The Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘Ready to Die’ named greatest hip-hop album of all time
B.I.G. is the G.O.A.T.
The Notorious B.I.G.’s debut album, “Ready to Die,” has been named the greatest hip-hop album of all time by Rolling Stone.
The music magazine rolled out its ranking of the best 200 rap albums this week and the rap icon’s honor comes a day before a Lincoln Center orchestral tribute to the late Brooklynite on Friday.
“‘Ready to Die’ marked the precise moment when hip-hop’s golden age transitioned into its modern age, the height of New York hip-hop, and the sound of the greatest rapper of all time at the absolute top of his powers,” Rolling Stone staff writer Julyssa Lopez wrote about the 1994 opus.
The 17-track set, executive produced by Sean (Puffy) Combs and Mister Cee, featured the chart-topping, platinum-selling singles “Juicy,” “Big Poppa,” “One More Chance” and other favorites such as “Unbelievable,” “Gimme the Loot” and “Warning.”
Rounding out Rolling Stone’s top 5 are Outkast’s “Stankonia” (2000) in the No. 2 spot, fellow Brooklyn rap icon Jay-Z’s 2001 “The Blueprint” in the third position, Public Enemy’s seminal 1988 opus “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” at No. 4 and Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album “To Pimp a Butterfly,” coming in fifth.
“Life After Death” debuted on the Billboard 200 chart weeks after the groundbreaking artist, also known as Biggie Smalls, was fatally shot on the streets of Los Angeles on March 9, 1997.
His murder, at age 24, remains unsolved.
The late rapper, who would have turned 50 on May 21, has been feted all month long in his native borough of Brooklyn.
The Empire State Building changed its colors to red, with a crown spinning in its mast for the “Hypnotized” lyricist, while special edition MetroCards featuring the artist — born Christopher Wallace — were sold at three subway stations near his old neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. The sale of the MetroCards attracted long lines.
Lincoln Center will host an orchestral tribute at a creative black-tie event on Friday, featuring a concert symphony performance of Biggie’s songs from “Ready to Die” and the R.I.A.A. Diamond Certified “Life After Death.”
Instrumentalist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson will arrange and conduct the program, with appearances by The Originals, comprised of New York City deejays Stretch Armstrong, Clark Kent, Rich Medina and Tony Touch, and other special guests at the free event.
”This is the greatest honor of my life to celebrate the music of Biggie,” Ferguson told the Daily News, while deejay Kent added, “Tomorrow is going to be magnificent! New York is getting a special treat. This is the type of show that the world should get to see.”
Rhino Records will release a 25th anniversary vinyl boxed set edition of “Life After Death” on Friday, consisting of eight remastered LPs and a booklet with rare photos, liner notes and exclusive reflections from people who worked on the Grammy-nominated sophomore set.