Monday, February 27, 2012

Life After Death - The Notorious B.I.G.


Life After Death

Life After Death is the second and final studio album by American rapper The Notorious B.I.G., released March 25, 1997 on Bad Boy Records. A double album, it was released posthumously following his death on March 9, 1997 and serves as his final studio album. The album is the follow-up to The Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album, Ready to Die (1994), and it features collaborations with guest artists such as 112, Jay-Z, Lil Kim, Mase, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Too Short, Carl Thomas, Run-DMC, Total, R. Kelly, The LOX, Kelly Price, and Puff Daddy. Life After Death exhibits The Notorious B.I.G. further delving into the mafioso rap subgenre.

Life After Death was released to a significant amount of critical praise and commercial success. In 2000, the album was certified diamond in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and it has been credited as one of the best-selling rap albums of all time. It also made the largest jump to number one on the Billboard 200 chart in history, jumping from number 176 to number one in one week. Also, it spent four weeks at number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and topped the Billboard Year-End chart as an R&B/Hip-Hop Album for 1997. The album was nominated for three Grammy Awards in 1998, including Best Rap Album, Best Rap Solo Performance for its first single "Hypnotize", and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for its second single "Mo Money Mo Problems". Along with Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… (1995), AZ's Doe Or Die (1995), Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt (1996), and Nas' It Was Written (1996) Life After Death has been considered by music writers as one of the seminal mafioso rap albums, as well as a milestone in hip hop music.

Though released in the wake of B.I.G.'s fatal shooting, Life After Death signaled a stylistic change in gangsta rap as it crossed over to the commercial mainstream. After the release of Life After Death, Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records continued to bring pop and gangsta rap closer together: the references to violence and drug dealing remained, as did the entire "gangsta" rhetoric, but the overall production style changed from the previously darker sound to a cleaner, sample-heavy, more upbeat sound that was directly fashioned for the mainstream pop charts, as seen in the single "Mo Money Mo Problems". The Notorious B.I.G. is often credited with initiating this transition, as he was among the first mainstream rappers to produce albums with a calculated attempt to include both gritty and realistic gangsta narratives as well as more radio-friendly productions. Much of the album is produced by Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, Carlos "July Six" Broady, Nigga Squintz, Ron "Amen-Ra" Lawrence, and Nashiem Myrick. However, other notable hip-hop producers such as Easy Mo Bee, Havoc (Mobb Deep), DJ Premier and RZA contributed beats to the album as well.

Various artists were specifically influenced by several songs on Life After Death. Evidence's "Down in New York City" is essentially "Going Back to Cali" from the perspective of a West Coast artist. Jay-Z borrows four bars from "The World Is Filled..." in his song "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)", as well as the chorus from his song "Squeeze 1st" from "Hypnotize", a line in "The Ruler's Back" from "Kick in the Door" and "You're Nobody ('Til Somebody Kills You)" on "D.O.A." Ice Cube borrows the chorus from "Kick in the Door" for his song "Child Support". Monica uses "I Love the Dough" beat and a verse from B.I.G. as featured, on her 2010's "Everything to Me" official remix. On their RCA album, Release Some Tension, R&B trio SWV sampled the song on as the opening track, "Someone" which features B.I.G's friend and protege Combs which was released five months later.

Title Time Songwriters Producers Featured Artists Samples
1 "Life After Death (Intro)"* 1:39 C. Wallace, S. Jordan, Sean Combs Sean "Puffy" Combs & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen, co-produced by The Notorious B.I.G.
* Contains a sample of "Suicidal Thoughts" by The Notorious B.I.G.
* Contains a sample of "This Masquerade" by George Benson

2 "Somebody's Gotta Die"* 4:26 C. Wallace, Sean Combs, A. Hester, Nasheim Myrick, Carlos Broady Nashiem Myrick, Carlos "6 July" Broady & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen
* Contains a sample of "In the Rain" by The Dramatics

3 "Hypnotize" 3:50 C. Wallace, R. Alpert, D. Angelettie, Andy Armer, Sean Combs, Ron Lawrence Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, Ron "Amen-Ra" Lawrence & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen Pamela Long
* Contains a sample of "Rise" by Herb Alpert
* Interpolates "La Di Da Di" by Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh

