Category: ready to die

On this day in music history: September 13, 19…

On this day in music history: September 13, 1994 – “Ready To Die”, the debut album by The Notorious B.I.G. is released. Produced by DJ Premier, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Chucky Thompson, Easy Mo Bee, Lord Finesse, Poke, and Darnell Scott, it is recorded at The Hit Factory and D&D Recording Studios in New York City from Late 1993 – Mid 1994. Discovered by Uptown/MCA Records A&R man and producer Sean “Puffy” Combs in 1992 after he receives a demo tape from the Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY born rapper, B.I.G. appears on remixes of Mary J. Blige’s hits “Real Love”, “What’s The 411?” and release the single “Party And Bullsh*t” on Uptown/MCA, generating additional buzz on Biggie, but Combs is fired by Uptown CEO Andre Harrell before they can make a full length album. Combs quickly strikes a deal with Arista Records chairman Clive Davis for his own label, establishing Bad Boy Records in 1993. B.I.G. is the first artist signed to the label and they go to work quickly on his first album. Assembling a team of some of the top Hip Hop producers including Easy Mo Bee, Poke (of The Trackmasters), and DJ Premier of Gang Starr, album combines Biggie’s gift for often raw and very personal lyrics (often tempered with dark humor) with his one of a kind rhyme style. The album is praised as a triumph by critics and fans alike upon its release, successfully bridging the gap between the street and more accessible radio friendly tracks. It is a major critical and commercial success upon its release, spinning off three singles including “Juicy” (#3 Rap, #14 R&B. #27 Pop), “Big Poppa” (#1 Rap, #4 R&B, #6 Pop) and “One More Chance” (#1 Rap, #1 R&B, #2 Pop). The vinyl configuration of the album is released initially as a single LP with the original cover artwork (of a baby meant to resemble B.I.G.), and is reissued as a double LP set with a current photo of Biggie on the front (copies came packaged with a mini poster of the album cover art). The album is remastered for its tenth anniversary in 2004, with the CD edition featuring a bonus DVD with the music videos of the singles originally released from it, and a previously unreleased live performance of “Unbelievable”. The double vinyl set (first issued in 1995), is reissued in 2013 as a limited edition pressing for Record Store Day. Another vinyl reissue by the subscription club Vinyl Me, Please is released in September 2017. This limited reissue restores the original “baby” cover art from the 1994 pressing, but pressed on double vinyl like other reissues and on red with black and white splatter colors, and white with red and black splatter colors. “Ready To Die” peaks at number three on the Billboard R&B album chart, number fifteen on the Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.