the emotion of each track. He’s not rushing or trying to impress the listener with how fast he can rap. He wants to be heard and understood. Where some rap can turn an uninitiated listener off with its references to other parts of the culture, fast deliveries, or just otherwise unfamiliar musical concepts, this album and Biggie himself stay rooted firmly in the moment of each song. The samples are brilliantly used to the point where I couldn’t always tell what was and wasn’t a sample. I cannot say enough about this album. It’s long but never overstays its welcome. It’s funny, it’s serious, it’s entertaining, it’s tragic. Absolutely no doubt 5 stars. I need more. Standout tracks: Intro (reminded me of Dark Side of the Moon’s “Speak to Me”), Things Done Changed, Machine Gun Funk, Ready to Die, One More Chance, Juicy, Everyday Struggle, Unbelievable, Suicidal Thoughts
Very influential and a classic album. His voice is super unique and recognizable. Kinda the king of sexual interludes - made this weird to listen to at home, but there's vulnerable parts as well that make it a really well-rounded album. A little long, but that's alright Saved: Gimme The Loot, Juicy
Honestly, the skits are a bit over the top on here. They should have got ridden of a few. I don't care that P Diddy has confirmed that Biggie actually had Oral Sex at the end of Respect. Apart from that, this is an excellen album. One of the greatest.
Started off solid but after an hour of the same 3 words got boring. Almost turned off at the sound of fellatio, not sure how that is music!
Glad I listened. I can appreciate how influential it's all been. But nothing artistically useful to me.
The music is undeniable and the talent real. Everything sounds so easy, but the message of some of the music doesn't age very well. I guess that's the appeal for some of the genre.
I was grossed out by the lyrics Music/vocals are interesting and sound like they must have been a huge influence
Never really cared for Biggie, even back when I was teenager in the 90’s. I got about 7 songs through this record and put on De La Soul’s “Buhloone Mindstate”. Someone add that to the list.
Things done changed was pretty good! I did not enjoy the rest.
I know every lyric to this album for good reason.
Always loved Biggie. It was a great trip down memory lane.
Been a while since I’ve visited this LP. Get the loot fucks harder than just about any song today, and ready to die made me very uncomfortable. Great shit
Classic hip hop
Not sure if this is a nostalgia rating or if this is really one of the best rap albums I have ever heard, but I am going to give this a high rating. Great beats in east coast rap.
Great classic rap album. Biggie has the flow
Classics. Also just watched the netflix doc. Great rap album.
Gimme the loot is an absolute track. From the BERETTA puttin' all the holes in ya sweater
amazing. i love this album
The finest of the genre
Beautiful and poignant
Arguably the best hip hop album of all time.
I never knew how much I loved this album. So many of these songs were lurking in my subconscious.
Best album de rap du best rapper. Top 3 facile en tout cas. 5*
Quiero abrir este comentario con dos curiosidades: muy feliz de llegar a este disco porque "Juicy" la habré escuchado por ahí de pequeño y una felicidad regresar a ella. Lo otro, qué cabrón que alguien que le puso a su disco debut "Ready To Die" y al siguiente "Life After Death" haya sido asesinado días antes de que saliera el segundo disco, con sólo 24 años... En fin, ahora sí, mi disclaimer es que sé bien poco de hip hop y rap. Dicho esto, disfruté mucho este disco. Ni siquiera podría diferenciar si es de 1994 o del 2001 o de 2019, pero eso debe ser mi ignorancia. A pesar de que no escuché con atención todas sus letras, hay mucho de cinismo, algo de biografía, supongo, muy buenas rimas y flow. The Notorious B.I.G. pinta como el ambiente del momento y su éxito, así directo, sin desparpajo, hasta dedicado a los maestros que le dijeron que no iba a lograr nada. El interlude "Fuck Me" muy explícito, así como ese final de "Respect" con el sonido de una mamada. Y los sonidos, esos beats, frescos, magnéticos, envolventes a veces. Canciones fav: "Ready To Die", "Juicy", "Everyday Struggle", "Big Poppa" y "Respecto". Igual, "Suicidal Thoughts" puede estar por ahí. De alguna forma, sentí que este disco se fue poniendo mejor conforme avanzaba. 9.5/10
A titular 90s rap album that encompasses the sound and delivery of the time. With timeless verses that still stand up today.
