Tag Archives: The Notorious B.I.G.

Bring It Back: Enjoy and Be Educated #1302: The King and I (A Tribute to The Notorious B.I.G.)

Notorious B.I.G.

[Note: With today being March 9, DJ Unexpected and I have decided to bring back our tribute to the great Notorious B.I.G. for all of you to enjoy. This mix was originally released on March 9, 2013. Enjoy and be educated.]

On this edition of Enjoy And Be Educated we dedicate this to Frank White aka The Notorious B.I.G. Adding on from an earlier mix we did for the great one, we’ve included some of the original samples used as well to give it that Diggers Union touch. Trying to avoid the obvious tunes but also showcasing both sides of an influential artist is a challenge, but we at The Diggers Union are proud of the finished product. Enjoy and be educated.


01. Intro
02. “Party & Bullshit”
03. James Brown – “Coldblooded”
04. “Gimme The Loot” (Original Version)
05. Biggie Speaks On BK (Interlude)
06. “The Garden Freestyle”
07. R Kelly – “Your Body’s Callin”
08. “Unbelievable”
09. David Porter – “I’m Afraid The Masquerade Is Over”
10. “Who Shot Ya?”
11. Isaac Hayes – “Walk On By”
12. “Warning”
13. The Dramatics – “In The Rain”
14. “Somebody’s Gotta Die”
15. Sylvia Striplin – “You Can’t Turn Me Away”
16. “Get Money” (Verse)
17. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – “I Put A Spell On You”
18. “Kick In The Door”
19. Al Green – “The Letter”
20. “The Long Kiss Goodnight”
21. “Last Day” feat. The Lox
22. “Flava In Ya Ear Remix” (Verse)
23. The Jackson 5 – “It’s Great To Be Here”
24. “It’s All About The Benjamins” (Verse)
25. “Make You Happy” feat. R. Kelly
26. El DeBarge – “Stay With Me”
27. “One More Chance”
28. “I Got A Story To Tell”
29. Black Heat – “Something Extra”
30. “Machine Gun Funk”
31. “Fucking You Tonight” feat. R. Kelly
32. New Birth – “You Are What I’m All About”
33. “Player’s Anthem” (Verse)
34. Les McCann – “Vallarta”
35. “10 Crack Commandments”
36. The Whispers – “Hey, Who Really Cares”
37. “Niggas Bleed”
38. “The What” feat. Method Man (Original Version)
39. “What’s Beef”
40. The Ohio Players – “Ecstasy”
41. “Brooklyn’s Finest” feat. Jay-Z
42. RIP Interlude
43. “Come On Muthafuckas” feat. Sadat X (Original Version)
44. “Macs & Dons”
45. The Pointer Sisters – “Yes We Can Can”
46. “Bust A Nut” feat. Uncle Luke
47. Herbie Hancock – “Watermelon Man”
48. “Dolly My Baby” feat. Supercat, Third Eye, Puff Daddy & Mary J Blige
49. “You’ll See” feat. The Lox
50. Oliver Sain – “On The Hill”
52. “Young G’s” feat. Jay-Z, Puff Daddy & Kelly Price
53. Dave Grusin – “Either Way”
54. “Everyday Struggle”
55. James Brown – “Blues & Pants”
56. “Dreams”
57. “Real Niggas Do Real Things”
58. “The Points” (Verse)
59. “Notorious Thugs” (Verse)
60. “Wake Up Show Freestyle”

The post Bring It Back: Enjoy and Be Educated #1302: The King and I (A Tribute to The Notorious B.I.G.) appeared first on The Diggers Union .

50 Rappers Snubbed By The Grammys

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10 Great Songs And Albums That Missed Out On A Grammy


With the Grammys coming and going yesterday, the great debate over who would win versus who deserved to win had gotten us all worked up at XXL headquarters. And with good kid, m.A.A.d city—an album we bestowed with a XXL rating—missing out on grabbing any awards, the voices saying “Kendrick got robbed!” were growing. With that in mind, XXL has pulled out ten great songs and ten great albums which were nominated but haven’t won since the 1996 inception of the Best Rap Album category, and the 2004 start of the Best Rap Song honor. They don’t have no awards for them. Check ‘em out.

Me Against the World
Winner: Naughty By Nature, Poverty’s Paradise
This album was ‘Pac coming into his own, making his case for being the best of his or any generation.

All Eyez On Me
Winner: The Fugees, The Score
One of those rare double albums without glaring weak spots, this is ‘Pac’s XXL-rated masterpiece.

