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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
74
4.6 out of 5 stars
Ready to Die: the Remaster/+DVD
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£24.99+ £1.26 shipping


on 18 June 2017
Vinyl eventually came after a botched order that went missing from The Netherlands to the UK a month later. Worth the wait however, except NOT white vinyl as advertised so be warned if you're expecting a super rare edition. Still an amazing buy, sound quality is pristine, came in the original shrink wrap.
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on 31 May 2017
LOVE IT
QUALITY ALL THE WAY
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on 24 May 2017
Good.
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on 3 March 2017
R.I.P Christopher Wallace
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on 16 October 2017
Been delivered thanks
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on 12 July 2017
Both records are the same. I've two copies of side 1 and 2. Disappointed considering it was also late!!
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on 1 August 2004
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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on 5 October 2000
"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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VINE VOICEon 22 July 2008
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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on 21 December 2000
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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