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Ready to Die by the Notorious Big - My Introduction to East Coast Rap

Updated on November 19, 2020
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Tawnya is a freelance writer and mom of a tiny gymnast. When it comes to buying gymnastics-related gear, I'm an industry pro.


Replace Your Ready to Die Cassette Tape with a CD

Ready to Die: The Remaster
Ready to Die: The Remaster
I first owned Ready to Die on cassette, but have since upgraded to the CD.

Biggie Smalls Ready to Die Album Review

In 1994, I had just started making musical choices for myself. Long gone were the days when I only listened to the music my mom and dad liked and the first genre I decided to check out was gangsta rap. Ready to Die by Notorious B.I.G. was one of the first hip-hop gangsta rap albums that I purchased with my own money and is still one of my favorite albums today. Although Notorious B.I.G.'s, also know as Big Poppa, career was cut short when he was murdered in 1997, this larger than life rapper had a huge impact on the hip hop genre.

Notorious B.I.G. was an East Coast Rapper

If you are familiar with gangsta rap at all, you will realize that in the early 90s, there were two main types of rap music; West Coast rap and East Coast rap. Big Poppa's album Ready to Die was so noticeable because Biggie was an East Coast rapper in a genre that was dominated by West Coast rappers such as Eazy-E, Ice-T, Too Short, Tupac Shakur, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre. Notorious B.I.G. also had a masterful way of delivering beats that made you want to get up and dance. However, he didn't have just one style, in fact, some of the large rapper's music was dark and others was auto-biographical and concentrated on his Brooklyn youth.

Ready to Die's Biggest Hits

Ready to Die was released three years before Biggie's death, but is still remembered today. Some of the most popular songs on this album include "Big Poppa," "Juicy," "Things Done Changed," "Everyday Struggle," and "Suicidal Thoughts." While Biggie Smalls did have some similarities to his West Coast foes, specifically his love of horticulture plants, the Notorious B.I.G. will long be remembered for his love of T-bone steaks, cheese, eggs, and Welch's grape juice all while delivering his clever lyrics through a big, dark voice that resonates in my mind every time I hear someone mention the Notorious B.I.G.

Ready to Die by Notorious BIG Facts

  • Ready to Die was released on September 13, 1994
  • Bad Boy Label
  • Singles from Ready to Die - Juicy, Big Poppa, and Warning
  • Named one of 100 greatest hip hop albums in 2008
  • In 2003 Blender magazine named Ready to Die one of 500 CDs you must own before you die
  • Certified double gold November 16, 1994
  • Certified double platinum October 16, 1995
  • Certified triple platinum August 26, 1998
  • Certified 4x platinum October 19, 1999


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© 2014 Tawnya


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