definition of Wikipedia
|Life After Death|
|Studio album by The Notorious B.I.G.|
|Released||March 25, 1997|
|Recorded||September 1995 – January 1997|
|Producer||Sean "Puffy" Combs (exec.), The Hitmen, Buckwild, Clark Kent, Easy Mo Bee, Havoc, Daron Jones, Kay Gee, DJ Premier, RZA|
|The Notorious B.I.G. chronology|
|Singles from Life After Death|
Life After Death is the second and final studio album by American rapper The Notorious B.I.G., released March 25, 1997 on Bad Boy Records. A double album, it was released posthumously following his death on March 9, 1997 and serves as his final studio album. The album is the follow-up to The Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album, Ready to Die (1994), and it features collaborations with guest artists such as 112, Jay-Z, Lil Kim, Mase, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Too Short, Roger Troutman, Angela Winbush, Carl Thomas, Run-DMC, Total, R. Kelly, The LOX, Faith Evans, Kelly Price, and Puff Daddy. Life After Death exhibits The Notorious B.I.G. further delving into the mafioso rap subgenre.
Life After Death was released to a significant amount of critical praise and commercial success. In 2000, the album was certified diamond in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and it has been credited as one of the best-selling rap albums of all time. It also made the largest jump to number one on the Billboard 200 chart in history, jumping from number 176 to number one in one week. Also, it spent four weeks at number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and topped the Billboard Year-End chart as an R&B/Hip-Hop Album for 1997.
The album was nominated for three Grammy Awards in 1998, including Best Rap Album, Best Rap Solo Performance for its first single "Hypnotize", and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for its second single "Mo Money Mo Problems". Along with Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… (1995), AZ's Doe Or Die (1995), Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt (1996), and Nas' It Was Written (1996) Life After Death has been considered by music writers as one of the seminal mafioso rap albums, as well as a milestone in hip hop music.
Two and a half years prior to the album's release, The Notorious B.I.G. had married Faith Evans, became East Coast's icon in the East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry and made guest appearances on albums by Jay-Z and Luke amongst others. The album was originally supposed to be released on Halloween of 1996, but was pushed back to 1997. Two weeks prior to the album's release, The Notorious B.I.G. was shot four times in a drive-by shooting and pronounced dead at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. The album sold 690,000 copies in its first week and was certified Diamond three years later.
Conflict with other rappers is a major theme shown throughout the album. Many songs on both discs contain subtle references to B.I.G.'s rivals.
The track "Kick In The Door" is directed at Nas, Jeru the Damaja, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and even the track's producer DJ Premier. The subliminal messages had been speculated by listeners and confirmed by artists on several occasions, including XXL Magazine's April 2003 edition "The Making of: Life After Death".
In "The Making of: Life After Death" Nashiem Myrick reveals that the second verse has lines directed at Jeru the Damaja & DJ Premier: "Nas said that record was for him, but when Big said, “Son, I’m surprised you run with them/I think they got cum in them, ’cause they nothin’ but dicks,” he was talking about Jeru the Damaja to Premo ’cause Jeru was going at Big and Puff and all them [with the Premier-produced “One Day” in Jeru's album Wrath of the Math]."
The line "Fuck that, why try, throw bleach in your eye" is a reference to Raekwon's jab on the track "Ice Water" from Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... where Raekwon raps
That's life, to top it all off, beef for white
pullin bleach out tryin to throw it in my eyesight
The lines on the final verse are directed at Nas as a reference to Nas challenging The Notorious B.I.G. for the title of King of N.Y. in the song "The Message" from the album It Was Written in which Nas raps:
Yo let me let y'all niggaz know one thing
There's one life, one love, so there can only be one King
Biggie struck back with the lines:
Ain't no other kings in this rap thing
They siblings, nothing but my chil'ren
One shot, they disappearin'
It's ill when, MC's used to be on cruddy shit
Took home, Ready to Die, listened, studied shit
Now they on some money shit, successful out the blue
In "The Making of: Life After Death" article Lil’ Cease explains: "Big talked about Nas a little bit in that shit. It was the King of New York part, the last verse: “This goes out for those that chose to use disrespectful views on the King of NY.” That’s when Nas had that freestyle out, where he was like, “I’ll take the crown off the so-called King and lock it down.” That’s when Big had the cover of The Source, and it said, “The King of New York.”