4 "Kick in the Door"* 4:47 C. Wallace, J. Hawkins, Chris E. Martin DJ Premier for Works of Mart Productions,Inc.
* Contains a sample of "I Put A Spell On You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
* Contains a sample of "Unbelievable" by The Notorious B.I.G.
* Interpolates "Get Money" by Junior M.A.F.I.A.
* Contains a sample of "Wash Yo' Ass" by Martin Lawrence
* Contains a sample of "Robby, The Cook, And 60 Gallons Of Booze" by Louis & Bebe Barron
* Contains a sample of "I Put A Spell On You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins

5 "Fuck You Tonight" 5:45 C. Wallace, Sean Combs, D. Jones, R. Kelly Daron Jones & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen R. Kelly

6 "Last Day"* 4:19 C. Wallace, Kejuan Muchita, J. Phillips, Dorothy Stiles Havoc, co-produced by Sean "Puffy" Combs & Stevie J for The Hitmen The LOX

7 "I Love the Dough" 5:11 C. Wallace, S. Carter, O. Harvey, R. Moore, Angela Winbush Easy Mo Bee for Bee Mo Easy Productions,Inc. Jay-Z & Angela Winbush
* Contains a sample of *"I Love You More" by Rene & Angela
* Synth lead based on "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" by Rod Stewart

8 "What's Beef?"* 5:15 C. Wallace, Carlos Broady,
Nasheim Myrick Nashiem Myrick & Carlos "6 July" Broady for the Hitmen, co-produced by Paragon
* Contains a sample of I'm Glad You're Mine by Al Green
* Contains a sample of Close To You by Richard Evans

9 "B.I.G. Interlude" 0:48 C. Wallace, D. Angelettie The Notorious B.I.G. & Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie for The Hitmen
* Contains a sample of *"P.S.K. What Does It Mean?" by Schooly D

10 "Mo Money Mo Problems" 4:17 C. Wallace, M. Betha, Sean Combs, B.H. Edwards, S. Jordan, Nile Rodgers Steven "Stevie J" Jordan & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen Puff Daddy, Mase & Kelly Price
* Contains a sample of *"I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross

11 "Niggas Bleed"* 4:51 C. Wallace, Sean Combs, S. Jordan, Nasheim Myrick Nashiem Myrick, Carlos "6 July" Broady & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen
* Contains a sample of "Hey Who Really Cares" by The Whispers

12 "I Got a Story to Tell"* 4:42 C. Wallace, A. Best Buckwild for Kurrup Money Entertainment, co-produced by Chucky Thompson & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen
* Contains a sample of *"I'm Glad You're Mine" by Al Green

Disc two
# Title Time Songwriter(s) Producer(s) Featured Artists Sample(s)
1 "Notorious Thugs" 6:07 C. Wallace, Sean Combs, A. Henderson, S. Howse, S. Jordan, Bryon McCane Steven "Stevie J" Jordan & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
* Contains a sample of "More Than Love" by Ohio Players

2 "Miss U" 4:58 C. Wallace, Kaygee Gist, Lionel Richie Kay Gee 112
* Contains a sample of "Missing You" by Diana Ross

3 "Another" 4:15 C. Wallace, Sean Combs, N. Ingram, K. Jones, S. Jordan Steven "Stevie J" Jordan & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen Lil' Kim
* Contains a sample and interpolation of "Another Man" by Barbara Mason

4 "Going Back to Cali" 5:07 C. Wallace, O. Harvey, Roger Troutman Easy Mo Bee for Bee Mo Easy Productions,Inc. Roger Troutman
* Contains a sample of "More Bounce To The Ounce" by Zapp

5 "Ten Crack Commandments" 3:24 C. Wallace, Chris E. Martin DJ Premier for Works of Mart Productions,Inc.
* Contains a sample of "Valantra" by Les McCann
* Contains a sample of "Shut 'Em Down" by Public Enemy

