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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have album for all hip hop fans
"Ready To Die" is one of a rare breed; a hip hop classic. Along with albums like Mobb Deep's "The Infamous..." and Nas's "Illmatic," it rises above the one-dimension portrayal of the thug life that so many mediocre rappers spit. Biggie raps about violence and crime on songs such as the excellent "Gimme The Loot," and being a player...
Published on 5 Oct 2000

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Sounds is a let down
Bought as it was remastered. Sound quality is as thin and muffled as the original. Total rip off if you already have the original or a quality hi fi
Published 18 months ago by degu


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have album for all hip hop fans, 5 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Ready To Die (Audio CD)
"Ready To Die" is one of a rare breed; a hip hop classic. Along with albums like Mobb Deep's "The Infamous..." and Nas's "Illmatic," it rises above the one-dimension portrayal of the thug life that so many mediocre rappers spit. Biggie raps about violence and crime on songs such as the excellent "Gimme The Loot," and being a player on "Big Poppa" and "One More Chance," but he tempers this with more poignant tunes, for example "Things Done Changed," which laments the escalation of violence in the inner cities, or "Suicidal Thoughts," where the guilt-ridden protagonist decides to end his own life. The production is tight, and thankfully isn't swamped with Puffy's karaoke tunes (unlike "Life After Death," which is a poor album), instead consisting mainly of funk-ridden head-nodders from Easy Mo Bee, Darnell Scott and the ever-amazing DJ Premier. And lyrically, what can I say? Biggie, as most people know, was a fantastic wordsmith, and this is exhibited on songs like "Warning," where a friend of Biggie's calls him to tell him that a group of thieves are headed his way: "They even heard about the crib you bought your Moms out in Florida / The fifth corridor... Call the coroner / There's gonna be a lot a slow singing, and flower-bringing / If my burglar alarm starts ringing." Biggie's flow, cadence and lyricism remain entertaining throughout, and blended with the good quality beats and the level of introspection, gives us a classic hip hop album. Unfortunately, Biggie was killed a few years ago and we will never be able to hear an album of equal quality from him. It is unlikely, in fact, that we will hear one from anybody in the near future. My advice? Buy this album.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What more can i say........, 21 Dec 2000
By 
sammy_valtino@hotmail.com (Stratford Upon Avom, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ready To Die (Audio CD)
This is, and will always be the best Hip Hop debut album of all time. After the raw, uncut unground tracks like "Party & Bullshit" Biggie managed to take that raw style into a comercial world, but without forgetting his roots like many other great rappers have done. The production on this album is simply amazing and much credit must go to the then unknown Puff Daddy for keepin Biggie's beats as good as his lyrics. You can not rate this album with just 5 stars, it is beonde that, there is a track for every body on this album and every one is as good as another, but tracks that do stand out are "The What" feat Method and "Big Poppa". These are very different tracks, but you can listen to this album again and again, i have been for years and i'am still finding things i can relate to in his lyrics today. This is an album that will never date and would highly recommend this album to any East Coast Hip Hop fan as it came out at a time when Hip Hop was at it's highest point with the East-West Coast feud, where all records had to be of the highest quality. If your considering buying a Hip Hop album i would buy this album over any more recent Hip Hop album because it simply ouses quality and production when both Biggie and Puff Daddy were at a "make or break stage" of there careers. If you have't really heard Biggie before then you will class him as a lyrical God, if you think Puff Daddy has now "sold out" think of what he could be doing if Biggie was still with us today. R.I.P B.I.G, peace.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest albums in Hip-Hop ever, 1 Aug 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Ready To Die (Audio CD)
The album that reinvented East Coast rap for the gangsta age, Ready to Die made the Notorious B.I.G. a star, and vaulted Sean "Puffy" Combs' Bad Boy label into the spotlight as well. Today it's recognized as one of the greatest hardcore rap albums ever recorded, and that's mostly due to Biggie's skill as a storyteller. His raps are easy to understand, but his skills are hardly lacking - he has a loose, easy flow and a talent for piling multiple rhymes on top of one another in quick succession. He's blessed with a flair for the dramatic, and slips in and out of different contradictory characters with ease. Yet, no matter how much he heightens things for effect, it's always easy to see elements of Biggie in his narrators and of his own experience in the details; everything is firmly rooted in reality, but plays like scenes from a movie. A sense of doom pervades his most involved stories: fierce bandits ("Gimme the Loot"), a hustler's beloved girlfriend ("Me & My Bitch"), and robbers out for Biggie's newfound riches ("Warning") all die in hails of gunfire. The album is also sprinkled with reflections on the soul-draining bleakness of the streets - "Things Done Changed," "Ready to Die," and "Everyday Struggle" are powerfully affecting in their confusion and despair. Not everything is so dark, though; Combs' production collaborations result in some upbeat, commercial moments, and typically cop from recognizable hits: the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" on the graphic sex rap "One More Chance," Mtume's "Juicy Fruit" on the rags-to-riches chronicle "Juicy," and the Isley Brothers' "Between the Sheets" on the overweight-lover anthem "Big Poppa." Producer Easy Mo Bee's deliberate beats do get a little samey, but it hardly matters: this is Biggie's show, and by the time "Suicidal Thoughts" closes the album on a heartbreaking note, it's clear why he was so revered even prior to his death.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Poppa, 8 April 2004
This review is from: Ready To Die (Audio CD)
A hip-hop classic. Alongside Nas (Illmatic) and Dre (The Chronic). Biggie delves deep into his own life and surroundings, and spits his rhymes so laid back. The first time i listened to Ready To Die, Juicy was my stand-out single, but after listening a couple more times, i never had one. You cannot flick through tracks, Ready To Die is Biggie's story, you wouldn't start reading a book and flick forward a couple of pages and carry on reading, it is that good.
I am not going to compare Biggie's work to Tupac's as they are both great in their own right. If you are building a Rap collection, this is one of the first to purchase.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius, 22 July 2008
By 
The legend of Tupac Shakur has only grown since his death, not least due to how suprisingly prolific he is from beyond the grave. With the West Coast practically ruling gangsta rap in the early nineties, it says something for Biggie Smalls a.k.a. Notorious BIG that he almost single-handedly shifted attention back onto the East Coast in 1994, and that with only two proper albums his legacy measures up to Tupac's. Indeed, many still consider him to be the greatest to ever pick up the mic, and this album is the majority of the reasoning behind that stance.

