Notorious, the soundtrack
I'll spare you passing any judgment on Notorious, the movie, since I've yet to actually see it, other than to note that I can't imagine it'll be any good.
I know... there's been some positive buzz about it, and even about Gravy's performance as Biggie, from people who somehow got to see it early. But I'm not buying it, and neither should you. Obviously, these are people whose livelihoods depend on them pretending people like Diddy are geniuses. Whereas, you guys know you can trust my opinion, since I don't have any livelihood to speak of. Things have gotten so dire around these parts as of late that I've taken to eating random garbage from my pantry. None of it's particularly new, but I'm thinking I may have actually developed an immunity to botulism. Some of this shit, I'm not even sure if it's mine, or if it was there when I moved in.
But I digress.
Now where were we? Ah yes, the soundtrack to this new Biggie movie. Could this be Diddy's last good opportunity's to eat off of Biggie's corpse? (No Boutros.) There's already been the two disc re-release of Ready to Die; a Biggie's greatest hits album; another album which I believe was supposed to be more along the lines of a Bad Boy's greatest hits album, and which I'm sure had at least a few Biggie records on it; and those two albums where he sent out a capellas of relatively obscure Biggie records to seemingly any ol' bullshit rappers and producers and let them record posthumous Nat King Cole-style duets with him. This has gotta be it, right?
Based on the tracklisting, which hit the Internets earlier this week, I'd say he's definitely scraping the bottom of the barrel. It actually reminds me of one of those albums you would be suckered into buying back in the 1990s, because there was one song on it featuring an artist you actually liked, or because the artist was a weed carrier for an artist you actually like, or because it had 20 or 25 songs on it, so you figured it would be an especially good bang for your buck. Don't front, if you were unfortunate enough to spend that entire decade buying CDs, unaware that shit would all be free 10 years later, you've probably got an entire collection full of shit like that.
The bulk of the tracklisting for the Notorious soundtrack consists of classic Biggie records we've all heard a million times before, many of which are just tracks from Ready to Die and Life After Death. Why in the world they would include so many songs from those albums, when everyone and their grandma probably already has them on a CD somewhere is beyond me. Presumably, they couldn't come up with enough "exclusive" shit to pad out a CD. A few other ones are somewhat harder to come by, like Party and Bullshit, from the Who's the Man soundtrack; the DeBarge remix of "One More Chance," which you'd probably have to buy on a cassingle or some shit; and that teh ghey-ass song "Notorious," from Born Again.
I can't claim to have any of those handy, but if I just had to have them, I can't imagine they'd be too difficult to find on the Internets. Even if I actually paid for them, which I wouldn't, it would only run me $3, and I wouldn't have to sweat paying any extra for a bunch of shit I've already paid for at least once before, if not a few times at this point. Not to go off on a tangent here, but what sense does it make to pay money to download some shit you already bought once back in the 1990s? Even if it's something I haven't bought before, I figure I've contributed enough money to the recording industry at this point in my life.
In addition to that worthless bullshit, there are a few new tracks. I'm sure you fruits probably heard that meh, new Jay-Z and Santogold record the other day. I didn't go over it with a fine tooth comb myself, but I don't recall there being anything about it that suggests it was definitely recorded as a tribute to Biggie. It sounds like it might have been some garbage from the aborted sessions for the Blueprint 3. Like maybe Jay had Kanye bring in Santogold, aka the fake MIA, in a cynical attempt to rip off "Swagger Like Us." This would also lend credence to my theory that Def Jam has drastically cut back the amount they're willing to spend to produce an album, if they weren't even willing to shell out for the real MIA.
Speaking of throwaways, we happen to know for a fact that Jadakiss' "Letter to B.I.G." was originally intended for his own upcoming release, The Last Kiss. But supposedly, Diddy heard it and thought it would be better suited for the Notorious soundtrack. This despite the fact that Diddy is pretending to be the boss of some other label than the one Jadakiss is recording for these days. Does this mean that Jadakiss' album budgets are still going directly to Diddy, to help Jada pay down the advance he received for "All About the Benjamins" or some shit? Damn.
At least we know Jadakiss is capable of rapping. We can't say the same about Biggie's son with Faith Evans, 12 year-old Biggie Jr, aka CJ, who supposedly kicks a rap on a new version of "One More Chance." No, really. Obvious problems with this: 1) I don't want to hear a 12 year-old rap, even if it's the 12 year-old son of Biggie. Call me when he's 23. Nullus. 2) Why "One More Chance," of all songs? What's this kid gonna be rapping about, fucking girls? This could be worse than when Ghostface and his son rapped about running a train on a broad. 3) Two different versions of "One More Chance" on the same album? No, thank you.
Finally, lest you think I'm completely down on this album, there are three songs I'm somewhat eager to listen to. Supposedly, the Notorious soundtrack will include three never before heard Biggie records - demos recorded back before he got his big break with motherfucking Diddy. The titles didn't sound familiar to me, but I wonder if these aren't just the same demos that have been floating around the Internets for years now. If you notice, there's hardly been any great, unreleased Biggie material released since he kicked the bucket. I wonder, what are the odds that there were three great lost Biggie records, and Diddy has been holding on to them all this time?