The Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘Life After Death’ By The Numbers

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  • When Big was in his prime, he shouted out Australian knitwear label Coogi on just about every song. On "Hypnotize," he rapped, "Every cutie with a booty bought a Coogi"; on the "One More Chance" remix, he admitted, "I stay Coogi down to the socks"; and on "Big Poppa," he exclaimed, "Living better now, Coogi sweater now." Needless to say, with so many Biggie cosigns, the street wear brand has become a true mainstay in hip-hop. To this day, rappers celebrate the brand by rocking Coogi at shows, in photo shoots, and even on album covers. Check out photos of your favorite rappers wearing Coogi.

[Editor's Note: This Originally appeared on XXLMag.com in March 2013]

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, The Notorious B.I.G. proved he was “sicker than your average” on the double disc opus, Life After Death. Following up Ready To Die’s morbid street hustler’s tale that ended with “Suicidal Thoughts” and a gunshot, B.I.G.’s second album said goodbye to “Biggie Smalls” and hello to “Frank White”—a Mafioso moniker taken from Christopher Walken’s character in the appropriately titled 1990 film, King Of New York.

Recorded over the span of 18 months—in New York, Los Angeles and Trinidad—Life After Death finds an ambitious B.I.G. delivering an unapologetic musical masterpiece. Exuding a celebratory feel, Life After Death was nonetheless a double threat as the Brooklyn thumper balanced his pop touch (“Mo Money, Mo Problems,” “Hypnotize”) along with his thuggish street-smarts (“10 Crack Commandments,” “What’s Beef”). There were even moments of paranoia (“My Downfall”). Unfortunately, the album would be B.I.G.’s last recorded effort, as less than a month away from its release, the 24-year-old rap star was gunned down while leaving a party in Los Angeles.

Though his loss has since left a permanent void in the game, his spirit and legacy continues to “crush so-called willies, thugs, and rapper-dons.” As Life After Death nears its 16th anniversary (March 25) and XXL continues to honor the life of the Invisible Bully, we went back and broke down B.I.G.’s double-disc album by the numbers. Ain’t no more to it… —Ralph Bristout (@XXLRalph)

  • MR. UNDI$PUTED THE MOGUL

    THIS IS STILL ONE OF THE GREATEST ALBUM’S OF ALL TIME’S! I GUESS I’LL HAVE TO LISTEN TO “KICK IN THE DOOR” AGAIN TONIGHT. WHY OR WHAT WOULD BE THE PURPOSE OF HIM DISSING PREMIER? CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG HE PRODUCED THAT SONG.

    PEACE & GET MONEY!!!
    MOGUL $$$ GAME ’12!!

  • http://xxlmag.com Live1ne

    B.I.G. was 24 at the time of his death. Step your game up xxl staff.

  • Fireforreal

    This album to this day sounds good. From the Lyrics to beats and how the coincide together,flows the mix of the album etc….. it was worth the waite from Ready To Die to Life After Death and If you have a last album that’s how you do it. He had a balance of radio joints that didn’t sound corny to story telling,to sharing the mic with other rappers to straight hip hop shit tracks. The perfect album. R.I.P B.I.G

  • Mak_Corleone

    Kick In THe Door was also a Tupac diss, the Madd Rapper with his 4 albums n living with his momz? Pac’s whole family lived with him and at the time he had 4 albums released! 2Pacalypse Now, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., Me Against The World & All Eyez On Me!

  • edssdv

    Mak_Corleone makes a good point because for a fact this was made before pac’s death.Anyways I had to say that dj premier WAS NOT dissed on kick in the door.The man produced the beat and a few others on the album.He did however diss Jeru.

  • http://twitter.com/thaNorthStarMN thaNorthStar.com

    pac recorded all eyes on me in 2 weeks. thats talent & realness, as biggie was doing everything puff told him to do to make a radio album