Nas has touched on the track on his album God's Son. Here Nas states:
Y'all don't know about my Biggie wars
Who you thought 'Kick In The Door' was for?
And finally commenting on the whole situation with Ghostface and Raekwon:
BIG was ahead of his time, him and Raekwon my niggaz
But dig it, they couldn't get along
That's when Ghostface said it on the Purple Tape
Bad Boy biting Nas album cover, wait??
BIG told me Rae was stealing my slang
And Rae told me out in Shaolin BIG would do the same thing
It was also speculated by many listeners that the song "Long Kiss Goodnight" contains subtle insults towards 2Pac and Death Row Records C.E.O. Suge Knight although at the time it was denied due to the sensitive nature of both rapper's recent deaths.
However, Lil' Cease, Biggie's cousin and a member of Junior M.A.F.I.A. claimed the following in XXL Magazine's April 2003 issue about Long Kiss Goodnight: "That was about ’Pac. He had some shit at the beginning of that though, nobody heard it, on the reel. We had to change it. It was a little too much. I can’t remember what Big said about him, but it was terrible. It couldn’t make it. He didn’t want to do it. He had some fire. But he didn’t want to make it too much. He just wanted to address it and to let nigga know, “I know what’s going on, and I could get wreck if I want to.” Like, “If I really wanted to get on ya niggas, I could.”
Sean Combs, however, denies these claims stating: "Naw, it was just some emcee lyrics. I know people wanna have their imagination, but it was just lyrics. You're hearing it from the horse's mouth. I would tell the truth."
In the first verse, the lyric "Laugh Now, Cry Later" is allegedly a reference to two tattoos on 2Pac’s back (one of which says “Laugh Now” and the other says “Cry Later”). A line in the first verse is supposedly aimed at Shakur:
When my men bust you just move with such stamina
Slugs missed ya, I Ain't Mad at Cha (We Ain't Mad at Cha)
The last 2 verses in particular seem to be directed towards Tupac:
I'm flaming gats, aimin at, these fuckin
maniacs, put my name in raps, what part the
game is that? Like they hustle backwards
I smoke Backwoods and Dutchies, ya can't touch me
Try to rush me, slugs go, touchy-touchy
You're bleeding lovely, with your, spirit above me
or beneath me, your whole life you live sneaky
Now you rest eternally, sleepy, you burn when you creep me
Rest where the worms and the weak be
Slugs hit your chest tap your spine, flat line
Heard through the grapevine, you got fucked fo' times
Damn that three to nine, fucked you up for real doe
Sling steal slow, as for remorse, we feel no
The lines seem to be making reference to Tupac frequently mentioning Biggie by name in his raps (a practice that was not common at the time), and allegations spread by Wendy Williams that he had been raped during his prison term at Rikers Island. Although some fans have interpreted these lines as references to Shakur's murder, XXL Magazine has stated that the song was most likely recorded before 2Pac's death.
In "Going Back to Cali" the second verse opens up with Biggie's thoughts on the inter-coastal war and his relationship with the West Coast:
If I got to choose a coast I got to choose the East
I live out there, so don't go there
But that don't mean a nigga can't rest in the West
See some nice breasts in the West
Smoke some nice sess in the West, y'all niggaz is a mess
Thinkin I'm gon stop, givin L.A. props
All I got is beef with those that violate me
I shall annihilate thee
In the song "Notorious Thugs" B.I.G. refers to long time nemesis 2Pac in the line "so called beef with you-know-who.", calling the feud between him and Shakur 'bullshit', While Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (who featured 2Pac on one of their songs the same year) throw jabs towards Three 6 Mafia, Twista, Crucial Conflict and Do or Die.
"My Downfall", "What's Beef" (both of which are about the subject of feuding), and "You're Nobody (Till Somebody Kills You)" are also said to contain lyrics aimed towards 2Pac (and other rivals), according to speculative listeners. Biggie, however, stated in a Spin Magazine interview that "You're Nobody (Till Somebody Kills You)" was not about Shakur.
To this day, Bad Boy denies that Biggie ever dissed 2Pac on record in fear of heightening East Coast-West Coast tensions.
