Biggie's greatest album: 'Ready to Die' or 'Life After Death'? | The Tylt
Biggie's greatest album: 'Ready to Die' or 'Life After Death'?
Biggie conquered the rap game in just a short period of time with "Ready to Die" and "Life After Death."
"Ready to Die" made Biggie an icon. Rap fans were introduced to Biggie with a feature on Craig Mack's "Flava in Ya Ear" and promotional hit "Party and Bulls***." But it was his debut album's lead single that pushed him into the mainstream, "Juicy."
Biggie opened the hit single talking about the struggles of everyday life in New York City. Plus—who doesn't know the iconic opening lyrics of verse one?
It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up! magazine
Recording sessions for "Ready to Die" took on a mythical like retelling, whether it was Biggie's ability rifle off bars without writing anything down or Puffy having to beg B.I.G. to rap over a sample of Mtume's "Juicy Fruit."
"Ready to Die" sold a modest 57,000 copies in its first week of release. But the success of "Juicy" would push the album to gold status in just two weeks. Subsequent singles "Big Poppa," "Warning" and "One More Chance" (Remix) would have "Ready to Die" double platinum in barely over a year.
"Ready to Die" seeded Biggie's legacy—making him a rap legend in just a few short years. Listen to the legendary album below via Spotify.
While "Life After Death" was technically released posthumously, the album was completed before his death. The album's lead single "Hypnotize" became his first #1 hit, and "Mo Money Mo Problems" quickly followed. The album is certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). "Ready to Die" cemented his legacy, but "Life After Death" took his legend to the next level upon his untimely death.
The legend of Big was crystallized on his double-disc sophomore opus, Life After Death, released just 16 days after his death. It’s a blockbuster rap record — all fulsome beats, commanding verses, unchecked experimentation, sharp pop instincts, and mammoth singles. Yet, flowing through its platinum outline is the dark specter of death. Had its creator lived to see its release, the album would still have been a cutting meditation on mortality, akin to Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. The way things played out makes Life After Death a chilling work of dark prophecy.