The reason “Ready To Die” is not a 5 mic album

The reason “Ready To Die” is not a 5 mic album

ready-to-die-not-5-mics-back-in-the-day-buffetFirst and foremost, I am not a Biggie hater.  I don’t go disrespecting him on the anniversary of his death like die hard 2Pac fans are.  I am not a west coast bigot either! I love Biggie Smalls and felt terrible when he was murdered in LA.  So don’t get it twisted. But after listening to “Ready To Die” for more than 20 years, I can assure you it’s not a 5 mic album.  It’s nothing about Biggie either!  Just to let you know, I was born and raised in South Central and East Los Angeles and fell in love with Hip Hop back in 1979 when Big Bank Hank told me,

Check it out, I’m the C-A-S-AN, the O-V-A and the rest is F-L-Y
You see, I go by the code of the doctor of the mix and these reasons I’ll tell you why

As you can see, I loved east coast Hip Hop way before Egyptian Lover, Ice T and Toddy Tee made me love west coast Hip Hop.  I have more east coast albums in my collection than west coast albums.  Just saying.

Why “Ready To Die” is not a 5 Mic Album

Why do I believe that this is not a 5 mic album you say?  First of all, some of the skits are annoying as f*ck!  Who wants to hear Biggie Smalls cough up a lung while smoking a blunt?  That ish sounded like he was about to throw up his lunch on the skit intro of “Machine Gun Funk“.  C’mon man!

The “Fuck Me (Interlude)” with the girl (Lil Kim) moaning and groaning had us all turning down our stereos and then bumpin’ that shit up when Method Man and Biggie flexed on “The What?“!  I got to admit, the skit was funny because of what she was saying,

Uuh, yeah, uh, oooh, oh yeah, mmm, yeah
Oh fuck me you black mothafucka, oooohh yeah!!! MMMMMM, Aaahhh
Oh fuck me you black Kentucky Fried Chicken eatin’
Ohhh, ooohhh, yeah
You mothafuckin’ gangsta killin’, mutha fuckin black mafia ass
Muthafuckin, you, ohhhhh my god
You chronic smokin’, Oreo cookie eatin’, pickle juice drinkin’
Chicken gristle eatin’, biscuit suckin’, MUTHAfucka
V8 juice drinkin’, slim fast, blended black greasy muthafucka

Listening to Lil Kim fall off the bed was funny, but still the volume needed to be turned down to avoid your mom’s coming in and asking, “What the *bleep* are you listening too?”

Then you have the skit where Biggie tells an “inexperienced” girl to give him fellatio.  I don’t want to hear slurpin’ and burpin’ from a girl giving a dude a blowjob!  It sounded like it came from a porno.  It was that graphic.  The first time I heard this track, I had the volume on high, and that sh*t was annoying.  The only sounds I want to hear is when it’s happening to me.  Still, c’mon man!

Now, that is not the main reason that this album is not a 5 mic album.  Biggie’s lyrics are on point and I can tell you that not one song has “filler” lyrics!   The main reason is the production or the lack of in this case.  Yup…I said it!  Now, it’s only a couple of tracks, but it still affects the rating on this album.

Biggie’s “Me & My Bitch” remix off “The Show Soundtrack” was 100 times better than the original!  That Zapp sample really helped that track and make it a classic! When you hear the Method Man and Mary J Blige sample it on probably the best fly love song in Hip Hop history, you knew this song was special.  The song was dope even if Biggie quotes a Richard Pryor joke that left us scratching our head,

When I met you I admit my first thoughts was to trick
You look so good huh, I suck on your daddy’s dick

Notorious BIG “Me & My Bitch” (Original)

Respect” was another track that had a lazy beat and too me is the weakest track off this album.  The slowed down sample of “I Get Lifted” by KC & The Sunshine Band did nothing for Biggie’s lyrical flow.  The Pan Head sample also felt out of place.  The track was a fast forward song that to this day, it’s the only track I don’t know by memory from this legendary mc.

Notorious BIG “Respect”

Easy Moe Bee has made some classic tracks, but “Friend of Mine” is not one of my favorite beats by this dope producer.  After a while the track does grow on you, so this track I can live with.  So we can actually keep this track on the album.

Notorious BIG “Friend of Mine”

The final track is a bit morbid, but fits perfectly with the concept of this album. We hear Biggie be born on the intro and die in the outro on this album so this track is necessary and hence the title of this album “Ready to Die”.

What would make this album get a 5 spot?  If this album had the “Me & My Bitch (Remix)” and  “Who Shot Ya?” (my favorite Biggie track of all time) instead of “Respect” I would’ve given it 5 mics!  You don’t even have to include the “One More Chance (Remix)“, but if you did, shoot…it wouldn’t hurt the rating!  The way the album was released, I would give it 4.5 mics.

If you notice, the tracks I mention are at the end of the album.  It was almost as if they ran out of beats or they just needed to throw the album on the shelves as soon as possible since Illmatic was already causing a buzz in New York and worldwide.

Is it a certified classic album?  Hell yes!!!  But is it a 5 Mic?  No!  I’m just giving my honest opinion and the last thing I want to do is disrespect a legend and his legendary work!  But then it wasn’t his fault either.  When it comes down to it, the artist seldom has a say on what the finished product contains and looks like.

On this anniversary, we look back at an iconic album that changed Hip Hop forever. Question is, “You agree with me?  Would you give his album 5 mics?”

Notorious BIG “Who Shot Ya?”

Cop a “Brooklyn’s Finest” Tee and represent!


The reason “Ready To Die” is not a 5 mic album

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