Great old school bases
I loved this album. I thought the lyrics were great in the way they told unique a unique story.
Este pedo es conceptual. Nacimiento, niñez, juventud, vida y muerte de un hombre negro en Estados Unidos. Puede que no te guste lo que dice, que te ofenda y te parezca, no sé, grotesco, banalizando la misoginia, exaltando la delincuencia, cosas así por el estilo que diría un calvinista de closet cualquiera (de derecha o de izquierda). Tampoco es como si estuviéramos ante porno de miseria (Biggie no es Fernanda Melchor aunque es igual de bueno escribiendo, tiene buen oído diría un inmamable de letras). La diferencia con el porno de miseria es, además de que Biggie es testigo y partícipe y no turista de clase media como, por decir, yo, que escucho y escribo esto, que acá hay empatía, hay complejidad en los personajes y una honestidad decapitante. Además, los beats son impecables, oscuros, violentos, lujuriosos y brillantes como la sonrisa que te nace cuando tienes chingos de billetes de alta denominación en la mano. Otro punto a favor es que Biggie es uno de los mejores raperos de la historia. Su habilidad para crear rimas es solo comparable a 2Pac, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane o André. Es realmente una maravilla del lenguaje. Y el disco funciona a distintos niveles. Como cautionary tale, como uno lleno de bangers, como soundtrack para aspirantes a la calle, como educación sentimental, como ejercicio extremo de empatía. El nivel de nihilismo de este pedo ha sido pocas veces superado. Y fue pop. Increíble. Nada nunca ha sido tan brutal, tan suicida líricamente como Suicidal Thoughts.
One of the greatest Hip Hop records of all time in my opinion. I was blown away by this masterpiece.
De las cosas que me gustan del hip hop es que es un género muy “unapologetic”. Las canciones abordan diversos problemas que van desde las drogas y la violencia hasta las relaciones familiares y la misma música como medio de trascendencia. Y los raperos hacen todo eso sin “romantizar” sus contextos ni esconder tampoco sus realidades. En este disco queda claro desde el inicio que B.I.G. tiene una historia que contar: desde su nacimiento, su relación con pandillas, drogas, violencia, mujeres y hasta con la muerte y todo amalgamado gracias a un muy buen trabajo de producción. Queda claro por qué Notorious B.I.G., a pesar de haber tenido una trayectoria desafortunadamente corta, es a la fecha un referente de este género.
Sexism, violence and glorification of illegal activities aside, this is a banger
Classic hip hop album.
One of my favorite albums of the era, I can’t not move my head or tap my feet with these tracks
אחד האלבומי היפהופ הכי טובים ששמעתי
Became a gangster
Juicy = best
5/5 - Dope.