Ready To Die, rather than a conventional gangsta album, is a conceptual album about the rise and fall of a hustler and gangsta, played, of course, by Notorious BIG himself. It's gritty, it's dark, it's defiantly hardcore and most definitely not for everybody. Infused with an almost casual misogyny and violence and a blackhearted sense of humour, Biggie doesn't meet the audience halfway and it results in an album that few have equalled and even fewer have bettered.

The album is split between two camps - the poppier side, helmed but mercifully not smothered by Puff Daddy (who's corrupting touch would detract from the follow up album), is covered by the likes of 'Big Poppa' or big single 'Juicy.' They are all fine songs, 'Juicy' in particular a sweaty anthem but one depicting a bleak childhood where 'birthdays were the worst days' and 'Christmas missed us.' As a rags-to-riches tale, it's far more compelling than say, Jay-Z's.

The other, even better side of the album is the gangsta drama side. With only one guest MC on the album - Method Man, making an amusing, oddly adorable turn on 'The What' - it's down to Biggie himself to cover all the players in his rap opera, and he does so with gusto. 'Me And My B***h' tells the tale of a woman caught in the crossfire of his hustling career; opener 'Things Done Changed' is a blackly comic account of how being young and black the only way out of the slums is 'slinging crack rock' or having 'a wicked jump shot.' Best of all is the remarkable 'Gimme The Loot,' in which Biggie plays two different characters, one fresh out of jail as they start a new crime spree. It's wicked, it's funny and it's Biggie at his best.

The follow up album, Life After Death, portentous title and all, was a grander statement, overblown and almost as good. But his real masterpiece remains Ready To Die. don't remember him for mediocre posthumous duets with Nelly and Ja Rule and Ashanti. Remember him this way.

(P.S. The DVD, featuring a rubbish live video and all the album's promos, is a take-or-leave situation with little bearing on the purchase. The bonus tracks, however, are well worth having.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REST IN PEACE, 5 May 2004
This review is from: Ready To Die (Audio CD)
One of the greatest M.Cs to ever grace the mic. Not only does this album have everything a TRUE hip/hop fan can ask for, but listening to it will make you wonder."what else did this rappin god, have to say." I use god because all the tracks on this track are out of this world, they are not even rivaled by anything out there today, and this was only his first album. For me the stand out track is "gimmi the loot" as the lyrics on this track are inspiring, clever and very very funny. WE MISS YOU BIG POPPA. REST IN PEACE
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Rap Artist of All Time..., 10 Mar 2004
This review is from: Ready To Die (Audio CD)
...and this is his best album. In my opinion this is better than anything by Tupac. I must admit I bought 'Life After Death' before this but 'Ready to Die' outshines it by far. The lyrics are absolutely unbelieveable. 4 or 5, even 6 or 7 rhymes in sequence is not unusual on this album, the genius of this man was incredible. Deliciously heavy beats complement most of the tracks but it's one to listen to whether you're happy, angry, chilled, anything. Track No. 3 'Gimme the Loot' for me is my favourite track on the album but, saying that, there are NO bad tracks on the album. If you're into rap, you NEED this album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest, 7 April 2003
By 
David Masson (Cheltenham, Glos United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ready To Die (Audio CD)
What an album. Biggie proves to the world that he is THE best mc of all time. The production is effortless and the beats are as raw and pumping as you could ever imagine. The thing that sets biggie apart from the rest of the gang is simply his flow. He can mc over just any beat and the lyrics he uses are phatter than lisa riley on pancake day. There is no point describing the individual songs cos it would take too long and i have things to do. Anyway - BUY THIS CD! Then you will realise what hip hop lost when he passed away.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 5 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Ready To Die (Audio CD)
This is just one of those albums that doesn't have a best track. They're all more or less equal in greatness, whether it's the clever story telling of "Warning" or the intriguingly dark lyrics of "Suicidal Thoughts". Biggie is undoubtedly one of the greatest MCs of all time, any self respecting hip-hop fan will tell you that, and this is easily his best album. It comes 3 years before Puffy managed to commercialise Biggie with pop-rap production and waaay too many guest appearances, when his evil touch only reached as far as annoying ad-libs in the background. This album is definetly a classic, up there with Nas's "Illmatic" and Wu's "Enter The Wu-Tang". I must have listened to it near a hundred times but it just doesn't get boring, his flow and lyrics just make you want to listen again incase you missed something. A definite must for any hip-hop fan or potential hip-hop fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of art, 29 July 2013
By 
khellan payne (newbury, berkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ready To Die The Remaster [Explicit] (MP3 Download)
Hard to categorise this one. I'm still blown away by so much on this album. If you're into lyricism and the whole genre, then you already know about this album. I can't really say anything that you wouldn't already know about. Just do it and be happy you have it in your collection. I can't see you regretting it if you're hovering over the buy button.
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