SOTBMusic: Revisiting Notorious Thugs

I apologize in advance if this goes off on a ramble. I'm literally shooting this one from the hip.

But, Biggie has classic after classic. There's no denying that. From "Warning" to "One More Chance" to "Sky's The Limit," it seemed that nothing Biggie touched went unflamed. So, it may come as a surprise to some of you that my favorite Biggie track is one that's not some DITC classic. Instead, my favorite Biggie track is his collaboration with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, "Notorious Thugs," from Life After Death.

It was/is something about hearing Biggie start off his verse with the lines "armed and dangerous/ain't too many can bang with us" that gets me shook and ready for war every time I hear it. Back in high school, this was my anthem. Other people had more-recent tracks while I would've walked into a room with this track playing at maximum volume just to drown out the fuckery. It's a classic track and it features a plethora of excellence.

For starters, we usually didn't hear Biggie bust out a double-time flow. When Pac and Eazy got on a track with BTNH, they opted to keep their own flows and the sounds meshed, but didn't mesh as well in my opinion. Hearing Pac on "Thug Luv" was great, but he felt out-of-place at some points on the beat. That's no slight to Pac, because I love the song. But, Biggie came in and said "fuck that, lemme spit fast right along with y'all." And, it was a great verse. It combined elements of the entire album of Life After Death (drug deals, fake friends, fake women, getting your hustle on, rising above the rest, etc.) and laid it out in a verse that was, to me, one of Big's best. No, it wasn't his most lyrical. It wasn't his most-scorching verse. However, it was one of the tracks that showed his versatility and ability to straight-up do whatever he wanted, when he wanted.

And then, you add on BTNH on the track? Everyone on the track gave 125% on it, plain and simple. I remember when I first heard it. Imagine an eight-year-old Speed on the Beat trying to remember the song while out here doing a bit of dirt of his own. Got that image in your head? Yeah? Well then, you get why I rock with this song as much as I do.

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