The Notorious B.I.G. - Duets: The Final Chapter (2xLP Vinyl + 7")

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Biggie Duets: The Final Chapter is the second posthumous album from The Notorious B.I.G, featuring a collection of orchestrated duets between Biggie and hip-hop heavyweights including Jay-Z, Faith Evans, Missy Elliot, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, P Diddy, Eminem and many more. The album – which is platinum certified in the USA – will be made available on vinyl for the first time since its original release in 2005, pressed on red and black LPs and accompanied by a 7” showcasing two previous unreleased bonus cuts, exclusively for Record Store Day 2021. Strictly Limited to 10,000 copies worldwide.

Limited Edition, Red/Black Swirl Vinyl and clear red 7" vinyl.

 



There's an episode of South Park in which Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny protest George Lucas and Steven Spielberg rereleasing their old movies with new digital enhancements. The Notorious B.I.G.'s Duets: The Final Chapter is the hip-hop equivalent of that.
Coming to a record store near you...... The Notorious B.I.G.'s Duets: The Final Chapter! Listen to all of your favorite Biggie verses from Ready to Die, Life After Death, Born Again, b-sides, and unauthorized tracks digitally enhanced with Nelly, The Game, T.I., Eminem, Jazze Pha, Swizz Beatz, and more! Special features include images of George Lucas sipping Crystal and dancing in the album's booklet and rehearsal sessions of Da Band and Danity Kane! Relive the experience of listening to the greatest rapper of all time and buy The Biggie Duets at a Best Buy near you!
Truth be told, I actually liked The Biggie Duets when it came out. But that was years ago. I finally listened to it again for the first time since 2006. What do I think of it now (as if it matters)?

Lemme just give it away right now, The Biggie Duets is exactly like Born Again six years before it, except with verses you've definitely heard before. If you were impressed by Biggie's verses on those albums, you'll be impressed with him now. So, who are lucky musicians that get to pretend that that beloved rapper being showcased here is actually in the studio with them instead of in an urn at Ms. Voletta Wallace's house? Eminem and Obie Trice kick things off with an unintentionally comedic tone because their praise for Biggie is so over the top. The comedic icing on the cake to that particular song is Puff Daddy, who rips off Eminem's flow. He sounds much less awkward doing some sex raps on "Nasty Girl". Twista and Krayzie Bone try their best to divert the album's comedic tone with legitimately good verses. Jay-Z's one of the only people here that's not a strange collaboration with Biggie. Too bad he mails in his verse. Freeway only does a hook, Big Pun's spliced verse sounds awkward, and Fat Joe is still not a pleasure to listen to. Ludacris and Snoop Dogg are so-so. The Game attempts to emulate Biggie's style of rap and while it's not the expected trainwreck, it's not particularly special either. Nelly does what Nelly does best. In better news, 2Pac's verse isn't out of place and Nas does his thing and gives us a head-scratching line about Kobe Bryant getting sodomized. Since Biggie didn't leave a lot of recorded material behind, I'm going to assume that is the reason he's not actually on "I'm With Whateva" (even though this is his album). I was surprised that Lil' Wayne didn't suck. Actually Juelz Santana is what brings that song down. What brings it down even more is Jim Jones, who does his best Puffy impression. Havoc bites Biggie line with minor changes ("them niggaz from the 'Bridge just be wil'in' on ya/line that red dot on ya") and Prodigy attempts to channel Big by delivering his verse with the energy of a dead man. Does anybody remember Boyz n da Hood? No I'm not talking about the Eazy-E song; I'm talking about Puffy's group that was supposed to kick off Bad Boy South in 2005. Young Jeezy was in the group, but in the same year he signed a contract with Def Jam and abruptly left the group. Anyway, we're blessed with an appearance by a card-carrying member of Boyz n da Hood Big Gee. Ehh...he's so-so. Scarface does his thing. Slim Thug and T.I. attempt to divert this album's comedic tone like Twista and Krayzie Bone before them. The duet with Biggie and Missy Elliott is highly sexual. I suppose I was supposed to pretend that the two of them were in the studio together getting flirty with each other, but they weren't. Biggie's dead, which makes Missy's amorous advances sound.....unsettling. The Clipse attempt to once again divert the comedic tone of the album, but it's too late. One reason is because the singers throughout the album are hilariously over the top. Jagged Edge: "GIRL, HE'S TRYIN' TA MAKE YOU CUUUUUUUUUUUUM!", R. Kelly: "You make a mu'afuckin' thug wanna sing!" Akon is particularly hilarious because he trying soooo hard to emulate Bob Marley. Speaking of Bob Marley, the kind of shit Puffy was smoking when he thought a Biggie/Bob Marley collabo was a good idea is so strong that the late reggae singer himself wouldn't have touched it if he was alive. "Hold Ya Head" is just confusing. It's a mix of Biggie's verses on "Suicidal Thoughts" and a snippet of Bob Marley's "Johnny Was". "Johnny Was" was a song mourning the death of nice young man who was shot in the streets. And you're mixing that with a song about Biggie contemplating and finally committing suicide?! What the fuck??? More confusing than "Hold Ya Head" is the out-of-nowhere appearance by Korn. I heard a leftover from this album was a song that mixes verses from "Who Shot Ya?" with John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance". Before I move on, I forgot to mention that Puffy's usual adlibs are as silly as they always are, particularly on "Beef".

Like Born Again, The Biggie Duets features production from all the "it" producers of 2005. There are beats by Eminem, Swizz Beatz, Danja, the Hitmen, Coptic Sounds, Dre & Vidal, Static Major, Just Blaze, Jazze Pha, Havoc, Chink Santana (what kind of fucking name is that??), Scott Storch, Clinton Sparks, Scram Jones, and Korn. For me, the beats are a mixed bag. There are some beats that I enjoy, like Havoc's, Coptic Sounds', Scram Jones', Ethnic Slur Santana's, and even Swizz Beatz'. Some of these beats, like "Get Your Grind On", "Hustler's Story", or "Hold Ya Head" are overproduced and try too hard to evoke a certain mood. Other beats, like "1970 Somethin'" or "Mi Casa", are waaaaaaaaay too glossy for Biggie's raw delivery and brash lyricism. None of the beats are flat-out horrible though and that includes Eminem's beat. I admit it was kinda fun listening to the popular beats of yesteryear. Imagine this shit nowadays with synths, bleep-bloops, and Biggie's verses in auto-tune. Bleccch! Oh shit! I just pitched a new idea to Bad Boy...

By: G.O.Z.


A1 B.I.G. Live In Jamaica (Intro)
A2 It Has Been Said
A3 Spit Your Game
A4 Whatchu Want
A5 Get Your Grind On
B6 Living The Life
B7 The Greatest Rapper (Interlude)
B8 1970 Somethin'
B9 Nasty Girl
B10 Living In Pain
B11 I'm With Whateva
C12 Beef
C13 My Dad (Interlude)
C14 Hustler's Story
C15 Breakin' Old Habits
C16 Ultimate Rush
D17 Mi Casa
D18 Little Homie (Interlude)
D19 Hold Ya Head
D20 Just A Memory
D21 Wake Up
D22 Love Is Everlasting (Outro)
E1 Want That Old Thing Back
E2 Running Your Mouth


 

Final Collection From Biggie on Red/Black Swirl Vinyl
Includes Exclusive 7" With 2 Bonus Cuts

Limited Edition of 10,000 for RSD 2021