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REVIEW: DJ Drama & Cookin’ Soul Present The Notorious BIG Tribute

For the past year and change my most recent pet peeve’s been dudes remixing classic Biggie verses with new beats and guest rappers who Big more than likely would have never f*cked with (once they paired him with Jim Jones, Charlie Wilson and Big Gee, I was done with all Biggie remixes and duets). But it was only natural that someone drop a mixtape in his honor on the anniversary of his death. Question was: was it something worth giving a listen more times than one or would it eventually find a home with Oscar the Grouch? I was really betting on the latter of the two.

But this had an interesting concept. They’d take classic Big instrumentals, remix it to sound more like the original sample and then have some of today’s up-and-coming and old school MCs give it their own makeover. OGs like CL Smooth remade “Big Poppa” while Tek (Smif-N-Wessun) gave “Juicy” the Cocoa Brovas makeover. Two joints hit right out the park right there.

Chaundon killed it on “Who Shot Ya It’s Over.” Uncle Murda kept it straight gully like only he can on “Long Kiss Goodnight,” talking about, “You ain’t nobody till you catch a body where I come from.” So damn true. The always lovely and respected Amanda Diva gave “Get Money” the R&B treatment with a message behind it. How is that young woman not in high demand?

And surprisingly enough, Freekey Zekey sounded as decent as ever on his rendition of “Dreams.” Unfortunately, this is probably the last time I’ll make such a statement.

But it wouldn’t be a Biggie tribute without some of his old homies penning rhymes in his honor. Lil Cease and the overlooked yet been in the game for a minute, Cardan, hopped on “Ten Crack Commandments” but said nothing about crack, commandments or even uttered any numbers between 1 and 10. And Styles P continues his assault on the tight pants fad on “Kick In The Door” saying, “Bunch of little niggas that damn near cross dress/gassed off the internet, you ain’t a boss yet/son I’m surprised you run with them/they mad slow/nothing but shitty niggas/giving up, they assholes.” I couldn’t agree more.

All in all, this is the best Biggie tribute mixtape I’ve heard since Rap Phenomenon. Funny enough he wasn’t featured on it. But that doesn’t weaken his presence on this mixtape. With the way the rappers on this mixtape remade some of his classics, his influence is there for all to witness. Now only did they all make a banger, but they all remind us that the Notorious BIG was more than an MC, he was an artist. And his art will continue to inspire generations to come. Thank God for the King of NY.-The Infamous O

Hottest Joint: Toooo many to just pick one.

Weakest Joint: “Things Done Changed”

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