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27 Best Notorious B.I.G. Songs

If you ask anyone who was born during or before the 90s who the best rapper ever is, you’ll probably get one of two answers: Tupac Shakur or Biggie Smalls. The Notorious B.I.G. had a laid-back delivery and often rapped about his own life experiences. One of the biggest figures in the gangsta rap era, he would have a tragically short career.

In the few years that we had him, he earned a reputation as one of the best to ever pick up a mic. In this article, we’ll go over the 27 best The Notorious B.I.G. songs in history. 

1. Juicy

The Notorious B.I.G. - Juicy (Official Video) [4K]

The first single from Biggie’s 1994 debut album Ready To Die isn’t just one of his best songs ever, it’s one of the best hip hop tracks of all time. It’s one of the originals, the kind of rags-to-riches song that chronicled his own life and laid the blueprint for the artists that would come after him.

It’s not just a great track in retrospect either. Pitchfork had it in the top 15 of their Top 200 Tracks of the 90s, Rolling Stone lists it at number 32 in their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and the BBC ranked it as the number-one greatest hip hop track of all time. 

2. Hypnotize

The Notorious B.I.G. - Hypnotize (Official Music Video) [4K]

Right up there alongside Juicy, Hypnotize is probably even more recognizable for people that have only heard Biggie in passing. The first single to be released from his Life After Death album in 1997 and coming out only a week before his death, it’s another entry onto the list of the best hip hop songs of all time.

In the history of the Billboard charts, it was the fifth one to reach number one posthumously, taking the top spot of the Hot 100, Hot Rap Songs, and Hot Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart while reaching the top five in the UK at the same time. 

3. Sky’s The Limit

The Notorious B.I.G. - Sky's The Limit (Official Music Video) [4K]

Biggie turned to the rap game after becoming disillusioned with being a drug dealer and thank god for that. Sky’s The Limit was another rags-to-riches track that described the different points of his life, from being a school kid to dealing drugs and then turning to rap after his incarceration. Instead of glorifying the drug dealing life, he reflects on its faults and feels content that he made the right decision to start rapping. 

4. Flava in Ya Ear

Flava in Ya Ear (feat. Notorious B.I.G. and Rampage) (Greatest Hits Version)

Biggie was only 22 when he hopped on this banger with Craig Mack, delivering one of the most fire-opening verses in the history of the game. He appeared on the siren-blaring remix version alongside some of the biggest names in hip hop at the time, stealing the show rather than holding his own. A platinum song according to the RIAA, Flava In Ya Ear rose to number nine on the Hot 100 and number one on the Hot Rap Songs chart, even earning a Grammy Nomination for Best Rap Solo in 1995. 

5. Big Poppa

The Notorious B.I.G. - Big Poppa (Official Music Video) [HD]

Big Poppa was the second single to come from Ready To Die and sampled the first material Biggie ever released. In 1996, it was nominated for Best Rap Solo at the Grammy Awards, winning the award at the Billboard Music Awards the same year. It would eventually earn a platinum certification from the RIAA and an official remix would come out in 1995 that featured Jermaine Dupri and a new verse from Biggie.

6. Notorious Thugs

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O\u002d\u002dEK93lgPc

Biggie was known for his relaxed flow, but he totally switched it up when he rapped alongside Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony. It’s the best example of him showing his lyrical flexibility and one of the songs fans point to when they argue that he was the greatest of all time. He was still in his element, laying down one of the best rapid-fire verses in hip hop. 

7. Ten Crack Commandments

The Notorious B.I.G. - Ten Crack Commandments (Official Audio)

Ten Crack Commandments is widely considered one of Biggie’s best songs. Originally released on the second disc of his Life After Death album, it included a list of the commandments just in case you somehow forget them. You’ll see this one near the top of every major publication’s list of his best tracks, with Complex even ranking it as the best song about selling drugs ever. 

