Notorious B.I.G. - Duets: The Final Chapter

Posted 10 years ago

“If you know and you enjoy hip hop / If you want one of the coldest brotha’s out of North...

Duets: The Final Chapter Album Review

“If you know and you enjoy hip hop / If you want one of the coldest brotha’s out of North America / Welcome the Notorious B.I.G / a.k.a. Biggie” The quote, was from a 1996 recording made by the late rapper while making a concert appearance in Portmore, Jamaica.

Truth be told, “Duets: The Final Chapter” might be the hottest Bad Boy release to hit shelves since… well… uh…a long while! (Any votes for Mase, Harlem World?) Notice the usage of the word “release” and not album. The reason you might ask? Well, because it’s considered in most circles as simply the largest “mixtape” project ever produced. Jumping on board to compliment the classic hip hop lyrics of the late great B.I.G. include (and are certainly not limited to), Jay-Z, Nas, R. Kelly, Faith Evans, Scarface, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Missy Elliot, The Game, T.I., Lil Wayne, and all remaining members of the currently-recording hip-hop industry.

It is very rare (in any genre) to come across an album with thirty-plus guest appearances. The combatant to albums which are laden with guest hooks and verses is simple though, be credible. Executive producer Sean “now just Diddy” Combs knows that and uses it for his reasoning behind bringing on board the dream collaboration team. No guest feature from any artist ever to step foot in the hip-hop “game” could outshine Mr. Frank White. Not even non-traditional features from the likes of Bob Marley & Korn.

Throughout the album there lie interludes by those closest to Biggie, including his two children T’yanna and CJ. Typically interludes waste time and take away from the flow of an album. In the case of “Duets,” they merely help to remind us all of our loss. The production on the album includes Havoc of Mobb Deep, Just Blaze and Clinton Sparks, who produced the single “Hold Ya Head” featuring the aforementioned Reggae legend simply known as Bob. Fellow rap icons 2Pac and Big Pun both have guest appearances on “Duets,” allowing us all the chance to daydream of what a regular Monday afternoon studio session might have sounded like. The album shows newcomers to the hip-hop genre that a rapper like Bigge remains an ageless representation of both talent and realism. As Diddy always says, “Take That, Take That.”

DJBooth Rating - 3.5 Spins

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