The two for five dollar hits, the blue tops
Gotta go, Coolio mean it's gettin "Too Hot"
If Faith had twins, she'd probably have two-Pac's
Get it? .. Tu-pac's
The song "Can I Get Witcha", which was featured on Biggie's first posthumous album Born Again, also mentions 2Pac by name, although it was recorded before the feud (the track was originally included on his demo tape).
|Los Angeles Times|||
|The New York Times||(favorable)|
Since the album's release, it has been considered one of the greatest rap albums in hip hop history, and has also been a major influence on many rap artists. It is The Notorious B.I.G.'s best selling album. Michael A. Gonzales of The Source gave the album a maximum five-"mic" rating and stated, "despite inspired raw hip-hop diatribes [...] Life After Death's finest moments are the instantly catchy, future-radio-favorites."
|About.com||United States||100 Greatest Hip Hop Albums ||2008||40|
|Addicted to Noise||United States||Albums of the Year||1997||7|
|Blender||United States||The 100 Greatest American Albums of All time||2002||25|
|ego trip||United States||Hip Hop's 25 Greatest Albums by Year 1980-98||1999||1|
|Face||United Kingdom||Albums of the Year||1997||20|
|Hip Hop Connection||United Kingdom||The 100 Greatest Rap Albums 1995-2005||2005||14|
|The New Nation||United Kingdom||Top 100 Albums by Black Artists||60|
|OOR Moordlijst||Netherlands||Albums of the Year||1997||87|
|Pure Pop||Mexico||Albums of the Year||1997||18|
|Q||United Kingdom||Albums of the Year||1997||*|
|Rolling Stone||United States||The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time||2003||483|
|Rolling Stone||United States||The Essential Recordings of the 90s||1999||*|
|The Source||United states||The 100 Best Rap Albums of All Time||2005||8|
|The Source||United States||The Critics Top 100 Black Music Albums of All Time ||2005||60|
|Spex||Germany||Albums of the Year||1997||19|
|Spin||United States||Albums of the Year||1997||7|
|Various Writers||United States||50 Years of Great Recordings||2005||*|
|Vibe||United States||51 Albums representing a Generation, a Sound and a Movement||2004||4|
|Village Voice||United States||Albums of the Year||1997||12|
Though released in the wake of B.I.G.'s fatal shooting, Life After Death signaled a stylistic change in gangsta rap as it crossed over to the commercial mainstream. After the release of Life After Death, Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records continued to bring pop and gangsta rap closer together: the references to violence and drug dealing remained, as did the entire "gangsta" rhetoric, but the overall production style changed from the previously darker sound to a cleaner, sample-heavy, more upbeat sound that was directly fashioned for the mainstream pop charts, as seen in the single "Mo Money Mo Problems". The Notorious B.I.G. is often credited with initiating this transition, as he was among the first mainstream rappers to produce albums with a calculated attempt to include both gritty and realistic gangsta narratives as well as more radio-friendly productions. Much of the album is produced by Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, Carlos "July Six" Broady, Nigga Squintz, Ron "Amen-Ra" Lawrence, and Nashiem Myrick. However, other notable hip-hop producers such as Easy Mo Bee, Havoc from Mobb Deep, DJ Premier and RZA from Wu-Tang Clan contributed beats to the album as well.
Various artists were specifically influenced by several songs on Life After Death. Evidence's "Down in New York City" is essentially "Going Back to Cali" from the perspective of a West Coast artist. Jay-Z borrows four bars from "The World Is Filled..." in his song "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)", as well as the chorus from his song "Squeeze 1st" from "Hypnotize", a line in "The Ruler's Back" from "Kick in the Door" and "You're Nobody ('Til Somebody Kills You)" on "D.O.A." Ice Cube borrows the chorus from "Kick in the Door" for his song "Child Support". Monica uses "I Love the Dough" beat and a verse from B.I.G. as featured, on her 2010's "Everything to Me" official remix. On their RCA album, Release Some Tension, R&B trio SWV sampled the song on as the opening track, "Someone" which features B.I.G's friend and protege Combs which was released five months later.