The Notorious B.I.G.
Life After Death
Winner: Puff Daddy And The Family, No Way Out
Puff over Biggie? The game is rigged.

Wu-Tang Clan
Wu-Tang Forever
Winner: Puff Daddy And The Family, No Way Out
This might have been the best year for this category since its inception in 1996, and the best year for double hip-hop LPs, period.

Big Punisher
Capital Punishment
Winner: Jay Z, Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life
Pun was one of New York’s finest, and this is the album that put him—and kept him—on the map.

Faith Evans On Biggie Murder Investigation: “We Believe [LAPD] Knows What Happened”


The murder of The Notorious B.I.G. will go down as one of the biggest unsolved celebrity killings in the modern era. According to Faith Evans, singer and former wife of the late rapper, the Los Angeles Police Department has known the truth about the rapper’s slaying but has kept their findings under wraps. Evans recently appeared on the Arsenio Hall Show and when asked to give an update on the 17-year-old case revealed that the investigation is in remission, but only because people who know the truth refuse to reveal it, namely the Los Angeles Police Department. “We just basically stopped spending our money on trying to hope that the LAPD was gonna do their part,” said Evans. “So it’s not closed, it’s just a matter of when they really feel they wanna do the right thing, because we, in our hearts, feel we know what happened, and we believe they know what happened.”

At the height of his popularity, Big was fatally gunned down on March 9, 1997 in Los Angeles, California. Since then, the LAPD has come under scrutiny various times throughout the investigation.

Faith feels the incident will remain unsolved by investigators because the truth would result in major lawsuits. “We’ll probably be the biggest case in the city history,” she said. “They don’t feel good about possibly having to write a check that big. But for us, it’s not about that. We spent millions of dollars on lawyers’ fees. We’ve never gotten anything from it. It’s more about trying to do what’s right. For his son, for his family, for his loved ones, and for his kids. We’ve definitely gotten to a point where we realize that it’s possible that they might never happen, and that’s really sad.”

Check out the interview, below.

[via HHDX]

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Datsik Names His Five Favorite Hip-Hop Albums


Bass music DJ Datsik is heading out on his Digital Assassins tour, which includes three co-headlining dates this weekend with GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan. Ahead of his performances in Boston (tonight, Jan. 17) and New York City (Saturday Jan. 18), the Let It Burn DJ detailed five of his favorite hip-hop albums of all time—and they skew heavily in the same era. Check them out below, and head out to one of his shows this weekend, where GZA will be recreating Liquid Swords with a live band.


Snoop Dogg
Doggystyle, 1993

Datsik: One of the first albums to get me into hip-hop. I stole it from my older brother’s room and blasted it on repeat when I was a youngster.


Tha Dogg Pound
Dogg Food, 1995

Datsik: Daz & Kurupt killed it on this album. The definition of real West Coast rap/hip-hop. Love every song on the album, which is super rare these days.

R. Kelly’s Best Collaborations With Rappers


R. Kelly may very well be the greatest R&B artist of our generation. With three Grammy Awards to his name, over 54 million albums sold worldwide, numerous accolades, and a Trapped In The Closet video with more chapters than a J.K Rowling novel, it’s safe to say that Kells has done well for himself over the course of more than two decades. With such longevity in the music industry, comes a plethora of collaborations, including some of the game’s top rappers. In honor of the release of his Black Panties album this past week, here is a compilation of R. Kelly’s best collabs with rappers.—Marvin Jules

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12 Creepy Sculptures Of Rappers

You only have to peruse the lyrics of rap’s cultural elites to get a glimpse that hip-hop has a growing appreciation of the classical arts. Whether it is Jay Z, A$AP Rocky or Rick Ross, everybody seems to be jacking for Basquaits these days. Of course, it makes sense that artists would begin to reciprocate the love that hip-hop is showing their world. These days rappers have becoming muses for classical artists as they often find themselves being depicted in the work of various artistic mediums.

Of course, sometimes the depiction isn’t necessarily the most flattering. On Friday, artist Daniel Edwards debuted his latest provocative celebrity sculpture – a very creepy mash-up of Jay Z and the 1980s cartoon, The Care Bears. Depending on where you stand on finding yourself surrounded by perpetually cheery anthropomorphic bear-like creatures, the image is a potentially nightmare inducing visual for the viewer.

While Jay Z is the latest rapper to show up as the inspiration for a skin-crawling statuette, he is hardly the only rapper to be depicted as a stone monument of horror. Here are 12 creepy sculptures of rappers that will haunt your nightmares.

