May 21st 2022 marks the GOAT's 50th Birthday.
Christopher Wallace AKA The Notorious B.I.G changed the face of the music industry. His lyrics and beats broke down the barrier between hip hop and the mainstream culture, and remain relevant and inspiring more than 20 years after his death.
His effortless flow, his deep baritone voice, his realness and his vulnerability in his lyrics, saw Biggie transcending rap.
He was fatally shot at just 24, leaving his family and fans devastated, but even at that young age, his repertoire was enormous. Which of course makes putting together a list like this near impossible.
Ultimately, this comes down to personal opinions. We’re never all going to agree, but for Biggie's 50th we can all reminisce and celebrate Biggie’s genius. Did your faves make our list?
This is the ultimate inspiring rag-to-riches rap. Moving from his hard beginnings to his enormous success. It’s probably one of the most famous hip hop songs of all time, with statements like “If you don’t know now you know” becoming truly iconic. Bonus fun fact: the chorus was sung by the girl group Total.
2. "Big Poppa"
Big Poppa was that track that really gained the mainstream attention. The cheeky lyrics and the pulsing beat won over a huge female audience. With lines like “Who they attracting’ with that line, ‘What’s your name, what’s your sign?’ Soon as he buy that wine, I just creep up from behind. And ask you what your interests are, ‘Who you be with?’ Things that make you smile, what numbers to dial,” it’s not hard to see why.
3. "One More Chance"
A collaboration with Biggie’s wife Faith Evans, the song eluded towards their rocky marriage, but also provided a relatable hip-hop belter for anyone who has experienced a tumultuous relationship. The song was reworked a number of time but made its first appearance on the album Ready to Die.
4. "Notorious Thugs"
5. "Mo Money Mo Problems"
Following up Hypnotize, Mo Money Mo Problems was the second chart-topping single from the Life After Death album. The tragic irony of the song title was not missed by fans. And while the song itself is a proper feel-good banger, lyrics including “Ten years from now we’ll still be on top” and “Yo, I thought I told you that we won’t stop,” give the song a heart-breaking, bittersweet feel.
The first big hit from the Life After Death album, Biggie had already died when Hypnotize hit no.1 on the charts. Perhaps for that reason, the song became one of Biggie’s most famous songs of all time. Regardless, there’s no denying it’s a big tune. The visual shows Biggie in car and speedboat chases, and details that bromance between himself and Puffy.
7. "Ten Crack Commandments"
Biggie never tried to hide his shady past with drugs, so Ten Crack Commandments wasn’t all that controversial or shocking for his fans. Instead, if anything, the song only substantiated Biggie’s notoriety, rout past and gangster image. Lyrics like “Never get high, on your own supply” are still bandied about to this day and make the banger one of Biggie’s most memorable songs of all time.
8. "Who Shot Ya?"
On the back of Party and Bullshit, Fans have long speculated the song was written about the shooting and robbery of Tupac, as the hit was released soon after Tupac’s death, this fuelled theories around the pair’s rivalry, and of course translated into notoriety for the song.
9. "Party And Bullshit"
While the hook comes off a little light, the verses are hella deep. Released during a time when Tupac and Biggie were getting along, the legends performed this song together back in 1994.