DUETS

OK I’ll admit Weekend at Biggies is pretty funny, and it’s hard to lose being a cynic about capitalist exploitation! BUT. This doesn’t really sound like exploitation to me. How can you hear Biggie’s kids co-signing and not go “awwwww….”? You can’t. This album radiated a respectful aura and didn’t get the attention it deserved. The truth is it has some great songs on it, though not the ones you might expect. SO!

Crime the first: “It Has Been Said” Eminem, hang it up. The verse you wrote for Diddy killed your own. Also, your beats are awful. Compare this to “Dead Wrong” and get depressed.
The second: “Whatchu Want.” Get rid of the harpsichord setting on your casio! I can and will continue to hate on nu-Jay, too. Listen to this Biggie freestyle, and notice how concerned he is with details, concrete objects. Then listen to Jay mythmaking again like he has on his past 398 verses, and you see why I think Jay needs more show-don’t-tell.
Crime the third: Trendy guest rappers!!! Juelz, Slim, Wayne, T.I., I love you but why are your songs so average.
Fourth: “Living In Pain.” So epic! It tries really hard, anyway. Mary! Pac! Biggie! Nas! Too good to be true? Yes.
Fifth: “Hold Your Head.” Why is Marley’s acapella about a street murder, and Biggie’s verse from “Suicidal Thoughts”? Second, Em did this beat, right? Fuck that. Switch it up goth-master. Serg sez you stole yr gothstyle from Alias anyway.
Sixity SIX: Songs I can’t even bother to trash, like “Ultimate Rush” and “Wake Up Now.”

But really, there is a dope album hidden here! The DJ DILZ DUETS EP!!!

1. “BIG Live in Jamaica”
Keep this, because I like a good crowd ambience.
2. “Spit Your Game”
Part of the Swizz revitalization, this shows how well dude can make old New York bounce. Hot horn sample, off kilter chops and drums, Big’s voice freaked right for the chorus. Twista’s verse is part of why this album is so reverential, at its heart, rather than exploitative. Plus, best Big verse to rap along with ever. HOT.
3. “Get Your Grind On”
This reminds me of that “Heavyweights” track with 8ball, but with Biggie in his place. Fat Joe’s verse is hard, living the high life with that NY 80s drug baron mythos/history. Freeway’s chorus is stress over tense strings. And of course Pun.
4. “Living The Life”
One of the reasons Big was so dope is how he loved the glossy beats, how real he could make blockbuster-smooth R&B pop-shit sound. This is one of those cuts, smoove Bobby V. hook and Luda in celebratory living-the-life guest verse mode. I especially like when Bobby echoes Luda on “Mo shows than Oprahhhh!” I think Snoop is on this somewhere too.
5. “The Greatest Rapper Interlude”
Sorry this is just the cutest shit ever.
6. “1970 Something”
At first I thought this was an oddly-matched acapella for this beat but it’s grown on me. I do still sometimes wonder what happened to the fuck-it rude bwoy menace from the original. Game has a hot verse; he always sounds so endearingly enthusiastic about being on an actual rap album, like he knows he lucked out hooking up with Dre and 50 and it’s time to prove himself worthy on his own two.
7. “Nasty Girl”
Another one of those smooth widescreen R&B pop beats Biggie ripped so well. I do wish Jazze Pha hadn’t smoothed the bass so far back in the mix, that shit should rattle out in front, thumping down the block so people can hear you roll by summer evenings down the strip. It’s one of those basslines.
8. “Beef”
This is decent, a little boring, esp. since we know the original Biggie verse so well by now. Hey I didn’t say this was a 5 mic redux! I also really, really want Mobb Deep to stay relevent.
9. “My Dad Interlude”
OK so she’s reading from a script, but it is charmingly believable! I bet she really thinks those things.
10. “Hustler’s Story”
Album centerpiece here, with Akon’s sweet psuedo-carribean croon and those big dramatic horns over martial snare roll, existential chorus about the paper chase. Big Gee is a great choice for this, sounding like he could be as old as Scarface, a voice that drips, bleeds with emotion. Speaking of Scarface, he will. Not. Fall. Off. Ever.
11. “Mi Casa”
Because all Biggie albums need a sex rap, and this beat has hypnotic vibraphone conveying non-sugary coolness that your girl said is unexpectedly inviting. Last night. In my bedroom.
12. “Little Homie Interlude”
RIP
13. “Just a Memory”
Stop-start horns, cocked pistols, broken glass – someone broke the budget on these sound effects. Nah I’m playing, we need this last because ending on a hard track is a good way to remember his sicka-more-style: sicker than yours. Clipse do fine.
14. “Love Is Everlasting”
Awwww maaaa.

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