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Troy Ave’s Favorite New York City Songs From Each Borough


New York’s Troy Ave takes a lot of pride in his hometown—so much so that he named his debut album, which dropped earlier this week, New York City The Album. Troy believes he “puts forth the best representation of New York” right down to his appearance, which he says looks like “what people from other places would imagine New York to look like.” His music, gritty and street, is a throwback of sorts to the early 2000s, when NYC rappers made their name through unpolished mixtapes full of bullish freestyles and hood anthems—the kind of stuff, he believes, that has been missing from the city’s hip-hop scene as of late.

Troy represents Brooklyn specifically—his name derives from an avenue in the borough’s Crown Heights area—but his songs are influenced from MCs from all over the city, from the Boogie Down Bronx to Shaolin. He stopped by the XXL offices to give his two favorite tracks from each borough, giddily citing the lyrics to each while also explaining their significance to him. Reed Jackson

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Ever Wonder What Biggie, ‘Pac and Big L Would Sound Like Spitting Over Classical Music?

5. “Live At The Garden Freestyle” (1993)

If we took a poll of favorite ’90s era rappers, chances are Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G. and Big L would be highly represented. If the three were ever able to collaborate on a single track while they were all alive, it probably would have been fire. 2Pac and Big L joined forces for “Deadly Combination,” but the addition of Big would have made for a classic stew.

Dr. Wick combined verses from the three late MCs placing them over Polish composer Frédéric François Chopin’s Scherzo No. 2 from 1837. You don’t need to be versed in 19th century classical composers appreciate this peculiar mix. The ’90s era rappers’ straight forward rhymes gel perfectly with Chopin’s fluctuating piano loop and menacing chords.

‘Pac, Biggie and Big L all died before reaching their full potential. If they were still here today, who knows? Maybe we could have eventually gotten this deadly combination in real time.

Check out Biggie, Big L and ‘Pac over Chopin Scherzo No. 2, below.

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The Notorious B.I.G. Would Not Leave His Kids Around Michael Jackson

During an appearance at Cipha Sounds’ Take It Personal at the UCB Theater in New York City, Brooklyn rapper Lil Cease spoke about the time that Cease and his late friend The Notorious B.I.G. were to meet legendary pop singer Michael Jackson at the late singer’s personal studio to record Biggie’s collaboration with Michael Jackson, “This Time Around.”

Cease describes a scene where upon rolling to the extravagant, gated studio with Biggie and being extremely excited to meet the man he idolized as a sixteen year old. According to Cease, he was all set to meet Jackson when Biggie put the breaks on the situation. Apparently, Biggie was a little uneasy about the situation and did not want Lil Cease to accompany him into the studio.

“So we gets there,” Cease told the crowd. “We pull up. The big security guard come out with the shades on, suited up and he comes in. He grabs Biggie. And I’m about to walk in and Big stops me an goes, ‘Hold up. Where you going?’ I’m like, ‘Nigga, I’m coming in.’ He like, ‘Nah, I don’t trust Michael with kids.’ I’m like, ‘Huh?’ And he had the serious face, too. You know Big. He was real sarcastic. He was funny. He was just like, ‘Nah. Nah, dude. I don’t think it’s a good look. Just stay right here. I’m going to go in there and handle that business real quick. Just roll up some weed. By the time I come back out, we can smoke.’ And I’m still trying to walk in and he holding it me like, ‘Dog, where you going?’ And I’m like, ‘Are you serious?’ He’s like, ‘Just chill. I’ll be right back. Alright? Just sit in the car. Roll up.’ Gave me a bunch of weed, ‘Just go have fun.’ I’m still thinking like, ‘He going to come right back.’

According to Cease, he never got the chance to meet Michael Jackson as Biggie and Cease immediately left the studio after Biggie was finished.

[Via AllHipHop]

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15 Highest-Selling Debut Rap Albums In Hip-Hop History

Ask anybody who has asked a person of the opposite sex for a date… First impressions are important. In life, a limp first impression can permanently ruin your chances for success, hurt your career or inadvertently create enemies for life. It happens.

There is nothing quite like nailing that first opportunity. Whether, you are a professional athlete dominating your first game in the league, or you nail a job interview or you craft the perfect line to holler at hottie. There is nothing like the euphoria when you get things right the first time.

In hip-hop, there are artists who simply nail their first impressions with the public. For hip-hop’s most talented, they come up with the perfect alchemy to impress the public on the first day out, selling millions of records and cementing themselves as some of hip-hop’s most historic figures. XXL has compiled a list of hip-hop’s highest-selling debut in history.

