The Notorious B.I.G. – Ready to Die (1994)

July 27, 2021

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Release Date: September 13th, 1994

Song Rating Scale

  1. Intro – N/A
  2. Things Done Changed – 3.75
  3. Gimme the Loot – 4
  4. Machine Gun Funk – 4
  5. Warning – 4
  6. Ready to Die – 4
  7. One More Chance – 4.25
  8. Fuck Me (Interlude) – N/A
  9. The What (feat. Method Man) – 4.5
  10. Juicy – 5
  11. Everyday Struggle – 5
  12. Me & My Bitch – 3
  13. Big Poppa – 5
  14. Respect – 3.5
  15. Friend of Mine – 3.75
  16. Unbelievable – 4
  17. Suicidal Thoughts – 3.75
  18. Who Shot Ya? (Bonus) – 4.5
  19. Just Playing (Dreams) (Bonus) – 4.25
  20. One More Chance (Remix) (Bonus) – 4.5

Spin Rate: heaps
Average Song Rating: 4.1/5
3.5+ Percentage: 93%
Skips: 0.5
Bangers: 10

Thoughts: This album is an all-time classic and the debut project of one of the best rappers to ever pick up a microphone. I have to admit I didn’t appreciate this album when it originally came out – I was 12 years old and my musical preference was transitioning to grunge, alternative and metal at this time and even when I did start to get back into rap music, I was a Tupac fanboy and since I was an ignorant and easily influenced 14 year old, that meant I hated Biggie.

Over the years (and decades) though, Ready to Die has become one of my favorite albums of all-time and the data here supports that claim. With an average song rating of 4.1, Ready to Die now has the highest average song rating of any full length album I’ve posted a review for using this system. No surprise there. “Juicy,” “Everyday Struggle,” and “Big Poppa” are absolutely perfect songs. The only song I even think about skipping on this project is “Me & My Bitch” – it’s not bad, but i don’t think it’s good either. Also, this album has 10 bangers in 15 songs and I wouldn’t blame anyone for suggesting I underrated a few other songs here.

I don’t include bonus tracks as part of my overall rating or in my number of bangers since they aren’t really meant to be part of the album, but it’s worth noting that all three 1994 era Biggie tracks that I tacked on to the end of this album are all fire and would only improve Ready to Die’s already lofty esteem.

I think perhaps the most impressive aspect of this album is that Biggie is not a polished rapper here. When he was recording Ready to Die, Biggie was more of a crack dealer than a hip-hop artist. This was his side gig and it sounds like this? Good grief. This is why people don’t hesitate to list Biggie in their top 10s despite a limited discography due to his murder in March of 1997 – he had more natural ability than basically any rapper that has ever lived and the two albums he did record while he was alive are both legendary. It’s crazy to think what he would have accomplished in music if he was still alive today.

Verdict: 10/10 (Masterpiece)


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