8. Mo Money Mo Problems

The Notorious B.I.G. - Mo Money Mo Problems (Official Music Video) [4K]

The second single of Biggie’s final album, Mo Money Mo Problems rose to number one on the Billboard Hot 100, spending two weeks at that position in 1997. It famously replaced Puff Daddy’s tribute to Biggie I’ll Be Missing You in that spot, becoming his second posthumous number-one single, the only artist to do so. Looking only at airplay and chart success, it’s widely regarded as one of the most popular songs in hip hop history. 

Recommended: Best rap songs about money

9. Unbelievable

The Notorious B.I.G. - Unbelievable (Official Audio)

Unbelievable was the last song recorded for Ready To Die, finished after the studio had wrapped up production. Biggie had to pay DJ Premier for the beat and what came after became a rallying cry for Brooklyn. It also reaffirmed him as a street rapper despite walking a tightrope between radio-friendly hits and the traditional hip hop songs on the album. 

10. Ready To Die

The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die (Official Audio)

The title track of Biggie’s 1994 album was a clear message to the world that he was, in fact, ready to die. Ready To Die was the opener of the album and sort of a transcending song for the rapper. The album as a whole saw him put his old life behind him and enter his prime, enjoying all the success that came his way after struggling for so long just to survive.  

11. Who Shot Ya?

Who Shot Ya? (2007 Remaster)

Who Shot Ya? was unfortunately released a month after Tupac Shakur was shot and robbed in a studio lobby, fueling speculation to this day about what the track was about. According to Biggie and Puff Daddy, the song was recorded well before the incident, but it cemented Shakur’s assertion that he was set up by the East Coast rapper. The backlash resulted in fatalities on both sides of the beef and set the stage for one of the best hip hop diss tracks in history, Hit Em Up.

12. Everyday Struggle

The Notorious B.I.G. - Everyday Struggle (Official Audio)

If you couldn’t tell from his album titles, Biggie was never really concerned with his own mortality. Death was something expected, something he was ready for, and everything leading up to it was gravy. Everyday Struggle sees him at his best, rapping stories that hit close to home for him. 

13. I Love The Dough

The Notorious B.I.G. - I Love The Dough (feat. Jay-Z and Angela Winbush) (Official Audio)

Sometimes, an artist makes an album so great that songs deserving of being singles get stuck on the album. I Love The Dough was one of those clearly deserving single tracks that just didn’t make it off of Life After Death

14. Party and Bullshit

Party And Bullshit

Party And Bullshit is credited as the first single Biggie ever released and was one of four promotional singles for the soundtrack to the 1993 movie Who’s The Man? Inspired by The Last Poet’s song When The Revolution Comes, it was one of the tracks he performed alongside Tupac Shakur in 1993 before all the beef happened.

Numerous remixes and samples of the song have come and gone, with notable entries from Lloyd Banks, Faith Evans, and Hathbanger. 

15. Warning

The Notorious B.I.G. - Warning (Official Music Video) [HD]

Big Poppa wasn’t released alone. At the same time, Biggie dropped Warning as the second single from Ready To Die. It saw him rap back and forth with himself in a mock phone call between himself and an associate named Pop, with the latter trying to warn him about a plot he discovered targeting Biggie. 

16. Real Love Remix

Real Love Remix (feat. The Notorious B.I.G.)

Biggie was at his best when he was front and center on a track, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t pull off amazing performances as a backup. Real Love came before he released his debut single Party And Bullshit, earning Mary J. Blige her first Top 10 hit single and finding a place in the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list from Rolling Stone. 

17. Kick In The Door

The Notorious B.I.G. - Kick in the Door (Official Audio)

Kick In The Door was a massive diss track from Biggie. It went after literally everyone, targeting haters, the public, and other rappers like Nas, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, and hell, even the listener. Puff Daddy didn’t like the instrumental on the song and didn’t want to use it, but Biggie liked it, so he went behind his back and recorded the track anyway. 

