Friday, 9 March 2012

Track Review: The Notorious B.I.G. - Juicy

It's been 15 years since Christopher Wallace / Biggie Smalls / The Notorious B.I.G. was shot dead. Hip-Hop has truly changed since his death and people always wonder what the scene would be like if Biggie wasn't killed. We have to remember that he only released two studio albums with the second being a posthumous release. 'Juicy' was placed smack bang in the middle of Ready To Die, and tells his rag-to-riches story. It's not about violence, there's nothing damaging in here, it's purely peaceful, respectful and above all truthful. The track was officially produced by Sean Combs and hip-hop production duo Poke of Trackmasters. Production credits have been disputed by Pete Rock, but that's not why we're reviewing Juicy. The beat has been lifted from Mtume's Juicy fruit, giving Biggy the 'Juicy' title. 

The track is set out in narrative style, with Biggie looking back over his life beginning with the early days, eventually reaching success and managing his success. He has the ability to rap in a spoken word, story telling style which separates him from everybody else. His flow is exceptional and rhymes like "Considered a fool cause I dropped out of high school" / "Now I'm in the limelight 'cause I rhyme tight. Time to get paid, blow up like the World Trade", these lyrics are orgasmic and lead up to the pre-chorus lyric of "and if you don't know, now you know..", which has delay and echo. Then the chorus begins with girl group Total giving the vocal. Every verse has it's purpose and it gives the listener an insight into Biggies past life and present life, remarkable. 

15 years have passed and what does hip-hop have to show? Everything. It hasn't 'died' and it never will because the community is too strong. Biggie may have died but he's left behind a solid back catalogue and one of the most  important tracks of the 90's. Jay Z may have been in the same 'age' as Biggie, but he's now rapping about "swag" and "The Nets could go 0-82 and I look at you like this shit gravy". Respect the big man, he deserves it.

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