How ridiculous is it to think that twenty five years ago today, a young and excited Christopher Wallace was ecstatic at having his debut album released – little to his knowledge to become one of the most influential projects his beloved genre of hip-hop had seen. Even more ridiculous – and totally unheard of, on his debut album the prevailing sentiment was letting the world know how he was Ready To Die. Considering how events transpired, countless conspiracy theories have been fuelled surrounding the tragic death of the iconic rapper and no matter how much people may believe ‘HE KNEW IT WAS COMING, MAN!!Ready To Die is a statement of intent, an indication of a resigned mindset, that he as Biggie or The Notorious B.I.G. was here now, and wasn’t afraid to die.

This unmatched bravado is what made Biggie stand out for a lot of people, and allowed his personality to shine through to many previously opposed to hip-hop music fans and ultimately progress the genre. Ready To Die is soaked vigorously in this bravado, described by many as vulgarity. Celebrated by all, as excellent.

Whether it be the huge success of Juicy Рthat Biggie was famously totally against initially, as it was derived from a cheesy 80s pop song Рto the upper echelon straight off the tongue bars that flowed without any deliberation with Wu Tang Clan legend Method Man on gangsta cut The What?Biggie displayed prowess to making a track his own and a striking ability to flow over a diverse range of sounds, coming off just as slick and boastful no matter the tempo or style of beat.

Also boasting a comically tinted narrative with some shall we say choice skits littered across Ready To Die, the consistency in depth that sprawls across it’s seventeen tracks that makes this such a legendary album. How often is it these days a big name rapper will put out a ten track project that does not contain a forgettable amount of filler? Or how the likes of Drake and Migos put out twenty plus tracks on an album with the motive of accruing more streams and you’d struggle to label the better part of half the content as filler? Ready To Die is as big as it is cause for one, it characterises Biggie mightily, but mainly he wanted to show the world what he could do and did it exceptionally across each track.

The impact and reach of Biggie is unprecedented; you can’t stick on a Spotify hip-hop playlist without him making at least a couple appearances or attend a hip-hop club and not hear the iconic bars he lays down that are cemented in the lineage of hip-hop’s rise, and that are celebrated as being directly responsible for such – there is not a single rapper that has come since Biggie, no matter how big or small, which sub-genre they slot into that is not a descendant of the Biggie school, and in particular of Ready To Die.

Long live The Notorious B.I.G., and for much longer may we continue to pump the jams of Ready To Die.

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