Ready To Die has become a classic so canonized that all praise can’t help but feel empty. No adjective or second-hand color scheme can capture the shadowplay of dark and light that Biggie creates line-by-line, a sociopathic threat followed by a Louis XIV boast or a novelistic detail that freezes your backbone. There’s nothing Teflon about this album. Everything sticks to Big, every snaking fear and cancerous reality. He absorbs and internalizes it, spitting it back with fatalistic precision.
Read our new Liner Notes for Ready to Die here.
Biggie's debut serves as a timeline for hip-hop as a culture leading up to it. Read how here.
Our Stax of Wax show this week is devoted to the artists sampled on Ready to Die. Listen here.
The story of the iconic cover of Ready to Die.
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