Born Again

Born Again

4.0 6
by The Notorious B.I.G.
     
 

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When the Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down more than two years ago as the victim of a Los Angeles drive-by, a tidal wave of sadness rushed through the hip-hop community. Just weeks later, Biggie’s epic double-disc, the prophetically titled LIFE AFTER DEATH, was released to fanfare and huge sales. Now, the urban hero returns for his second posthumous release, BORN AGAIN… See more details below

Overview

When the Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down more than two years ago as the victim of a Los Angeles drive-by, a tidal wave of sadness rushed through the hip-hop community. Just weeks later, Biggie’s epic double-disc, the prophetically titled LIFE AFTER DEATH, was released to fanfare and huge sales. Now, the urban hero returns for his second posthumous release, BORN AGAIN, a fond remembrance of his commanding voice, rotund presence, and lover-boy charm. Thanks to technological wizardry, this disc features 14 "collaborations," with rap’s heavyweights lending their vocals to lost Biggie lyrics. Many tracks snap with hardcore rap intensity ("Dead Wrong" with Eminem), lewd humor ("Big Booty Hoes" with Too Short), and ill freestyles ("Rap Phenomenon" with Redman and Method Man). The bass-heavy, often cinematic beats provided by DJ Premier and Bad Boy Records’ production team bust at the seams, supported by rollicking bass lines and familiar ‘80s pop samples (including a Duran Duran lift on Biggie's own "Notorious B.I.G." with Lil’ Kim and Puff Daddy). B.I.G.’s eerie obsession with death also provides high drama on "If I Should Die Before I Wake" with Black Rob, Ice Cube, and Beanie Siegal. Craig Mack, G-Dep, and Missy Elliott, perhaps bolstered by Biggie’s netherworld presence, sound uniquely inspired on the cranking funk workout "Let Me Get Down." But for all the good-time bounce, Voletta Wallace, Biggie’s mother, closes the set with a sentimental eulogy to her departed son, reminding fans that underneath B.I.G.’s gangsta braggadocio, Versace gear, and celebrity status lay a vulnerable young man. It’s a side of Biggie his records only hinted at -- the person behind the persona.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Keith Farley
Considering it was released almost three years after his death, it'd be easy to dismiss the Notorious B.I.G.'s third album as a cash-in or merely a tribute album, similar to Puff Daddy's No Way Out. Fact is, Born Again includes a lot of previously unheard material from Biggie, and guest spots from Busta Rhymes, Redman and Method Man, Missy Elliott, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dogg work better than could be expected. It's difficult to say where all this material came from, but it's probable that the productions were simply arranged around old rhymes from Biggie himself. On most tracks, he takes a spotlight and then the guest rapper comes in. Thanks to executive producer Puff Daddy, it'd be easy to fool those not into hip-hop that Notorious B.I.G. was still alive. The outro, a spoken-word reminiscence by Voletta Wallace (his mother) is a bit touching but also a bit ghoulish. For B.I.G. fans, this is another must-have, but for anyone who thinks the rap industry routinely goes too far in pursuit of the almighty dollar, Born Again is yet further proof.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/07/1999
Label:
Bad Boy
UPC:
0786127302325
catalogNumber:
73023
Rank:
28438

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