Monday, March 10, 2014

Random musings while listening to Biggie

Thanks to the short-lived beef between LL Cool J and Canibus, we will always remember that "the greatest rapper of all time died on March 9." In honor of the Notorious B.I.G., I decided to dedicate my workout to his music. With my iPod classic safely on the treadmill, I hit play on my Biggie playlist and set out for a 5 mile run followed by a quick total body lift.
Just two minutes into the run, and the first song, I knew this was going to be a faster run. Music has a way of subconsciously motivating us and masking the effects of fatigue. I knew this run was going to be easy and fun as I jammed to classic hip-hop. Listening to Biggie brought back a lot of memories of what was going on in my life when the were originally released and a lot of  random thoughts, musings and jokes. Here is a list of my random musings while listening to Biggie on the treadmill ...

Notorious Thugs is actually a great cadence track for running a 9:30 - 9:40 minute mile. The steady beat kept me going as I increased the pace. "Armed and dangerous, ain't to many can bang with us. Label us notorious ... you should too if you knew what this game would do to you. Been in this sh*t since '92. Look at all the bullish*t I've been through. So called beef with you know who ..."

Oh, Lil' Kim ... she was the original side chick. She accepted this role though. She did not (and still has not), hoverer, accepted the fact that he would never claim her. She is still out here losing and trying to claim him as her man. She even went so far as to let people know that she somehow has Biggie's blessing to be pregnant right now. Girl, bye.

One More Chance (Remix) will always and forever be the greatest remix of all time. You could argue otherwise, but you would be wrong. That video was also the first time we actually believed Faith was his wife. This song came on at the end of my run and I couldn't stop. I ended up running an extra mile because of it (and because this song came on next). Great cool down songs.

They were dead ass wrong for every word of the Dead Wrong (Remix ft Eminem and Busta Rhymes); which I suspect was the point. Biggie set it off with the first verse and it escalated from there. What was Busta Rhymes talking about though? He had way too much to say about booty holes.   [Pause] "I got a lion in my pocket. I'm lying ..."

Which brings me to a point my friend MJ brought up this morning: "'Kick in the door waving the .44. All I heard was Poppa don't hit me no more.' was blatant domestic violence and we've been okay with it for so long." There are plenty more egregious lyrics we've let slide, from domestic violence, to rape, to child abuse. If this music was released today, the media and fans alike would be in an uproar. So what are you going to do before you throw them over the bridge? Oh ok BIG ... Listen here, here and here.

Diddy is a whack rapper. Not that is is at all groundbreaking, but one would have at least expected Biggie's talent to rub off on his best friend. If not the delivery, the writing. But nope, Puff Daddy P. Diddy insisted on writing whack sh*t. "Dumb rappers need teaching"

Biggie is an excellent writer. His literary ability matched his delivery. Niggas Bleed could have been a story in the New Yorker and we all would have eaten it up. Juicy, I Got A Story to Tell, Warning could easily be the best episodes of your favorite podcast or short audiobook. "... stupid as a young and chose not the moves wisely."

Biggie was always relevant with current events, and not just sh*t that happened in the streets. The lyrics " ... my style you're admiring. Don't be mad, UPS is hiring" came soon after a wide-scale UPS workers union strike. And the infamous line "I'm not only the client, I'm the player president" was a play on a popular late 80s/early 90s hair club for men ad campaign.

We played I'll Be Missing You on the last day of school our senior year.  Our school was new and had only graduated 3 classes before us - the Class of '98. Each of the previous classes all chose Boyz II Men's version of "Its So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday." I worked in the school office then, so I had the opportunity to choose the song. Everyone expected Boyz II Men, but I chose Puff Daddy and the Family - I'll Be Missing You. It was very fitting for our class. We weren't the hug you in the hallway crying because this was the best time of our lives kind of group. We knew the best was yet to come; so instead of crying, we Diddy bopped through the halls of Fort Dorchester High School. We left our high school ways behind and grew to be professional, fun-loving adults. This song was perfect for us and it still is.

I loved the fact that they remixed All Around the World. I used to jam to the original by Lisa Stansfield, so the fact that Biggie was remixed an adult contemporary, cross-over adult R&B hit was everything. Been Around the World wasn't that great of a song, but I loved it for so many other reasons. It also introduced us to Carl Thomas.

Biggie made his mark on hip-hop with only two albums. Two. Albums.

"Biggie Smals is the illest."