If you’re a connoisseur of hip-hop, then you’re most likely a huge fan of Biggie, who unfortunately was taken from us too soon. As today is the 20th anniversary of B.I.G.’s death, we’d like to resurrect some of his best forgotten verses, giving them some life after the iconic rapper’s death.
Though he has many noticeable hits like “Hypnotize” and “Big Poppa”, here are 10 forgotten Notorious B.I.G. verses:
Neneh Cherry, “Buddy X (Falcon & Fabian Remix)” (1993)
This track is an odd pairing with the avant-pop artist best known for “Buffalo Stance” and was recorded when Biggie wasn’t very well known outside of the NYC industry circles. Though he didn’t have quite the star power to be so crass, he did his thing with the line “Butt naked/You know you love it when I lick it.” Overall, the song is an interesting blend of Cherry and Biggie’s styles.
Eddie F & the Untouchables, “Let’s Get It On” (1994)
“Let’s Get It On” is one of the few times Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. appeared in the studio together. The two traded verses along with other artists over a sample of Barry White’s “You’re the One I Need.” Biggie wraps up the song with a tongue-twisting lick: “B-I-G top notch with the glock, check your pockets and your sockets.”
Da Brat, “Da B Side” (1995)
Originally recorded for the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence cop flick Bad Boys, Da Brat and Jermaine Dupri’s “Da B Side” features Biggie, who raps about how he’s “king of the street,” over a jiggy beat, proving that the rapper could adapt to any producer’s style.
Notorious B.I.G., “Real Niggaz” (1995)
The “Real Niggaz” verses find Biggie freestyling over popular G-funk tracks like Above the Law’s “Black Superman” and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s “Deep Cover.” Bad Boy issued a “West Side Story” sampler cassette coordinated by Arista Records A&R Jason “JC” Ricks and blended by L.A. mixer DJ Jam shortly after the release of Biggie’s Ready to Die (1994).
Red Hot Lover Tone, “4 My Peeps” (1995)
Though Red Hot Lover Tone’s heavily promoted 1995 album #1 Player was a major sales disappointment, it yielded a dream-team cipher between M.O.P., Organized Konfusion and Biggie, the latter who comes in hot on the track, declaring himself as “The black bastard from Bed-Rock/Guaranteed to make your head rock.”
Tupac, “Runnin’ From tha Police” (1995)
One of only a handful of collaborations between Tupac and Biggie, “Runnin’ From the Police” features B.I.G. going back and forth with ‘Pac over one of the smoothest beats they both appear on. Definitely a track to sit back and relax to.
R. Kelly, “(You to Be) Happy” (1995)
We all know that R. Kelly sings the hook on the romantic “F**k You Tonight,” but Kelly got B.I.G. two years earlier on his 1995 self-titled second album. The track samples Biggie’s then-wife Faith Evans’ “You Used to Love Me.”
Bandit, “All Men Are Dogs” (Remix) (1995)
This song features samples from George Clinton’s “Atomic Dog” and verses from relatively-unknown rappers as well as Grand Puba and Positive K to discuss how they think that all men are dogs, admitting that they are in fact, dogs.
Heavy D, “Jam Session” (1994)
Biggie and fellow Jamaican Heavy D share the beat on this 1994 song for the soundtrack to NBA Jam. Biggie sticks to the basketball theme, incorporating double dribbles, “monster dunks” and virtually every major basketball star of the era into his rhymes.
Crustified Dibbs, “Cunt Renaissance” (1994)
Crustified Dibbs snagged Biggie for his horrorcore-styled debut album, Night of the Bloody Apes. Though the album was never released, most rap fans of a certain vintage will have this on their hard drives somewhere. I’ll let you listen to the lyrics yourself, but what’s important about this and other tracks of B.I.G.’s is his disregard for innuendo and his use of straight-forward language that doesn’t appear too often in present day hip-hop.