“Big Poppa,” arguably B.I.G’s most commercial friendly offering of all time, features Wallace utilizing his charismatic flow to paint a picture of VIP royalty over an Isley Brothers beat. That is followed by the reggae-themed “Respect” and “Friend of Mine.” “Unbelievable” is the most perfectly crafted offering of the entire set, letting the world know who was the illest around while serving notice to everyone that Brooklyn was coming, positioning it as the place to be for today’s New York implants.

“Live from Bedford-Styvesant, the livest one, representing BK to the fullest!”

In closing, Ready to Die continues upon its path of death taunting with the eerie suicidal confessional “Suicide Thoughts.”

Though it was impossible to imagine at that time for Biggie or even his biggest fans, Ready to Die was incredibly prophetic. B.I.G. was murdered days before the release of his second studio album Life After Death in 1997. Ready to Die was the rare quadruple platinum hip-hop offering. The single “Big Poppa” was nominated for a Grammy at the 1996 Grammy Awards. In 2003 the entire set was ranked 133 on Rolling Stones list of 500 greatest albums of all time and in 2006 Time magazine included Ready to Die on its list of 100 greatest albums of all time.

20 years later, Christopher Wallace, The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie, lives on through the album which blessed us with some of the greatest tracks and lyrics of all time. While it may not have the commercial success of today’s hip-hop, there exists no doubt that Ready to Die continues to influence and impact present culture through the music that the world recognizes and uses across all walks of life, and that makes it legendary.

20 years later, he’s STILL the illest.

Courtesy of Shadow League Dig