Back in early 1992 (or late 1991), Matty C pulled out a cassette tape of some cat from Brooklyn named Biggie Smalls. One of the original Source players and most infamous curator of the “Unsigned Hype” column, Matty dropped that tape in his boombox and the rest was history. Biggie was one of the most prolific alumni of the elite lyrical fraternity, and his light was dimmed too soon.
However, he did leave us with a legacy of music- and thanks to Rhino, we get to hear this music afresh and expose it to the next generation.
25 years ago (damn it seems like yesterday, The Notorious B.I.G. came on the scene with his 1994 debut, Ready to Die. Six times platinum, few people who say that they love and appreciate Hip-Hop can say that this was not a classic album.
Rhino, in partnership with GetOnDown.com, honors this groundbreaking album with a new limited-edition boxed set that features every album track – plus two bonus tracks – on nine 7” colored-vinyl singles (black, white and red vinyl). READY TO DIE: 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION BOXED SET will be available for $79.98 now, the anniversary date of the original release.
Individually numbered and limited to 3,500 copies, the set is presented in a cigar-style box with metallic and gloss accents, and includes a booklet filled with liner notes by veteran Hip-Hop journalist and author Kathy Iandoli, never-before-seen photos from the era, as well as exclusive stories by Easy Mo Bee and Chucky Thompson, who helped produce the album.
There is so much history in this project, one will feel like they are back in the 1990s New York City. Ready to Die, originally recorded in 1993, was a slick balance of Big’s personal grit and Sean “Puffy” Combs’ slickness.
Rhino shares that the album is mainly an autobiographical showcases the “Party and Bullshit” artist’s “immaculate storytelling on 17 tracks that explore his life and experiences as a drug dealer. It takes listeners on a journey that spans from the character’s birth, to his time on the streets, and ultimately ends with his suicide.”
We just want to relive what it felt like the first time we heard him on the b-side of the “Big Mack” cassette in the bun at the DMC conference, that the Bad Boy street team was giving out.
Ready to Die is the only studio album that Biggie put out while he was actually alive. Tragically, he was murdered on March 9, 1997, just two weeks before the release of his second album – Life After Death.
CHECK OUT THE READY TO DIE: 25TH ANNIVERSARY SINGLES BOXED SET
Vinyl Track Listing:
2. “Things Done Changed”
1. “Gimme The Loot”
2. “Machine Gun Funk”
2. “Ready To Die”
1. “One More Chance”
2. “#!*@ Me” (Interlude)
3. “The What”
2. “Everyday Struggle”
1. “Me & My Bitch”
2. “Big Poppa”
2. “Friend Of Mine”
2. “Suicidal Thoughts”
1. “Who Shot Ya?”
2. “Just Playing (Dreams)”