Thursday, September 16, 2004

Ready to Die While Ready to Put on the Donut

Yesterday morning, while driving to work in Morristown from NYC, my rear drivers' side tire exploded on I-78. Not the best way to start the day, but now that I am an NJ resident that lives and dies by the car, these events are just something you have to deal with.

The NJ turnpike authority, who AAA was sending out to put the donut on my car (it was not the safest place in the world to change a tire - better to bring in someone with cones and a florescent vest), said they would take 30 minutes to come and rescue me.

While waiting, I put on my new copy of the just released, remastered Notorious BIG's Ready to Die. My first thought was "why am I supporting Bad Boy and giving money to Diddy?" but for 10 bucks at Best Buy, it was certainly good value - hopefully Mrs. Wallace will receive the bulk of the royalties.

Now I am a fan of rap but there are definitely holes in my knowledge and my collection. Biggie was always an artist I appreciated the singles of and a roommate of mine in college had gotten Life After Death, which I thought was pretty good - especially that ridiculous R Kelly "F%^& You Tonight." The singles on Ready to Die I liked too, but I didn't know the album. A first listen to it while stuck on the highway in the morning, overlooking Jersey City, definitely worked. There isn't much I can say that hasn't yet, except that it is a baddasss record and it's obvious why Biggie is considered a GOAT (greatest of all time) - he has good lines, good stories, articulates them well enough to understand his lyrics, and has some serious charisma because he has such a unique personality in the often monotonous world of rappers.

One "Big Poppa" for Ready to Die what "Bob's Yer Uncle" was for the Happy Mondays' Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches? "Bob's Yer Uncle" (which is actually british slang for saying bingo, essentially) was the mellow track that producer Paul Oakenfold (can't call him Jokenfold when talking about his work with the Mondays) told the band to put on the album for the ladies. "Big Poppa" stands out as a real Puffy song - its the most pop song on the album and it is very muted in its misogyny, compared to the other songs on the album that are about girls instead of guns. Think Puffy told Biggie to put it on to satisfy of those ladies that should be having my baby, baby?


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