For people who have never had a deep personal connection to his music, it’s hard to explain why Biggie Smalls made such a huge impact on the world around the time Ready To Die dropped and why he is still regarded as Hip-Hop’s favorite son.

To look back now after a decade and a half of B.I.G imitation rappers, it’s agreed that his style has been the most commonly bitten by emcees over the years. This is no doubt down to his ability to attack the flow in a way that speaks directly to the average young person, pin pointing areas of pain & happiness in everyday life, allowing the listeners to really form personal relationships with his music. I myself was only 10 when I first heard a verse by B.I.G., apart from Fresh Prince or Kris Kross there wasn’t much else in the way of Hip-Hop reaching my ears at the time. It made such an impact that my walkman barely held anything but Big Poppa tapes until way after his death in my late teens (with exceptions at times of course: Wu-tang, Nas, Pun, Pac, Tribe, De La…). His lyrics would stick to your ribs and given that his words were so direct, so relatable they would grow over time and become part of your own character. Some of my closest friendships grew from a mutual love for The Black Frank White, I have so many incredible memories invested in those rhymes, spending hours quoting whole verses word for word. For every quotable line I can remember to this day, by any single emcee, there are a dozen by this man. I imagine there must be hundreds of thousands of 20/30-something rap fans walking around with a large part of their younger selves formed around the words of Christopher Wallace. These things are easily forgotten though sometimes, so ignore the past 14 or so years before you listen to any Big Poppa today, remember the tracks as you first heard them with that old head-bumping feeling of self-assurance. Everything this man achieved in his early twenties will carry his spirit forward via we.

Here are 10 of the many Biggie Smalls tracks that have meant a great deal personally over the years (not actually a top 10, that would just be most of the Ready To Die tracklist, you know it was THAT GOOD!):

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Notorious B.I.G. – Party And Bullshit” dl=”0″]

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Total feat. Notorious B.I.G. – Can’t You See” dl=”0″]

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Michael Jackson feat. Notorious B.I.G. – This Time Around” dl=”0″]

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Notorious B.I.G. – Kick In The Door” dl=”0″]

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Notorious B.I.G. – Things Done Changed” dl=”0″]

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Jay-Z feat. Notorious B.I.G. – Brooklyn’s Finest” dl=”0″]

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Notorious B.I.G. – Machine Gun Funk” dl=”0″]

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”2pac, Notorious B.I.G. & Dramacydal – Runnin’ (Original)” dl=”0″]

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Notorious B.I.G. – I Got A Story To Tell” dl=”0″]

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Notorious B.I.G. – Everyday Struggle” dl=”0″]



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