Biggie's Top 10 Collaborations

01
of 11

The Notorious B.I.G. Always Brought His A-game

Biggie
Getty

There are only two reasons you'd ever want to jump on a track with The Notorious B.I.G.:

1) You like him and what he brings to the table

2) You're a glutton for punishment

Biggie Smalls always brought his A-game when joining forces with other artists. And, sometimes, that meant leaving them in a body bag. Big approached collaborations with the same grit and hilarity that graced his solo cuts. Here are 10 of Biggie's best collaborations.

02
of 11

"Runnin' (Dyin' to Live)" (with 2pac)

2Pac
Al Pereira/Getty

Listen: "Runnin'"

AlbumTupac: Resurrection (OST), 2Pac

"Running (Dying to Live)" is a remake of a posse cut called "Running From the Police," which also features Pac and Big. Eminem reconstructs the track by incorporating a sample of Edgar Winter's "Dying to Live," as well as nuggets of Tupac and Biggie interviews. It won an ASCAP Soundtrack Song of the year award.

03
of 11

"Player's Anthem (Remix)" (with Junior M.A.F.I.A.)

Junior M.A.F.I.A. Conspiracy album cover
Image courtesy of Big Beat

Listen: "Player's Anthem"

AlbumConspiracy, Junior M.A.F.I.A.

Aside from storytelling and bragfests, party rap was one B.I.G.'s bread and butter. In fact, the credits should on this song ​should've read 'Notorious B.I.G. ft. Junior M.A.F.I.A.'

04
of 11

"Victory" (with Busta Rhymes & Puff Daddy)

Diddy
(Photo © Gareth Cattermole / Getty)

Listen: "Victory"

AlbumNo Way Out, Puff Daddy & The Family

Equal parts paranoia and aggression, Biggie's verse on "Victory" is one of the brightest spots on Diddy's No Way Out LP.

05
of 11

"Notorious Thugs" (with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony)

Life After Death album cover
Image courtesy of Amazon

Listen: "Notorious Thugs"

AlbumLife After Death, Notorious B.I.G.

Who knew Biggie Smalls could rock propane-fueled, melody-driven floetry a la Bone Thugs-N-Harmony? Credit also goes to Bone (the only rap group to have shared mics with both Biggie and 'Pac in their lifetime) for setting the pace. Literally.

06
of 11

"Dead Wrong" (with Eminem)

Eminem
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Listen: "Dead Wrong"

AlbumBorn Again, Notorious B.I.G.

On this posthumous collaboration, Frank White submits a gangsta recital about "spreading blood like mustard." For his part, Eminem matches Biggie's jaw-dropping rhymes with reckless references to cannibalism and exorcism.

07
of 11

5. "Only You" (Bad Boy Remix) (with 112, Mase)

The Notorious B.I.G.
The Notorious B.I.G. © Adger Cowans/Getty Images

Listen: "Only You"

Album112, 112

Whereas Big's debut single, 1992's "Cruisin'" failed to make an impression on the charts, his verse on "Only You" helped push the 112 jam to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100.

08
of 11

"Real Love (Remix)"/"What's the 411" (w/ Mary J. Blige)

Notorious B.I.G
Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Listen: "Real Love"

AlbumWhat's the 411: The Remixes, Mary J. Blige

Biggie's exceptional performance on "What's the 411" rivals his microscopic presence on "Real Love," but both  are undeniable throwback classics.

09
of 11

"The What" (with Method Man)

Biggie Ready To Die Remaster LP

Listen: "The What"

AlbumReady to Die, Notorious B.I.G.

"Flows just grow through me/ like trees to branches/Cliffs to avalanches/It's the praying mantis/Deep like the mind of Farrakhan A motherf****n rap phenomenon."

Not to be outdone by the Wu-Tang's most flavorful MC, Biggie holds his weight with heavy punchlines too numerous to name. The lone collaboration on ​Ready to Die eventually became one of his best songs ever.

10
of 11

"Flava in Ya Ear (Remix)" (with Craig Mack, etc)

Biggie with Lil Kim and Sean "Puffy" Combs
Biggie with Lil Kim and Sean "Puffy" Combs. © Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Listen: "Flava in Ya Ear"

AlbumProject: Funk the World, Craig Mack

Fresh off the critical praise of Ready to Die, Big Poppa delivers a lyrical smackdown within the first 20 seconds of this all-star remix ("N***as is mad I get more butt than ashtrays"). Ah, the good ol' days when Puffy's role was limited to dancing in videos.

11
of 11

"Brooklyn's Finest" (with Jay Z)

Jay-Z in the 90s
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Listen: "Brooklyn's Finest"

AlbumReasonable Doubt, Jay-Z

A collaboration is supposed to be a balanced showcase with all parties making meaty contributions, not an opportunity for one star to shine. That's what makes "Brooklyn's Finest" such an epic collaboration.

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Your Citation
Adaso, Henry. "Biggie's Top 10 Collaborations." ThoughtCo, May. 7, 2017, thoughtco.com/biggies-top-collaborations-2857979. Adaso, Henry. (2017, May 7). Biggie's Top 10 Collaborations. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/biggies-top-collaborations-2857979 Adaso, Henry. "Biggie's Top 10 Collaborations." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/biggies-top-collaborations-2857979 (accessed November 18, 2017).