The first in a series of ‘Throwback Thursday” reviews, Biggie Smalls debut album is one that is more than worthy of your top five, having planted itself as arguably the best hip hop album to date.
The album is a masterpiece, staying lyrical, cohesive and entertaining throughout. Operating as both a full album listen and a track list for a whole host of singles. The release has a very clever yet simple concept. It begins with the ‘Intro’ track, which gives the listener an insight into Wallace’s birth, followed by a sequence of classic songs, discussing the rappers hustles, dangers and relationships. The project then reaches a halfway point where the song ‘Everyday Struggle’ discusses the hardships of everyday life for the then famous and wealthy rapper.
After more tracks full of impressive verses, including very little features, displaying the then young rapper’s immense talent. The album concludes with songs displaying the darker aspects of Biggie’s life and finishes with ‘Suicidal Thoughts’ in which Puff Daddy is shown on the phone to The Notorious where said suicidal thoughts and issues the rapper is facing are truly shown.
This album is a landmark in Hip-Hop as a genre, creating some of the most successful singles to date including ‘Juicy’ and ‘Big Poppa’. It pushed rap into a new sound and made many aware of the genre’s capability to influence culture with lines such as ‘you never thought that Hip-Hop would take it this far’. Biggie Smalls was more than aware of his impact despite the project being only the first of too little for a person of such talent.
The Verdict (Rated out of five):