19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A must-have album for all hip hop fans,
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.