18. I Got A Story To Tell

The Notorious B.I.G. - I Got A Story To Tell (Official Audio)

I Got A Story To Tell was so good that it drew praise from literary critics in addition to music critics. The story in question was apparently about Biggie banging the girlfriend of one of the players on the New York Knicks. Fans have speculated for years about which player it was, as he didn’t name him in the song, but it was probably John Starks. He never really admitted it, though in an interview he did say he knew it was a true story, leaving the mystery still unconfirmed to this day.

19. Player’s Anthem

Notorious B.I.G., Lil' Kim & Lil' Cease (Junior M.A.F.I.A.) - Player's Anthem (Official Video)

This wasn’t ever Biggie’s song, but he did form Junior M.A.F.I.A. with his childhood friends, and he did the chorus on this huge hit track. Player’s Anthem was the first single released from Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s debut album, reaching number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and launching several artists’ careers like Lil Kim. He first performed the song live alongside the group in 1995. 

20. Get Money

Get Money (feat. Junior M.A.F.I.A.) (2007 Remaster)

Back to the Junior M.A.F.I.A., we go for the third single of their debut album. Get Money saw Biggie return for another collaboration and get a feature credit despite basically being a member of the group. It wound up being another big hit, spending 20 weeks on the Hot 100 and peaking at number 17 while becoming one of the best songs of 1996. 

21. Victory

Victory (feat. The Notorious B.I.G. & Busta Rhymes)

Puff Daddy’s debut studio album No Way Out was huge. Victory was one of the songs that helped carry it, originally written by Biggie who raps two verses in the track and never saw it become a hit in 1998. It would end up being an incredibly popular single, peaking at number 19 on the Hot 100 and featuring the last verses Biggie recorded before his death in 1997, literally the day before his murder. The song has been used in various other forms of media too, from films to video games and even professional wrestling

22. What’s Beef

The Notorious B.I.G. - What's Beef? (Official Audio)

What’s Beef was Biggie’s response to all the drama in the rap game and the feuds he found himself a part of. To him, real beef wasn’t trading insults, it was actual violence. In the end, it was one of the last songs he recorded before he fell victim to one of those feuds. 

23. Machine Gun Funk

The Notorious B.I.G. - Machine Gun Funk (Official Audio)

Machine Gun Funk was a quintessential Biggie Smalls song. It basically just compared a life of crime to a life of rhyme, repeating the comparisons he had drawn in other parts of his work. In an interview, he at one point named it as his favorite track too, so it must be one of his best. 

24. Brooklyn’s Finest

Today, Jay-Z stands tall as one of the biggest rappers to ever come out of Brooklyn, but when this track was recorded in 1996 he was just an up-and-comer. Brooklyn’s Finest saw Biggie and Jay-Z go toe-to-toe after arguing over who would get a beat. One of the coolest parts of the recording was when the producers realized neither artist had written down any lyrics, then the two fired off one of the best songs in either of their careers.

25. One More Chance

The Notorious B.I.G. - One More Chance (Official Music Video) [HD]

One More Chance is one of the most obscenely sexual songs in hip hop history—and that’s saying a lot—but it’s also one of the greatest. To make it radio-friendly, Puff Daddy had the track sampled and chopped up into a remix that could reasonably be played on air. Mary J. Blige and Biggie’s wife Faith Evans would be featured on the track, giving it added depth beyond what he could do with it. 

26. Things Done Changed

The Notorious B.I.G. - Things Done Changed (Official Audio)

Things Done Changed was an all-encompassing song for Biggie. It went over everything from the way the street game had changed over the years to how his game as a rapper had changed. The deeper meaning of the track was more of a commentary on how the crack epidemic had turned cities into war zones though, one of the most blatant social commentaries of his career. 

27. Gimme The Loot

The Notorious B.I.G. - Gimme the Loot (Official Audio)

Gimme The Loot was a big fan favorite of the Ready To Die album that eventually turned into one of his most popular songs. It was another time Biggie had two characters play off of each other, but this time saw him use a high-pitched voice that fans thought had to be a different rapper.

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