Over the weekend my Twitter and Instagram timelines were flooded with tweets and pictures of Notorious B.I.G and fans paying their respects for his tragic death that took place on 9 March 1997. As always with anniversaries like this, people began to reminisce about the ‘good ol’ days’ of hip-hop music and whether Biggie would have continued to be at the forefront of the industry had he not been killed. It’s safe to say that almost everyone believes he would.
Although people like to say Biggie would have still been wearing the hip-hop crown in this day and age, I can’t help but wonder what he would actually sound like amongst the hottest rappers of right now. Can you imagine hearing a B.I.G record featuring Drake and Rick Ross? Or perhaps him dropping a verse on Miguel’s hit single, “Adorn”? Well, thanks to DJ Rhude we no longer have to imagine.
In honour of Biggie’s passing, DJ Rhude (who has also been a long time XXL magazine contributor) has compiled a nine-track EP entitled The Notorious 9, which sees a selection of the late rapper’s classic songs mixed over a number of popular beats. We are able to hear Biggie rap effortlessly over hard-hitting production from today’s big names in the industry, such as Jahlil Beats and No I.D – it’s almost eerie.
“I’ve always wondered what Big would sound like rocking with some of today’s producers, which was the catalyst behind this project. I’ve taken 9 of his songs and matched them up with some of the dopest producers out now. Some noteworthy beats featured on The Notorious 9 are from Harry Fraud, No I.D., Large Professor, The Alchemist, Jahlil Beats and a few others. Along for the ride are some respected heavyweights from the industry in Datwon Thomas (Exec. Ed. Vibe Mag) Shaheem Reid (The Round Up, XXL, Shade 45), Jayson Rodriguez (The Content King, host of The BQE), Rob Markman (MTV News) and DJ Goldfinger. They all took some out time to share their thoughts on Big. Hope everyone enjoys this tribute to one of the greatest rappers to grace the mic. RIP to the late, great Frank White. Peace. – DJ Rhude”
Listening to the EP, I have yet to be sold on whether Biggie sounds well suited to some of these beats, however there’s no denying that these tracks are hot. They put a fresh and interesting twist on a few of the rapper’s well known songs including “Warning”, “Me & My Bitch” and “Somebody Gotta Die”. I won’t claim to be a hard-core B.I.G fan like many people have been doing over the weekend (50 Cent and Jay-Z will forever be my favourite New York rappers) but this has definitely gotten a fair few replays from me over the past 24 hours.
R.I.P Christopher Wallace.