1o Most Inspirational Albums Of All Time Number 7
Life After Death
New York Rap’s original talisman Biggie Smalls, second and final album is in my opinion the definitive sound of; authentic street values, classic hip hop beats and collaborations that are tailored to perfection. A synonym for Biggie himself as well as thousands of other young black males growing up in America’s cities in the 1980’s and 90’s. Biggie told a story of the rich and complex multicultural and brutal history that New York City and the US as a whole tried to bury for so long.
To put it simply Biggie lived it, where as many of our younger music lovers will see Dr Dre as a pop producer and headphone manufacture. The hip hop generation will remember the constant streams of news to come out of South Central and New York. Gunshots, drive bys, drug dealing and general chaos that surrounded the scene in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
Whilst Dre, Tupac, Suge Knight and Snoop all hailed from California’s West Coast and Death Row Records scene. BIG or Christopher Wallace was a lone soldier carrying the flag for the original East Coast rap scene.
Puffy Coombs and Faith Evans, both recorded tracks for the album, the inclusion of Biggie’s wife (Faith) was one that put female sexual independence into perspective but also empowered the women of the genre. These women were not talking about how they needed to be saved or longed for the man of their dreams! Faith was talking about the streets, sex and drugs in a masculine yet extremely empowering tone.
On a musical level this album doesn’t do anything that hundreds of rap albums have done both post and pre it’s release. However BIG is trying to tell a story, it is an album that with comedic tracks such as Kick In The Door, inspired classic albums such as; 2001, as well as, the Real Slim Shady LP, and in turn every Eminem album since his first. As well as tracks such as Hypnotize, with it’s massive beats and overall attitude having a more modern affect on the younger generation of club goers. With the now obvious collaboration of rap star, synth player and or Deejay heard in clubs up and down the country. Biggie not only pioneered this sound but he did it to another level. Hypnotize comes at you like a train, and you cannot help to get an adrenaline rush from just listening to him tell his story.
Unfortunately BIG (Christopher Wallace) was fatally shot in the early hours of march 9th 1997. Days before Life After Death was released. His funeral was a huge event for New York. Hundreds of people gathered on the street corners where he learnt his craft to pay homage. When someone with a stereo system played Hypnotize, a riot broke out.
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