In the clip below, Jay-Z talks about the quality of writing that rappers have produced and mentions how they aren't often thought of as great writers. Among the rappers he names, he mentions The Notorious B.I.G., comparing him to famed filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock.
According to Kent, The Notorious B.I.G., who would also become known for composing rhymes in his head, learned the technique from Jay-Z during the making of “Brooklyn’s Finest,” their duet on Jay-Z’s 1996 album, Reasonable Doubt. When Kent brought B.I.G. by Manhattan’s D&D Studios to get on the track, Jay-Z jumped into the booth and redid the song with lyrics that left space for B.I.G.’s verses. Jay then looked at his Brooklyn counterpart. “You ready?” he asked, pushing a pad toward B.I.G. “Your turn.” B.I.G., who had been in the practice of writing out his lyrics up to that point, declined the notebook and opted to record his parts at a later time. “The face on Big was like, ‘What? Are you serious?’” says Kent. “It was a really serious revelation moment.”
This seems to go against what DJ Premier told XXL for their "The Making of 'Ready to Die'" article. The following passage comes from the article's section about the record "Unbelievable."
I was telling him, “Dawg, I don’t know what to give you, because if I do something for you, it’s gotta be bananas.” He said, “Man, I don’t care if you take ‘Impeach The President.’ Take that and do a beat.” I said, “Really, you serious?” He said, “Hell yeah!” I went and got [the Honeydrippers’ breakbeat classic] “Impeach The President,” took the snare and kick and chopped it up, and started playing those little sounds. I wanted [to make] something more hardcore, ’cause he had played me “Warning” and stuff like that. I wanted to make something that was equally as hard or better. And he was like, “Nah, keep playing them little buttons you pushing and change it up and make it do different melodies on the hook and stuff.” He sat there a while and went in there and did the vocals. I never saw him write nothing. He’d be like, Let me get a pen and a pad—and then he wouldn’t write s***. Might scribble little funny objects or something. That was it.
But, later, he warmed to him and his music. By then, however, it was too late for the two to collaborate, as Biggie had passed away, murdered in Los Angeles. In the clip below, an interview with MTV News, Prodigy reflects on this.
On his blog, former Bad Boy A&R Geno Sims has released the orchestral version of The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Warning" that was performed during the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, which were hosted by Diddy.
In his post, Sims says that the music was orchestrated by violinist Miri Ben-Ari and producers Ryan Leslie, Jeffrey "J-Dub" Walker and Steven "Stevie J." Jordan and that the group, along with Diddy, were up 3 and a half days straight. Listen below.
Former Bad Boy A&R Geno Sims has released a track for free download on his blog that he says was one of the records created for consideration on Biggie's "Duets: The Final Chapter" album.
The song is "Suicidal Thoughts," which takes the Biggie vocals from the song of the same title on the "Life After Death" album. This reimagining of the song was produced by The Heatmakerz and features The Product G&B, best known for their contribution to Santana's "Maria Maria." Listen below.
After just 5 years in the game the little shop from the other windy city have already conquered collaborations with New Balance and Reebok, and now they have their sights set on their own Colab frame with an homage to the Notorious B.I.G. Drawing from the Coogi sweater, Versace shade era that Brooklyn’s Finest brought to the spotlight, The Biggie is a throwback to the unlikely union between the street urchins and high fashion houses that made the 90′s such a memorable time for hip-hop and fashion in general. One for the dice shakers and investment bankers alike.
They will be available internationally soon, with the retail price of $249.