GIMME THE LOOT Grote meneer, ik geef het hem gewoon hoor
5 Deze moet ik op vinyl gaan halen. Biggie heeft de swag, zijn cadence is zo smooth, gotta love it. Tuurlijk ook tijdloze dikke hits juicy, Big Poppa, Gimme the Loot. (ja, er moet echt 1 van deze in de tijdloze komen smh) Ook zeker een album waar de zwarte gemeenschap zeer trots op is , en terecht. If you don't know, now you know! Hier een paar lijnen die mij een stanky face geven: -The Moët and Alizé keep me pissy, girls used to diss me. Now they write letters 'cause they miss me. -We used to fuss when the landlord dissed us. No heat, wonder why Christmas missed us. Birthdays was the worst days. Now we sip Champagne when we thirsty! -When it comes to sex, I'm similar to the Thrilla in Manila. Honeys call me "Bigga the Condom Filler". -There's gonna be a lot of slow singin' and flower-bringin'. If my burglar alarm starts ringin'. -Catch me if you can like the Gingerbread Man. You better have your gat in hand, 'cause man. -That's why you drink Tanqueray, so you can reminisce. And wish you wasn't livin' so devilish. En natuurlijk deze prachtige mee zinger (rapper). Als dees passeert in de club gaan we loco. TE FUCKING SMOOTH! real player shit; To all the ladies in the place with style and grace Allow me to lace these lyrical douches in your bushes Who rock grooves and make moves with all the mamis? The back of the club, sippin' Moët is where you'll find me. The back of the club, mackin' hoes, my crew's behind me. Mad question askin', blunt passin' Music blastin', but I just can't quit Because one of these honeys Biggie got to creep with Sleep with, keep the ep a secret, why not? Why blow up my spot 'cause we both got hot? Now check it: I got more mack than Craig, and in the bed Believe me, sweetie, I got enough to feed the needy No need to be greedy, I got mad friends with Benzes C-notes by the layers, true fuckin' players Jump in the Rover and come over, tell your friends jump in the GS3. I got the chronic by the tree cuz. Oké deze is niet van het album, maar hoe kan je hier niet goed op gaan? I got seven Mac-11's, about eight .38's Nine 9's, ten Mac-10's the shits never end You can't touch my riches Even if you had MC Hammer and them 357 bitches
I have to admit, I was ready to just skip this album. But this album is really really good fun.
Only listened to 2 songs but great album.
Amazing album, biggies best, all time great rap album, love the theme,
Classic album. One of the greatest hip hop albums ever. The storytelling, production, rapping are so point it's crazy. Biggie is one of the greatest rappers ever, flows are the best I have ever heard. 10/10
One of the all time great hip-hop records. Very difficult to match this one as his flow, lyrics and production are top notch. Special mention goes out to Suicidal Thoughts.
He ain't Pac but he's pretty good.
Half of the album is filler noise and shit. But the other half is still way too legendary to give anything other than 5*
Great from start to finish
Very cool album! Great lyrics, amazing flow. A true legend.
A rap album like no other. Biggie earns his place as a member of GOAT. His raps are among the best out there. Rhymes are impressive. Flow keeps audiences interested and engaged. Techniques like his voice changes contribute to the stories. He takes full advantage of modern production sounds and skills to invoke emotional responses from listeners. Biggie contrasts with other gangster rappers of his era, who glorified the lifestyle full of wealth, sex, and power. Here, you can feel the pain and mental turmoil that he was forced onto. Biggie takes us on a journey in this album, starting with his birth. Yet from the start death looms over him, and most of the tracks either have a theme of death, or dangerous situations that expose Biggie's vulnerability, living on the edge of life and death. And of course, the album ends on a shocking conclusion of his suicide. Truly heartbreaking to hear Biggie confessing his sins, his regrets, hearing the mental destruction that gangster life had to lead him to this point. Despite being a double album, there's very little filler, and I feel the length was necessary for Biggie to express the whole story. The intro is one of the best found on rap albums, establishing the central themes that are frequently referenced in the album. But the album really starts with "Things Done Changed" which is one of the easiest tracks for people to understand, creating the setting that life is truly awful and dangerous out there. These first few tracks are funky and groovy, with several pop hits spread later in the album ("Juicy" and "Big Poppa"), appealing to all sorts of audiences from start to finish, and why I feel this is one of the best albums to get someone into rap. His storytelling is what makes these songs so special. The way he brings in all these characters, some of them played by just voice changes (cause you can't trust anyone else to spit perfect raps with such precison), brings a natural flow to these songs from setting up the scene to memorable conclusions that make each track distinctive. Hard for me to pick out my favorite tracks - there's something I love about most of the tracks - but I can pick out a few songs I wasn't crazy about. Biggest complaint is that the "Fuck Me" and oral sex interludes weren't necessary; there were already plenty of instances that displayed the theme of lust (e.g. "One More Chance"). But whatever they can be skipped. There were a few weak tracks, but the only ones that I felt could have been left out were "Respect" and "Friend of Mine." Other weaknesses were Puffy's overcontribution which distracts from Biggie's raps, and a repetitive beat, but the samples make up for it. Also, huge coincidence that there were several references to Tina Turner, and even her signature song "What's Love Got to Do With It" when Private Dancer just so happened to be my album yesterday.
