COVER STORY | May 21 would have been the 49th birthday of The Notorious B.I.G (born in 1972). Though his life was cut short at the age of 24, he made an indelible mark on the world of Hip-Hop from his landmark 1994 debut, Ready To Die, to his posthumous release, Life After Death, in 1997.
Since his debut single, “Juicy”, repurposed Mtume’s 1983 hit, “Juicy Fruit”, rhythm and blues has played a major part in Biggie.’s success. With further sampling on subsequent singles “Big Poppa” (w/The Isley Brother’s “Between The Sheets”), “Warning” (w/Isaac Hayes’ “Walk On B””), and “One More Chance” (w/DeBarge’s “Stay With Me”), lacing gritty bars over smooth R&B beats became a fail-proof formula that set the double-platinum MC apart and positioned him as royalty.
To repay the favor that R&B had repeatedly offered to him, Biggie often lent his talents to enhance some of the mid-90’s most soulful tracks, expanding his reach across urban radio. His suave contributions would influence the marriage of hip-hop and soul and continues to be a thriving union between the genres. In celebration his birthday, Zumble recognizes the legendary MC’s greatest guest appearances that spread love the Brooklyn way.
112 featuring Mase and Notorious B.I.G. – Only You Remix
Total featuring Notorious B.I.G. – Can’t You See
R. Kelly featuring Notorious B.I.G. – (You To Be) Be Happy
Michael Jackson – This Time Around
Neneh Cherry featuring Notorious B.I.G. – Buddy X
Mary J. Blige featuring Notorious B.I.G. – Real Love Remix
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