Album Review - Notorious (Original Soundtrack)

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 6:00 AM

Artist: Various Artists
Album: Notorious (music from and inspired by the original motion picture)

Release Date: 1.13.09

If the previews for the movie have piqued your interest but you weren’t previously acquainted with the rapper known as the Notorious B.I.G., then this soundtrack does justice to paint a picture of the historical figure, the icon of hip-hop, the legend. This soundtrack is a compilation of some of Biggie’s most notorious (no pun intended) jams during his career, and when his paintbrush failed to finish the creation it was passed along to those closest to him: artists like Jay-Z, his widow Faith Evans, Jadakiss, Lil Kim and yes, Puffy himself....

Travel back in time to Biggie’s first hit, the infectious Juicy which opens with the renowned lyrics vividly emblazoned in the minds of every hip-hop fan: (“It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up magazine…”). The album couldn’t be complete without signature cuts like Hypnotize, One More Chance and Biggie’s posthumous theme song Notorious B.I.G. Longtime fans can hear his collaboration with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony on Notorious Thugs and his lyrically brash What’s Beef. The most heartfelt contribution comes from Jadakiss on Letter to B.I.G. a tribute to the fallen icon featuring Faith Evans. It’s the closest thing to a teardrop from a thug in Biggie’s honor. The album closes out with 3 previously unreleased demo tracks from Biggie which only further prove that he was deserving of his accolades and that his potential was truly unrealized.

If you’re a Biggie fan, then this soundtrack is probably not for you because it’s likely that you have all these tracks already. Rather this compilation, like the movie, is designed to give a glimpse into the life of Christopher A. Wallace for the inexperienced and uninformed through his music and those it touched. It wasn’t all a dream; this is the story of a misunderstood, yet talented man, gone too soon but in whose shadows many hip-hop careers would be patterned. This is Biggie’s story, and if ya don’t know, now ya know…

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