You see, when Biggie hit the scene, I was completely turned off by him. I couldn’t relate to what he was talking about and really couldn’t respect him for it. (Yep, I said it.). It wasn’t until my friend and fellow English major, Deb of All That Cheeky Music, convinced me to put aside my feelings and listen to his flow, that I learned to appreciate The Notorious B.I.G.
What is flow, you ask? You only need listen to any Biggie song for the answer.
It is his tight vocabulary and his phrasing that runs like a stream.
It’s his ability to create such clever and sharp imagery. Check out these lyrics to “Warning” and tell me you can’t see a short film by John Singleton.
Who the fuck is this?
pagin me at 5:46 in the mornin crack a dawnin
now I’m yawnin, wipe the cold out my eye
see who’s this pagin me and why..
It’s my nigga Pop from the barbershop
told me he was in the gamblin spot and heard the intricate plot
some niggas wanna stick you like fly paper neighbour
slow down love please chill drop the caper
remember them niggas from the hill up in Brownsville
that you rolled dice wit
smoked the blunts and got nice wit
yeah my nigga Fame up in Prospect
nah dem my niggas nah love wouldn’t disrespect
I didn’t say dem,
they schooled me to some niggas
that you knew from back when,
when you was clockin minor figures
Now they heard you blowin up like nitro
know they wanna stick the knife
through your windpipe slow..
so thank Fame for warnin me now I’m warnin you
you got the mac nigga
tell me what you wanna do…
Damn niggas wanna stick me for my papers
They heard about the Rolex’s and the Lexus
wit the Texas license plate outta state
they heard about the pounds
you got down in Georgetown
now they heard you got half of Virginia locked down
they even heard about the crib
you bought your moms out in Florida
the fifth corridor….
Call the coroner
there’s gonna be alot of slow singin
and flower bringin
if my burglar alarm starts ringin
whatcha think all the guns is for?
all purpose war got the rottweilers by the door
and I feed em gun powder so they can devour
the criminals tryna to drop my decimals
DAMN..niggas wanna stick me for my cream
And it ain’t a dream things aint always what it seems
it’s the ones that smoke blunts witcha
see your picture, now they wanna
grab they guns and come and getcha
Bethca Biggie won’t slip
I got the calico with the black talons loaded in the clip
so I can rip through the ligaments
put the fuckas in a bad prediciment
where all the foul niggas went
Touch my cheddar, feel my Beretta
Buck with what I had you with
you motherfuckers betta duck
I bring pain, blood stains on what remains
Of his jacket, he had a gun he should’ve packed it
Cocked it, extra clips in my pocket
so I can reload and explode down ya rasshole
I fuck around and get hardcore
C4 to ya door no beef no more nigga
feel the rush scandalous
The more weed smoke I puff the more dangerous
I dont give a fuck about you or your weak crew
What you gonna do when Big Poppa comes for you
I’m not runnin, nigga I bust my gun in
Hold on I hear somebody comin……..
“Come on mothafucka!”
“I’m comin’ as fast as I can”
“Just bring yo mothafuckin’ ass on come on!”
“Are we gettin’ close? Huh?”
“It’s right over here”
“Man, are you sure it’s biggie smalls crib man?”
“Yeah i’m sure mothafucka come on”
“Oh fuck,it better be his mothafuckin’ house”
“It better be this mothafucka’s house”
“What? What’s wrong man?
“What’s that red dot on your head man?”
“What red dot?”
“Oh shit, you got a red dot on your head too!”
[two gun shots]
Flow is his use of the natural rhythm of words in combination with a complicated syncopated beat. His is absolutely impeccable. Remember this part in “Hypnotize”?
See how that just, well, flows? No other MC that has ever stepped to the mic has a flow quite like his. Even though I usually can’t get with what he’s talking about, I gotta applaude his use of language. It’s impeccable.
My favorite example of him “delivering lyrical lyrics that’s blowing lyrics out [his] larynx” is the song that first turned me off from him. Now it is my favorite song.
Enjoy lyricism at its best in “Juicy”.