The TENS: Overlooked Biggie Features

blame it on 2DBZ March 9, 2017

From a personal standpoint, I don’t like to celebrate artists on the day they passed, particularly when it comes to one of my favorite rappers ever, The Notorious B.I.G. Days like this, to be honest, are grim reminders that times yet finite for everyone on this planet. Fortunately, Biggie left a legacy that has rarely been matched by any artist, dead or alive.

While his reign on the top lasted a short five years, Big left a surfeit of music that some may have overlooked. Fortunately, the DopeHouse is here to remind you of these tracks. Follow us down memory lane, as we Think B.I.G. — Meka Udoh

Tracey Lee, “Keep Your Hands High”

Okay, first things first, Tracey Lee’s Many Facez album flew way under the radar back in 1997. Everybody was focused on the radio hit “The Theme (It’s Party Time)” but the album had some sneaky good songs. One of them was the Notorious B.I.G. assisted “Keep Your Hands High” where a fully capable Lee traded bars with Big. But, as always, Biggie toe tagged this one with the memorable like “Bring ‘em out, it’s hard to yell when the barrel’s in your mouth,” which ended up being a hook to a T.I. song and referred to on Jay Z’s “What Moe Can I Say?” This wasn’t a brief spot, either. Biggie was all over this one with multiple verses. — Andreas Hale

Shaq, “You Cant Stop The Reign”

Let’s get this out of the way once and for all: Shaq is the greatest basketball rapper of all time. Don’t believe me? Check the stats:

· His debut album, Shaq Diesel, went Platinum, while the lead single “(I Know I Got) Skillz” went Gold
· His second album, Shaq Fu: Da Return, went Gold
· “Strait Playin,” a single from his third album You Can’t Stop the Reign, went Gold
· He’s the only basketball rapper to have done song with both Michael Jackson and The Notorious B.I.G.

But since we’re only talking about Biggie here, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that Big laced Shaq with one the best verses of his career, essentially hijacking the song for the remix and relegating the Big Aristotle to the bench. Before JAY Z Jay-Z got murdered on his own song by Eminem, Biggie did it to Shaq. — Meka Udoh

The Lox, “C.R.E.A.M. Freestyle”

The Lox and Biggie never did a lot of songs together, as he would die shortly after the Yonkers trio signed to Bad Boy. However, their brief times together produced some of the finest moments in the history of the label. While “Last Day” or “You’ll See” gets all of the attention, a freestyle over the Wu-Tang Clan’s “C.R.E.A.M.” — found on Flex’s The Mix Tape Volume II: 60 Minutes of Funk — tends to get skipped over. And wrongfully so, too: the track packed so many impressive quotables in less than three minutes. With all four in “mafioso rap” mode, Styles P imagines life as a coke-dealing Lui Kang, Jadakiss boasts about smoking weed with the Sultan of Brunei, Sheek tries to make Stacey Dash strip (mind you, this was when Stacey was still an accepted member of the Black community), and Biggie was the capo who wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. — Meka Udoh

Pudgee The Phat Bastard, “Think B.I.G”

It’s a damn shame that this song never officially saw the light of day because they couldn’t get the Donny Hathaway sample for “Vegetable Wagon” cleared. Regardless, the song would eventually filter out to DJs and everyone went bananas over what Christopher Wallace had to offer. Alongside Pudgee The Phat Bastard (where is he?) and the guy who will now be remembered as the “other guy” on Peter Gunz’ “Déjà vu (Uptown Baby),” which somehow led to Peter Gunz having ten kids and being on Love & Hip Hop while Lord Tariq is….*shrug*. Nevertheless, Biggie came out with his guns blazing right out the gate by threatening to throw you off a cliff and vanish with his chick in a Mitsubishi Eclipse. There’s another reference to Sega Genesis and, of course, some drug rap. This banger still gets burn to this day but is often lost when discussing the great Biggie’s catalog. — Andreas Hale

Heavy D, “A Buncha Niggaz”

Some people assume that the very first song B.I.G. was on was either the remix to Mary J Blige’s “Real Love” or Super Cat’s “Dolly My Baby” in 1993, when in actuality it was a full year prior to that on a random Heavy D & The Boyz posse cut. Yep, buried on the album, on the final track, sandwiched in between a member of the InI, a rapper so obscure that Google always thinks you’re looking for Third Eye Blind instead (yes, I know he goes by Jesse West), a Gang Starr member and a dungeon dragon, was Christopher Wallace’s very first major label appearance. And if you knew that that was Biggie’s first time on wax, you deserve a cookie and a gold star. — Meka Udoh

R.A. the Rugged Man, “Cunt Renaissance”

The song is called “Cunt Renaissance,” for starters: of course it’s not going to be tailor-made for radio play. In 1994, the man once known as Crustified Dibbs was being courted by major labels who, in his own words, wanted him to “do a joint like ‘Juicy’ so they could promote it on the radio.” Instead, he grabbed the “Juicy” author and recorded one of the foulest songs of all time. No wonder it was overlooked; it never even made it past the underground (much to the delight of R.A.). — Meka Udoh

Super Cat, “Dolly My Baby”

This song is on this list because most people who were too young to cop a Biggie album often forget this song even exists. Alongside a horrible rapping Puff Daddy, Mary J. Blige and Third Eye to make his presence felt, Big’s spot on Supercat’s remix to “Dolly My Baby” was brief but memorable because it ended up as the hook to “Big Poppa” and just about anyone who knows the song remembers Biggie’s shouting of “Laaaaaaawd! Me can’t take it no more!” at the end of the song. Biggie Smalls had arrived. — Andreas Hale

Uncle Luke, “Bust A Nut”

Uncle Luke Skyywalker was well known as one of the most sexually explicit rappers out, but tossing Big on “Bust A Nut” just took things to a straight debased level. In two verses, Biggie raps about golden showers, scat sex, anal sex, anilingus, facials, deep throating, getting doo-doo on your drumstick, public fellatio, ripped sphincters and swallowing; I don’t even remember Luke’s verse on the song at that point. To quote Shake in a conversation we had about this song, “I totally forgot Biggie was pissing on chicks before R. Kelly went to trial.” Overlooked, and for good reason. — Meka Udoh

Dr Dre & Ed Lover, “Who’s The Man”

Another song off a soundtrack that often gets forgotten about. Biggie joined King Just, Todd One, Doctor Dre and Ed Lover (C’mon son!) for a romp over Mark the 45 King production. The Notorious One held it down with a slick Jefferson’s reference, a tip of his Kangol to Coming To America and fellatio. Of course, you have to be thinking about how the hell did Doctor Dre and Ed Lover end up on a song. Well, it was their damn movie. Get over it and listen to Biggie close this sucker out. — Andreas Hale

Various, “The Points”

Back in 1995, the underwhelming Panther movie dropped along with a soundtrack that often gets lost in the shuffle when it comes to discussing some of the great film soundtracks of the 90s. But on this soundtrack came a nearly 10-minute long posse cut that put The Notorious B.I.G. alongside the likes of Busta Rhymes, Coolio, Redman, Big Mike, Bone Thugs N Harmony and many more. Biggie opened up the Easy Mo Bee-produced track with references to Martin Lawrence’s “You So Crazy” standup, Sega Genesis and the Adam West version of Batman. It’s a lost jewel that is often forgotten about when it comes to talking about Biggie’s catalog. — Andreas Hale

“Cause the greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th.” #RIPBiggie #20years

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