This was no easy task. The man was the rap Alfred Hitchcock. What’s left to be said about how descriptive he could be in just a few lines? Sure Slick Rick and them were some storytellers but BIG spit crime novels laced with drugs and double crosses like his nom de plume was Nicolas Pileggi. He was more like a Kool G. Rap (who is no slouch ether telling stories) but somehow more worldly and dare we say somehow more believable?
At the heart of even BIG’s grizzliest scene was a joke. No other rappers ever dared to “dress up like ladies and kill em with thirty 380s…” Or when he punctuated another story with a car getting towed for parking near a hydrant. Funny stuff, no?
Anyway, enough with the preliminaries… we’re going to go through this list of Biggie’s 15 most cinematic verses. You should too if you knew what this list could mean to you. --J. Pablo
"Get Money": No one can really kick that sh*t about the opposite sex quite like Big could (except for Ghostface. Tony got stories for days!). This track is technically a Junior Mafia record but it might as well have been BIG’s. Describing a girl he trusted who turned out to be fucking everybody, Big has no qualms about painting himself as the victim who got played. He even places the blame on himself stating that what he gets for tricking. Though the message may seem somewhat misogynistic, ultimately it’s positive. Get your money meng. Leave the trife chicks alone.
"Who Shot Ya?": Just one long threat really but damn does he paint a vicious picture.
"Gimme The Loot": How much stuff do you think has been stolen to this song? Think about it. Anyway, this one is like Brooklyn’s thirst personified in an SNL skit type rap song. He conveys the ruthlessness that hunger can cause and just how desperate young men and women are to get money. Again, his endings were always so perfect. Any writer will tell you writing a good ending to a good story is the hardest part. Big however, usually handled that part masterfully.
"Another": Just to switch up the type of stories he was rapping we have this song. With drama and bickering worthy of Jerry Springer, Big and Kim air their relationship grievances in typical Biggie fashion. Though extremely witty, after a break up guaranteed you won’t find it as funny as you remember it. In fact in can be downright infuriating, especially if you relate to any of the trespasses committed by a cheating partner mentioned in the song. Best part though, is the advice that “if she beep you don’t call her.” BIG’s right. Just move on, black man, move on.
"Juicy": Not really a story but still Biggie’s breakdown of the good life even before he was even living that life was done with such an acute eye for detail that you’d never know he was still broke in his mom’s St. James Place apartment when he penned it. He was only in his early twenties but it was obvious after one listen that this young buck was worldly beyond his years and immediate
"Playa Hater": This song speaks more to BIG's ability to see humor in even deadly situations. Without rapping a single word, Big sings short, concise lines detailing his maneuvers for leaving his haters penniless and even dead. There’s not much going on here but you still get the feeling a montage could be shot to this.
"Miss U": Big always repped the downside of the game just as well as its spoils. In this heart wrenching tale he talks about the regret of losing friends to the drug game and violence. Especially touching is him admitting that he can’t look at his dead friend’s daughters in their eyes because of the immense guilt he feels. He also lists his friend’s sister blaming him for the death. You can’t fake lamenting like this.
"Runnin’": I know this has to be an NYPD favorite. Big shooting cops and selling their glocks. A “summarization” would be longer than the 50 or 60 words Big used to give a detailed account starting with his wayward childhood then leading into a tumultuous drug career that leads to cops on milk cartons and dreads being grown… wild wild stuff.
"Sky Is The Limit": This made the list for no other reason than Big deftly describing how he punched someone in the face for clowning his fake Lacoste. Stay in ya place. Though it lacked the Francis Ford Coppola imagery some of his more exciting rhymes possess it’s still an honest depiction of a Brooklyn teen coming of age with visions of putting cash in his mother’s hand and a college fund for his daughter. See you chumps on top!
"Big Poppa": Didn’t you picture the video in your head before the video even came out? The back of the club? Ask you what your interests are? Cheese eggs and Welch’s grape? Big made it so easy for TK to direct because he had already mapped out the treatment with his descriptive lyrics.
"Me and My Bitch": This ain’t no soft “I Need Love” rapped in barely a whisper. This is hood love at its purest complete with a sad ending. Ain’t no “I’ll tell you the rest when I see you…” Cuz your shorty just got merked. Heavy matters.
"Niggas Bleed": Great display of Big’s vivid imagination. We mean this Frank. Straight movie. Picture him crossing his fingers or the tattoos around Arizona Ron’s bullet wounds. It’s all so descriptive in just a few words. By all intents and purposes this should be number one on the list.
"Suicidal Thoughts": Nihilism at its miserable, self-loathing best. The strength here is it’s usually hard to find a good way to end a compelling story. Big ends it with such finality you almost feel bad for Puff calling out for his friend in his melodramatic tone.
"Warning": So menacing it could send a chill up your spine. If I was into home invasion/robberies I’d steer clear of BIG’s crib. Music is entertainment and I’m sure Big was a cool dude like everybody says but did you ever see that picture of him putting a gun
"I Got A Story To Tell": This is the one. The crown jewel in the display. So crisp and exciting (and yes funny) you don’t even mind hearing the whole scenario is being retold to his homies.