The King, the Legend. Although I was thrown off by the full on sex sounds - I guess I always skipped that lol
Incredibly honest, personal and well-written. Heartbreaking and has me absolutely floored. Perfect use of sampling. This album was really the blueprint.
A great, great album.
5.0 + Love Biggie. RIP, King.
Wow! A pure, solid punch of hip hop! Gangsta at its best, only play this to your granny if she’s hard of hearing as the expletives roll out every few seconds. Classic!
Compellingly good stuff.
PUTA INTROOOOO Me senti ouvindo um filme dos bons com os trechos finais de algumas músicas que mais parecem interlúdios. Percebi também vááários trechinho que depois foram sampleados por diversos artistas. A faixa título é um primor, fui levada direto para o início dos anos noventa.
One of the best rap/hip hop albums of all time, maybe the best. My personal favorite. Every song is just incredible - one of the rare perfect albums and that can be appreciated even if you do not like rap/hip hop. Easy 10/10.
🎤 🎤 🎤 🎤 🎤
Great hip hop album. Some of biggies top hits. I really enjoyed!
East Coast royalty. When Biggie wants to go hard, it's hardcore as hell. When he wants to reel it back, it's incredibly smooth. Biggie is, without exaggeration, a master of his craft. Side note: My gf loves the song Juicy. She thinks it's so sweet hearing Biggie's rags-to-riches story. Easily the best song for radioplay, but also the best song on here for the sample flip and pacing. As frontloaded as this album is, the whole thing is a great piece of work. This is THE Notorious B.I.G. coming in hot with the debut, already at the top of his game. He rightfully deserves a lot of credit for being a legend.
I don't know much about rap, so The Notorious BIG is a name I had heard of, but didn't anything about him other than that he is a rapper. Though he has this tough attitude, his lyrics are actually quite sensitive. It takes a lot for someone to admit suicidal thoughts, even more so for someone to wonder if their mother would have preferred an abortion. The album is really well produced too, kind of a loose "rap opera".
Masterpiece. Chefs kiss
I think the highs on this are both good and frequent enough to warrant a 5 and offset the odd filler track and the godawful skits
This record is iconic, a true piece of history. Sociologists and musicians will be studying this for generations.
The Real Deal
Forgot how clever a lyricist Biggie was, even if vulgar. Case in point, Me and My B - "You looked so good I'd suck on your daddy's d..." Priceless. That song is a perfect example of Biggie's work - great beats, some real deep lyrics but also some real depraved lyrics. Also a bit of the rap opera here with Intro and Suicidal Thoughts opening and closing the album, although it's not a straight line in between. Like many of the 90s rappers I wish he wasn't such a misogynist, but he is damn good when he's not being so sleazy (and even when he is). Things Done Changed and Gimme the Loot are awesome; really the first 6 tracks are, before he goes to the cheap sex stuff for a few tracks. Juicy brings it back and like his other big single Big Poppa, it is rightfully beloved. Respect might be my favorite track though - great funky beat and the vocal assist from Diana King is electric. Not sure how much respect I have for him as a human being, but this is a great album.
This is GOAT tier level for the genre. An amazing talent that the world lost too soon.
It is the most iconic East Coast Rapper on his most iconic album. Not much more needs to be said.
Damn Biggie's flow and storytelling is just something else, he is on a whole other level. Not to mention fucking hilarious. There is a reason he is GOAT.
This album might be the pinnacle of New York rap and is a solid 5. Biggie’s beats are jazz inspired and his laconic flow enables him to deliver lines of violence and self loathing in an incredibly nonchalant way. Biggie’s mental struggles were really striking to me and I think his ability to bring those to the forefront complicates his image. I am left with a sense of not knowing what to believe about him and that only adds to his legend. I found the simulated sex gratuitous, but overall, this is an essential album.
What’s most striking about ‘Ready To Die’ is how polished, fully formed and complete it is for a debut album (even taking into consideration the pointless skits). 2pac wasn’t anywhere near as good as this until ‘Me Against The World’, three albums in.