In spite of myself, I think I’m anticipating Notorious. By expecting
greatness a decent movie, I know there’s potential for failure. But with the trailers & shit I’ve seen, it looks like the movie will be at least respectable to the memory of who Christopher George Latore Wallace was to music. And the movie has made me start to think back to when Big first hit the scene.
Biggie emerged on the mainstream level with two unique singles — “Juicy” and “Big Poppa.” Both would become symbolic, embodying Puff’s formula for gently reshaping well-known songs (in this case, Mtume’s “Juicy Fruit” and The Isley Brothers’ “Between The Sheets”) as the soundscapes for classics. But the there were two early tracks that made B.I.G. nearly undeniable to most fans, endearing him for the rest of time. “The What” and “Unbelievable,” a B-side to “Juicy,” were the ones mixtape DJs picked up on & spread to fans. And when they spread it, B.I.G.’s voice would forever be in our ears.
“The What” was produced by Easy Mo Bee, featured Method Man in his prime & contained one of the more memorable choruses of all-time. But the one I memorized word for word, verse for verse was “Unbelievable.” Big’s flow is straight razor spit over Premier’s interpretation of The Honeydrippers’ “Impeach The President.” Known for not writing down any of his rhymes (before it was fashionable to claim to do such), part of the beauty is that Big’s effortless flow was inspired by the small things & occurrences going on around him. Premo’s retelling of the night @ D&D studios is a small example of why Big was…well, big.
Primo got up and opened the door in the middle of Studio B. He walked down a short corridor. The vocal booth was just off to his right, and a little further back was the Studio B private lounge, a little place that at one time was probably a storage room.
He opened the door.
Wallace was there, leaning back on the couch. His pants were open. Two attractive women had their heads between his legs.
“Yo, Preme,” Wallace said. “You want some of this?”
“Nah, I’m good,” he said. Primo closed the door and chuckled.
Wallace came out and sat in the room. It was getting late & they still hadn’t even tracked his vocals. He sat around listening to the track over & over again, saying nothing.
“We had been in the studio for the longest time doing nothing but listening to the track,” Premier said. “I was getting worried. We still smoking and drinking, and he ain’t writing nothing.”
Wallace looked up. “I’m ready.” Taken from Cheo Hodari Coker’s Unbelievable
The first words that Biggie spit?
“Live from Bedford-Stuyvesant, the livest one/ Representing BK to the fullest, gats I pull it/Bastards duckin’ when Big be buckin’/Chickenheads be cluckin’ in my back room fuckin’…”
The rest is history.
Video via The Meaning Of Dope
Previously Posted — “Representin’ BK To Tha Fullest…”