The Notorious B.I.G.
Released to mark the 10th anniversary of Biggie's death, this serves as a timely reminder of the round one's lyrical skills. There's nothing new here apart from a few remixes, but that's only fair Ã¢Â€Â“ like Pac, Biggie has had a good run on the charts post-mortem, and this collection focuses on his albums Ready To Die and Life After Death. Juicy, Big Poppa and Hypnotize haven't dated one bit Ã¢Â€Â“ if anything, hearing them all together in one package emphasises their timelessness. The more commercial production on Notorious Thugs illustrates how readily Biggie was accepted by the mainstream Ã¢Â€Â“ he is one of a handful of artists who can be credited with bringing hip-hop to its current, elevated position. Perhaps the best track on offer here is the KRS One-sampling Ten Crack Commandments: one of the best and most upfront drug song ever written. [Bram Gieben]
Release Date: Out now.