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Top 10 Notorious B.I.G. Songs

Ashley Velez |
March 9, 2014 | 2:09 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Christopher Wallace a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G. (Killer Hip-hop)
Christopher Wallace a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G. (Killer Hip-hop)
Seventeen years ago today, Christopher Wallace also known as “The Notorious B.I.G.” was gunned down in Los Angeles, marking the end of an unforgettable era in rap history. 

Although the gunman has yet to be found, Biggie’s memory lives on in the hearts of hip-hop fans everywhere. He stuck it to every prominent lyricist in the 90’s while solidifying his name in the underground and mainstream music charts.

Arguably the best rapper to have ever lived, Biggie made hits that have shaped the flow of many of today’s most popular rappers on the East and West Coast alike. 

The Notorious B.I.G. had way too many timeless and memorable tracks to count but these 10 songs changed the game forever. 

10. “Party and Bullshit” - "Who’s the Man Soundtrack" - 1993

“I was a terror since the public school era” is one of the most unforgettable openings that Biggie ever spit. The Brooklyn native never glamourized his upbringing and never backed down from a lyrical or physical challenge.

This song goes hard from the beginning and served as an introduction to the King of the East Coast when he rapped “It ain’t hard to tell, I’m the East Coast overdoser, n***a you scared? You’re supposed to.” 

9. “I Got A Story To Tell” - "Life After Death" - 1997

Between the beat and Biggie’s flawless flow, how can this song not be a fan favorite? This track serves as a perfect example of the black Frank White’s storytelling technique. Biggie gets caught creeping with a basketball wife and manages to tie a scarf around his face and make the whole scene look like a robbery. Not only does he come out unscathed but he also comes out with a few stacks and a good story to tell.

8. “Unbelievable” - "Ready To Die" - 1994

This track was produced by Dj Premier and served as another example as to why “Biggie Smalls is the illest.” Big keeps rappers on their toes when he raps, “hunt me or be hunted.” No one was safe from his reign, which kept the 90’s rap scene fresh and exciting. 

7. “Gimme The Loot” - "Ready To Die" - 1994

Christopher Wallace shows off his narrative technique once again by playing two characters on the brink of a robbery. One character is laid back while the other is ready to blast anyone who gets in the way of his money. Big reminds us of his Bad Boy Records affiliation in the hook when he says, “Gimme the loot, gimme the loot (I’m a bad boy).” The song ends on a cliffhanger with a police encounter and gunshots, leaving the listener wanting more. 

6. “Warning” - "Ready To Die" - 1994

The opening of this track was referenced in a few hip-hop songs like Yeezy’s “Get ‘Em High” and served as a compelling story about trust and betrayal. Big is living in luxury and remains cool, calm, and collected when he hears about a stick up that will involve him. The track is set up like a phone call interaction and once again ends with a cliffhanger when the robbers show up at Biggie’s door.

5. “Who Shot Ya” - "Ready To Die" - 1994

“Who Shot Ya” manages to rile up heated discussions between hip-hop heads to this day. The song was released in 1994 just after Big’s rival, Tupac Shakur, was shot and robbed in New York City. Although he denied that the song was about 2Pac, it fueled the East Coast vs. West Coast battle and was followed by 2Pac’s “Hit Em Up”. 

4. “Big Poppa” - "Ready To Die" - 1994

Do you remember how you felt the first time the “Big Poppa” beat dropped? When this Grammy-nominated song comes on in the club, everyone stops what they’re doing to spit some of Big’s most loved and well-known verses.  His laidback flow transcended across the underground and mainstream and his confidence was indeed notorious. This timeless track will forever serve as the player’s anthem.

3. “Hypnotize” - "Life After Death" - 1997

Biggie gave us yet another club hit and Grammy nominated track with “Hypnotize”. It was the first single on "Life After Death," the album that was released just weeks after Biggie’s death. As if he hasn’t already done so, Christopher Wallace proved that he was “sicker that your average” on this track. 

2. “Suicidal Thoughts” - "Ready To Die" - 1994

Biggie left a permanent mark with this dark and introspective track. He leaves his heart on the mic and visits his dark past while detailing feelings about his mother and women who he has wronged. Sean “Puffy” Combs tries to talk him out of his “Suicidal Thoughts” throughout the song but it ends with a chilling gunshot. Despite his unparalleled confidence, Christopher Wallace was just a normal human being with a guilty conscience. 

1. “Juicy” - "Ready To Die" 1994

This inspirational track lays out Biggie’s transition from a kid with nothing to the king of hip-hop. Biggie looks back on his early days and raps, “considered a fool ‘cause I dropped out of high school. Now I’m in the limelight, ‘cause I rhyme tight.” This song is full of quotable lyrics and is a source of pride for everyone in Brooklyn. Biggie shares a rare moment where he sheds his hard persona to spit what’s real and will forever be one of the most loved tracks in hip-hop history.  

What Notorious B.I.G. songs make your top ten? 

Reach Staff Reporter Ashley Velez here.



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