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Today In Hip-Hop: Craig Mack Releases ‘Project: Funk Da World’

On this day, September 20, in hip-hop history…

Craig mack Funk da world

1994: Overshadowed by the release of his label-mate The Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready To Die, a week earlier, Craig Mack’s debut Project: Funk Da World is one of hip-hop’s most underrated albums ever. Packed with Mack’s off-kilter, baritone flow and superproducer Easy Mo Bee’s state-of-the-art production, the album would go on to become a hit and be certified Gold for Mack in 1994.

The album is most notable for featuring Mack’s anthemic, platinum-selling smash, “Flava In Ya Ear,” which has the vaunted distinction of being the first song released from Sean “Puffy” Comb’s iconic label, Bad Boy Records, in 1994. Featuring a nuclear-grade-funk-influenced beat, “Flava In Ya Ear” is often considered one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all-time and spawned a massively popular remix featuring stars such as LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, Rampaga Da Last Boy Scout and The Notorious B.I.G. who’s verse is often considered one of the most memorable of all-time. The album would also spawn two other singles including “Makin’ Moves With Puff” and “Get Down” which would be certified Gold for 500,000 records sales.

Despite his success, Mack was never able to achieve as much success, again, as Craig found himself being outshined by his label-mate, The Notorious B.I.G. The success of Biggie’s debut Ready To Die dwarfed Project: Funk Da World’s success and Mack lost favor with Puffy and his record label. Mack went on to release one more album, Operation: Get Down, on Street Life Records in 1997 but was unable to match the Gold-selling success of his debut. History might have been different if Mack’s career had not intersected so heavily with Biggie’s.

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8 Facts You Might Not Know About Mister Cee


After a lengthy and storied career in rap music, one of hip-hop’s most venerable and respected DJs, Mister Cee, abruptly resigned from his long-time position at New York’s Hot 97 radio station today. The Finisher is retiring after a nearly 20-year tenure with the radio station in the wake of today’s allegations.

In honor of his retirement, XXL has a compiled a list of 8 facts that you might not know about Mister Cee’s long and storied career.

Previously: Mister Cee Resigns From Hot 97


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Mister Cee, “The Bigger Picture” (Originally Published April 2003)

DJs get no credit—especially Mister Cee. Big Daddy Kane’s former cut creator put Biggie Smalls on when no one was listening. Here’s the strongest finisher in the game on B.I.G.’s true beginnings.

Written By Michael Gonzales

Baby, it’s cold outside. Through the spotless plate glass windows of a diner on Hudson Street, 36-year-old Calvin “DJ Mister Cee” Laburn watches for a moment as passing pedestrians shiver on the freezing streets of downtown Manhattan. Fresh off the airwaves of his daytime slot on fave New York station Hot 97, Cee cops a squat in a burgundy booth. “The first day I took Big to Puffy, it was as cold outside as it is now,” Cee remembers, waving the waitress over. After ordering a plate of French toast and two sides of bacon, he continues. “I knew Big would be in good hands, because music wasn’t just another job for Puffy, he lived it. His love for hip-hop is evident.”

Mister Cee’s love for hip-hop is obvious, too. Having worked closely with two of rap’s premier vocalists/stylists, The Notorious B.I.G. and Big Daddy Kane, this beat-loving brother from Brooklyn can spin a few lyrical yarns himself.

Like many New York tales from the pages of hip-hop history, Mister Cee’s legacy begins on the booming streets of Bedford-Stuyvesant. While the neighborhood is currently undergoing a transformation—spurred by the construction of a cozy bed & breakfast and a few chic eateries—in the late ’70s and throughout the crackadelic ’80s those streets were crazier than a pit bull in heat. But while many of his friends took pride in walking on the wild side, for Mister Cee it was all about the music.

Raised by his grandparents from the age of 6 during disco’s decline and rap’s rise, beats were in Cee’s blood. “My whole history began in Lafayette Garden Projects and with my Uncle Barry. He called himself DJ Knight, while his crew was called the Knights of Hollywood,” Cee laughs. “Man, that’s one of those mad old-school names, but it was those dudes who inspired me towards the turntables.”

Not that Uncle Barry ever allowed him to actually touch those gleaming steely wheels set up in his bedroom, but a wide-eyed young Cee was hypnotized by the sight of the spinning black vinyl sides—Chic’s “Good Times” or Vaughn Mason’s “Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll.” “Whenever my uncle wasn’t around,” Cee remembers, “I would sneak on and emulate what he did.”

With the exception of Grandmaster Flowers, few BK DJs received the props their South Bronx contemporaries got, but back in the day, the borough known as “The Planet” was throwing its own block parties. “We all have our local heroes from where we’re from,” Cee says. “And mine were cats like Master D., Keithy B., Lizard D…. I was always one of the kids standing behind the ropes watching them do their thing. Those are the guys I consider my musical mentors.”