|1||"Life After Death (Intro)"*||1:39||C. Wallace, S. Jordan, Sean Combs||Sean "Puffy" Combs & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen, co-produced by The Notorious B.I.G.|
|2||"Somebody's Gotta Die"*||4:26||C. Wallace, Sean Combs, A. Hester, Nasheim Myrick, Carlos Broady||Nashiem Myrick, Carlos "6 July" Broady & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen||
|3||"Hypnotize"||3:50||C. Wallace, R. Alpert, D. Angelettie, Andy Armer, Sean Combs, Ron Lawrence||Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, Ron "Amen-Ra" Lawrence & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen||Pamela Long||
|4||"Kick in the Door"*||4:47||C. Wallace, J. Hawkins, Chris E. Martin||DJ Premier for Works of Mart Productions,Inc.||
|5||"Fuck You Tonight"||5:45||C. Wallace, Sean Combs, D. Jones, R. Kelly||Daron Jones & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen||R. Kelly|
|6||"Last Day"*||4:19||C. Wallace, Kejuan Muchita, J. Phillips, David Styles||Havoc, co-produced by Sean "Puffy" Combs & Stevie J for The Hitmen||The LOX|
|7||"I Love the Dough"||5:11||C. Wallace, S. Carter, O. Harvey, R. Moore, Angela Winbush||Easy Mo Bee for Bee Mo Easy Productions,Inc.||Jay-Z & Angela Winbush||
|8||"What's Beef?"*||5:15||C. Wallace, Carlos Broady,
|Nashiem Myrick & Carlos "6 July" Broady for the Hitmen, co-produced by Paragon|
|9||"B.I.G. Interlude"||0:48||C. Wallace, D. Angelettie||The Notorious B.I.G. & Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie for The Hitmen||
|10||"Mo Money Mo Problems"||4:17||C. Wallace, M. Betha, Sean Combs, B.H. Edwards, S. Jordan, Nile Rodgers||Steven "Stevie J" Jordan & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen||Puff Daddy, Mase & Kelly Price|
|11||"Niggas Bleed"*||4:51||C. Wallace, Sean Combs, S. Jordan, Nasheim Myrick||Nashiem Myrick, Carlos "6 July" Broady & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen||
|12||"I Got a Story to Tell"*||4:42||C. Wallace, A. Best||Buckwild for Kurrup Money Entertainment, co-produced by Chucky Thompson & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen||
|1||"Notorious Thugs"||6:07||C. Wallace, Sean Combs, A. Henderson, S. Howse, S. Jordan, Bryon McCane||Steven "Stevie J" Jordan & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen||Bone Thugs-N-Harmony||
|2||"Miss U"||4:58||C. Wallace, Kaygee Gist, Lionel Richie||Kay Gee||112||
|3||"Another"||4:15||C. Wallace, Sean Combs, N. Ingram, K. Jones, S. Jordan||Steven "Stevie J" Jordan & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen||Lil' Kim||
|4||"Going Back to Cali"||5:07||C. Wallace, O. Harvey, Roger Troutman||Easy Mo Bee for Bee Mo Easy Productions,Inc.||Roger Troutman||
|5||"Ten Crack Commandments"||3:24||C. Wallace, Chris E. Martin||DJ Premier for Works of Mart Productions,Inc.|
|6||"Playa Hater"||3:57||C. Wallace, Sean Combs, W. Hart, S. Jordan||Sean "Puffy" Combs & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen|
|7||"Nasty Boy"||5:26||C. Wallace, Sean Combs, S. Jordan||Sean "Puffy" Combs & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen||Kelly Price||
|8||"Sky's the Limit"||5:29||C. Wallace, Bobby Caldwell, Hubert Eaves, Clark Kent, J. Williams||Clark Kent||112|
|9||"The World Is Filled..."*||4:54||C. Wallace, D. Angelette, Sean Combs, T. Shaw, K. Walker||Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen||Carl Thomas, Puff Daddy & Too Short|
|10||"My Downfall"*||5:26||C. Wallace, Carlos Broady, Sean Combs, Darryl McDaniels, Nasheim Myrick||Carlos "6 July" Broady, Nashiem Myrick & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen||DMC|
|11||"Long Kiss Goodnight"*||5:18||C. Wallace, Robert Diggs||RZA for Wu-Tang Productions||
|12||"You're Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You)"||4:52||C. Wallace, Sean Combs, Gary Johnson, S. Jordan, E. Lopez, B. Preston||Sean "Puffy" Combs & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen, co-produced by DJ Enuff & Jiv Poss||Faith Evans|
Songwriter(s) information taken from CD case.
( * ) song is not present on edited version of CD.
Nine Lives by Aerosmith
|Billboard 200 number-one album
April 12 - May 9, 1997
Share My World by Mary J. Blige
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