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Eric's "Top 100 Tuesdays" (89 & 90) Bad Boy Edition

by Eric on September 4, 2007

89. The Notorious B.I.G.-”Life After Death” (CD Rip)

Wow, yet another mishap on my part folks. I could have sworn this was placed higher on my list already, it sure as hell deserved to be. The biggest beef that most cats have when discussing Big’s posthumous release “Life After Death” was “man, if he would’ve only cut it down to just one album”. While there’s not a whole lot of filler on “Life After Death”, I can see where cutting a few loose tracks would have allowed this dual disc to eclipse it’s predecessor…Big’s monumental debut “Ready To Die”. Could Bad Boy have picked a better first single for “Life..” than “Hypnotize”. I mean c’mon, you’ve gotta’ remember where you where and what you where doing when you first heard that bouncy Amen-Ra (1/2 of Two Kings In A Cypher) bassline blast through your speakers. With cameos ranging from Too Short to Bone to DMC this double disc had it all, which truly allowed Big to showcase his complete range as an emcee. What really impressed me is how Big was able to adopt the flow of Bone Thugs N Harmony on the appropriately titled “Notorious Thugs” without missing a beat whatsoever. There are soo many highlights on “Life After Death” that I feel that I’d be beating a dead horse because if you don’t have this album in your array of classics…..your truly sleepin‘. Of course, many of you will say “well, you know “Life After Death” was partially responsible for the emergence of the whole “jiggy” era that is ever so prevalent in Hip Hop today. No matter the case, this album holds a special place in my heart cause’ it was released around the time of my 21st Birthday…..and let me tell you, this album was the soundtrack that accompanied an overabundance of partying. This album truly appealed to the masses, cats from all walks of life could be heard mumbling the lyrics to “Hypnotize” or “Mo Money, Mo Problems” (which was played to death by the mainstream, almost to the point of making it unsustainable) at any time. So which tracks would I have left off of “Life After Death” to create a more cohesive effort? Let’s see, I was never a big fan of….damn, I never realized Havoc (Mobb Deep) produced this!!….”Last Dayz” which featured an upstart crew of cocksure emcees who went by the Lox (BTW, did you know that they appeared on Main Source’s minus Large Pro album “Fu*k What You Think”?). Another cut which I’ve never been too fond of is the Lil’ Kim featured “Another”, but the absolute “damn, why did you waste 3 minute & 57 cuts on this” track on “Life After Death” has gotta’ be “Playa‘ Hater” which features a poor, not even comical crooning performance by the late great Frank White. I really don’t think much else needs to be said about “Life After Death”, I’m just amazed that I never posted this album earlier. Oh well, we’ll always love Big Poppa!!….-Eric

90. Craig Mack-”Project:Funk Da World” (CD Rip)

Bring it on folks, I’m armed and ready for the backlash that I received from a select few of you in regards to my opinions on Milk’s “Never Dated”. I can hear it now “Damn dude! How can you put Craig Mack in your “Top 100″ then go and bash a legend an innovator in Hip Hop (Milk Dee)? Well, let me just state the facts, when Craig Mack dropped a major bomb on your ears with much thanks due to Easy Mo Bee who supplied one of the illest beats ever with “Flava‘ In Ya’ Ear” (or the remix, you pick em’), admit it….you’d never heard anything like it at that time. Much like the first moment you heard Keith Murray spit on “The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World”, there just wasn’t too many cats out in 1994 that where doin‘ it like Craig & Keith did it. Please, let’s disregard Craig’s sophomore “flop” (and boy, I mean FLOP) with his sophomore effort (calling it an “effort” is even pushin‘ the envelope) “Operation:Get Down”, Craig’s debut on Bad Boy is by no means “ground breaking” or “earth shattering” but it is filled with block rockin‘ beats and very good production. Forget Biggie, forget Mase, G Dep, Loon, etc….It was Craig who was the first rapper to shine on the Bad Boy label. While Craig will never claim a spot on your “favorite rapppers of all time” list he was…much like Biz Markie, one of a kind with an unmistakable voice and candor on the M-I-C. I’ve always been a HUGE Easy Mo Bee fan (which is one of the reasons that I’m skeptical of listening to his 2000 compilation released to very little fanfare) and it doesn’t hurt matters that all five of the beats that he contributed to this album knock for blocks with the most obvious banger being “Flava‘ In Ya’ Ear”. Plus, at only 11 tracks deep “Project: Funk Da World” does a fine job of keeping the listener “listening” rather than reaching for the fast forward button. Damn, these two albums posted today will no doubt have you reminiscing of the days when Bad Boy was droppindopeness and not Danity Kane….Eric

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{ 7 comments }

turtle September 5, 2007 at 2:01 am

I never really checked Craig Mack other than the Flavor in Ya Ear remix cd single. As far as life after death, I do not think there is a track listing possible that would top ready to die. I never really like Hypnotize that much. My favorites are Story to Tell, the RZA track, the Jay Z track (although I hate the intro to the song), amongst others. I also like Niggaz Bleed, where he parks the car by the fire hydrant.

Robert September 5, 2007 at 4:17 am

Yo Eric,
I’ve been digging in my collection and listening to that cd for a few days and it’s still crazy dope!!
I loved Milk Dee,Never Dated but Craig Mack’s album was that good and I was in Brooklyn in 94 when Flava in ya Ear dropped and it was huuuuuge there.
Hot 97(when it was fresh) was playing it at least twice a day.
You crazy like that glue!! lol

Thadeacon September 5, 2007 at 6:05 am

Man, when that Craig Mack dropped Bad Boy had some crack that no one had.

Craig was rhymin like he had a mouth full of Big League Chew, left me like “what’d he say? Uniblab? WTF is that?”

Man, when I hear the most beautifullest I get the same feeling as the first time I heard it. Doesn’t happen with too many tracks for me.

Anonymous September 5, 2007 at 9:27 am

Fuck the haters. Project: was not an all time great but still represents an important stage of hip-hop. Probably the last ever hard album that bad boy did and still worth a listen

Ragz September 5, 2007 at 7:33 pm

ok some cats might beat me down for this, but I never really understood why biggie was considered an amazing artist. I never really got it. Unbelievabe was good, but when I look back at the greatest songs, I never think about biggie………although I think hes better than 2Pac.

Craig Mack, very dope and I loved the beat to Jockin My Style……………..

Commish CH September 5, 2007 at 9:04 pm

I think that Life After Death would have better served as a single disc. Come on, “Kick In The Door” is just the sickest joint. On the other hand, “I’m F*cking You Tonight”?

I know what you’re syaing about being released in that time, I had that CD on HEAVY rotation in Summer of 1997, along with “All About the Benjamins” and “Victory” from No Way Out. You could say it was BIG’s shining moment.

Dart Adams September 9, 2007 at 1:32 pm

For the record, Craig Mack opened that verse with “You wanna blabber”…It came out sounding like “Uniblab”. LOL. One.

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