6 "Playa Hater" 3:57 C. Wallace, Sean Combs, W. Hart, S. Jordan Sean "Puffy" Combs & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen
* Contains a sample of "Hey! Love" by The Delfonics
* Contains a sample of "Basketball Jones" by Cheech and Chong

7 "Nasty Boy" 5:26 C. Wallace, Sean Combs, S. Jordan Sean "Puffy" Combs & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen Kelly Price
* Contains a sample of "Cavern" by Liquid Liquid

8 "Sky's the Limit" 5:29 C. Wallace, Bobby Caldwell, Hubert Eaves, Clark Kent, J. Williams Clark Kent 112
* Contains a sample of "Keep On" by D. Train
* Contains a sample of "My Flame" by Bobby Caldwell

9 "The World Is Filled..."* 4:54 C. Wallace, D. Angelette, Sean Combs, T. Shaw, K. Walker Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen Carl Thomas, Puff Daddy & Too Short
* Contains a sample of "Space Talk" by Asha Puthli
* Contains a sample of "The What" by The Notorious B.I.G.

10 "My Downfall"* 5:26 C. Wallace, Carlos Broady, Sean Combs, Darryl McDaniels, Nasheim Myrick Carlos "6 July" Broady, Nashiem Myrick & Sean "Puffy" Combs for The Hitmen DMC
* Contains a sample of "You're All I Need To Get By" by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
* Contains a sample of "For The Good Times" by Al Green

11 "Long Kiss Goodnight"* 5:18 C. Wallace, Robert Diggs RZA for Wu-Tang Productions
* Contains a sample of "The Letter" by Grant Green

12 "You're Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You)" 4:52 C. Wallace, Sean Combs, Gary Johnson, S. Jordan, E. Lopez, B. Preston Sean "Puffy" Combs & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen, co-produced by DJ Enuff & Jiv Poss Faith Evans


* Barry White - Hair Stylist
* Kit Walker - Sampled Keyboards
* The Notorious B.I.G. - Performer, Songwriter, Producer, Liner Notes
* Karen Anderson - Vocals (background)
* Too Short - Vocals
* Easy Mo Bee - Producer
* Michael Ciro - Guitar
* Sean "Puffy" Combs - Producer, Mixing
* DJ Premier - Producer
* Ben Garrison - Engineer
* Rich July - Engineer
* Marvin Scandrick - Vocals, Vocals (background) (112)
* Quinnes Parker - Vocals, Vocals (background) (112)
* Daron Jones - Producer, Vocals, Vocals (background) (112)
* Michael Keith - Vocals, Vocals (background) (112)
* Clark Kent - Producer
* Paul Logus - Mixing
* Manny Marroquin - Engineer
* Tony Maserati - Mixing
* Axel Niehaus - Engineer
* Michael Patterson - Engineer, Mixing
* Herb Powers - Mastering
* RZA - Producer
* Eddie Sancho - Mixing
* Richard Travali - Mixing
* Doug Wilson - Engineer
* DJ Enuf - Producer
* Faith Evans - Vocals (background)
* Carl Thomas - Vocals
* Pierre Retrayt - Producer
* Rasheed Goodlowe - Engineer
* Nasheim Myrick - Producer
* Michael Lavine - Photography
* Camilo Argumedes - Engineer
* Deric Angelettie - Producer
* Stevie J. - Producer
* Prince Charles Alexander - Engineer, Mixing
* Carlos Broady - Organ (Hammond), Producer
* Lane Craven - Engineer, Mixing
* Krayzie Bone - Vocals
* Deborah "Portia" Neeley Rolle - Vocals (background)
* Jiv Pos - Producer
* Jleon6 - Executive Producer
* Stephen Dent - Engineer
* Lynn Montrose - Engineer
* Steve Jones - Engineer
* Bizzy Bone - Vocals
* John Meredith - Engineer
* Layzie Bone - Vocals
* Diana Pedraza - Engineer
* Mike Pitts - Assistant Producer
* Kay Gee - Producer
* Groovey Lew - Stylist
* Ron Grant - Guest Appearance
* Keanna Henson - Vocals (background)
* Justin Cortinas- Producer

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