Producer: Easy Mo Bee
Album: Ready to Die
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Biggie‘s classic debut album Ready to Die, which is still regarded to this day as one of the best hip-hop releases of all time. It is amazing to know that B.I.G. was only in his early-20s when he constructed the bulk of the album, as it eclipsed most releases from his elder New York rap counterparts. The album was built on the basis that is generally considered “real hip-hop”: numerous samples, boom-bap production, and gritty rhymes of street realism. Ready to Die is one of those rare albums that you can you fluently listen to all the way through, from beginning to end without skipping. It embodies everything that New York Rap in the ’90s was supposed to be: gully, filthy, drug-dealing music that was infused with confessionals about lavish, big-money luxuries.
In celebration of the momentous album, we’ve decided to share our personal favorite track from the “Black Frank White“. “Gimme The Loot” finds Biggie giving listeners a tell-all epic of robbery and violence which culminates in a gun battle with 5-0 (police). The true magic comes from Biggie’s ability to alter his voice in-between pitches to give the listener a true, visual depiction of two “hard-body” stick-up kids that are going all out in their efforts to gain a piece of the pie. “Gimme Loot” shows the hungriness and talent of a young, street-smart Biggie who still had been hustling on the side to provide money for his family.
The track even provides one of the most sampled lines in hip-hop today, “For the bread and butter I leave niggas in the gutter.”