Of course, as hip-hop expanded, its treasures traveled fast. “Uptown tapes” spread across the East River, furthering a young Brooklynite’s cut-’n’-mix education. “My favorite uptown dude was [Grandmixer] D.ST,” Cee says, of the innovator who would popularize his bugged scratching techniques on Herbie Hancock’s 1983 electro-hop hit, “Rockit.” Smiling, Cee remembers, “By the time we got a copy it was probably fourth-generation, but the whole art of cutting up breakbeats was so amazing, we didn’t care about the distortion.”

By the time Mister Cee was a senior at Sarah J. Hale High School, he and his partner AJ Fresh had already hooked up with a set of five MCs. Dubbing themselves the Magnum Force Crew, they set to making those night moves through the cracked Crooklyn streets. “Nobody had a car,” Cee chuckles. “But since we usually performed in the neighborhood, we transported our equipment in a stolen supermarket shopping cart. I don’t think you could do this today, but another time we just loaded everything up on a city bus.”

The hip-hop kids at Sarah J. gathered beneath the humming fluorescent lights in the lunchroom and perfected their skills. While banging beats on the Formica and steel tables, wannabe MCs dropped more science than slippery fingers in a chemistry class. One day, Cee got more than he expected when a kid named Austin challenged him to a vocal sparring match. “He started snapping on me first,” says Cee, who responded by snatching a few diss lines from the Magnum Force rhyme book. “But when I came back with a few borrowed battle raps, the girls at the table went nuts.”

Embarrassed by suffering a rap T.K.O. in front of the rowdy crowd, Austin threw down a gauntlet that was heard throughout the school. “Homeboy kept screaming, ‘I’m going to get my man Kane on you,’” Cee says. “And the only thing that came out of my mouth was… ‘Who the hell is Kane?’”

Later that same day, Cee learned. Kane came through, stalking the high school halls in a flowing white leather coat, braids in his hair, a multicolored feather in his ear and a polished wooden cane in his hand—the epitome of charisma.

“Austin had pointed me out to Kane, who came running over to me, pulling a microphone out of his pocket while screaming, ‘I heard you want to battle me!,’” Cee says, amused by the memory. “I had to explain to him that I was a DJ, not a rapper, so he let it go. About a week later, I saw a big crowd gathered around some kid rapping in the lunchroom and it was Kane. He was all like, ‘I got braids in my hair just like Stevie Wonder…’ From that moment, I knew he was special.”

Reluctant at first, Kane soon joined forces with the Magnum boys, and he and Cee became close friends. It wasn’t until meeting the diabolical doofus Biz Markie that the fortunes of Sarah J.’s finest began to change. “Biz didn’t go to our school,” says Cee, sipping from a plastic cup filled with chilled apple juice. “But he used to come around to hang out and check the girls. Biz would be in the courtyard doing his human beat-box thing, so that’s how we hooked up. Sometimes he would come scoop Kane up and they would do shows together in Long Island. Biz always promised if he got signed to a deal, then Kane wouldn’t be far behind.”

After graduation, most of the Magnum Crew went their separate ways. But Biz started heading out to the Queensbridge Houses, making moves to integrate himself within producer Marley Marl’s seminal Juice Crew—MC Shan, Roxanne Shanté, Kool G Rap. He kept his word to Kane, and the wheels of hip-hop history were set in motion.

“In the beginning it was difficult for Kane,” says Cee. “Because [Cold Chillin’ head honcho] Tyrone Williams, a.k.a. Fly Ty, always gave him such a hard time. Cold Chillin’ had MC Shan, who was considered at the time to be the prince of rap. Ty would pit Shan and Kane against each other in freestyle sessions to try to get Kane to prove himself.”

Cee, meanwhile, was spending his days delivering packages for Airborne Express. “When the sessions for Long Live The Kane began,” he says. “I would go straight to the studio after work still dressed in my uniform. If we were going to do a show, then I would change my clothes in the car.”

With Juice Crew money getting longer, Marley relocated his House of Hits recording studio out of its first spot in his sister’s living room to Astoria, Queens. But the operation was still pretty much D.I.Y. “At the time we recorded ‘Raw,’” says Cee of Big Daddy’s fierce debut single, “Kane was messing with this girl whose moms had a lot of old records. He found those James Brown/Fred Wesley/Lynn Collins breaks in her collection and gave the records to Marley to put together. I’m sure if that girl is still around, she probably wants to be paid.”

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