I just bought the recent issue of The Source the night before with Biggie on the cover and a great feature article where he talked about how he was coming back for his number one spot. My last thought before going to sleep was, he was coming back and no rapper could come close to stopping him. Everything about him seemed larger than life, the rhymes, the flow, the suits, the way he took care everyone, how personable he was on camera and then suddenly it all stopped.
"The Greatest Rapper of All Time died on March 9th"
-Canibus "Second Round Knockout"
People will debate who the greatest rapper of all time is until they are blue in the face, but everyone will agree that Biggie Smalls was the illest. It was an arduous task but I made a list of the ten best Biggie verses of all time. Some people's favorites were left out, and I apologize. Biggie probably deserves three or four top ten lists. The hardest omissions were "Mo Money Mo Problems", the storytelling verses like "I Got a Story to Tell" and "Niggas Bleed", the sentimental "Sky's The Limit", the underrated "Everyday Struggle", the cult classic "Last Days", guest appearances like "Get Money" and "Benjamins", and my favorite line ever from the track "Ready to Die" where Big rapped "I got techniques dripping out my butt cheeks / Sleep on my stomach so I don't fuck up my sheets".
10. "Flava In Ya Ear (remix)"
Niggaz is mad I get more butts than ashtrays
I see the gimmicks, the wack lyrics / That shit is depressing, pathetic, please forget it / Mad cause my style you admiring / Don't be mad UPS is hiring
Whoever thought it was a good idea to start this posse cut mad a big mistake. Biggie stole the show and made the other rappers look average including the extra animated Busta Rhymes (and you know how I feel about the Dungeon Dragon and Posse Cuts). Craig Mack and Big put Bad Boy on the map and it was only fitting that they remixed (considering they invented the remix) one of their earliest hits.
9. 1st Verse "Long Kiss Goodnight"
I make your mouth piece obese like Della Reese
You know the rules / Went from BK to New Jeruze / Look at the planes we flew / Bitches we ran through / Now the year's new / I want my spot back, take two
After his car accident, Biggie was hospitalized for a few weeks and watched a lot of movies. One of his favorites was "Long Kiss Goodnight" with Geena Davis and Samuel Jackson. He was often accompanied by his then girlfriend who was looking to become a rapper. Big suggested that she take the name of Geena Davis' character in the movie, Charlie Baltimore. I did not include the verse because of the story but instead because of the hunger Biggie rapped with on the first verse. He was telling all other rappers that they were playing for second place.
8. 1st Verse "Dead Wrong"
Relax and take notes, while I take tokes of the marijuana smoke / Throw you in a choke gun smoke, gun smoke
I guess I was a combination of House of Pain and Bobby Brown / I was "Humpin Around" and "Jump in Around" / Jacked her then I asked her who's the man; she said, "B I G" / Then I bust in her E Y E
Everything about this verse is aggressive including the way he delivered his lines. Biggie had pretty graphic and excessively violent lyrics but this could top them all. Some people may have problems with the content of his lyrics but those same people probably loved the Oscar winner for best picture, Martin Scorcese's "The Departed". He was not Mos Def or Chuck D but he was great at what he did.