Life After Death was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. "Hypnotize" was nominated for a 1988 Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. "Mo Money Mo Problems" was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group.
The double-CD "Life After Death" arrived in stores, ironically and tragically, less than three weeks after the Notorious B.I.G. was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. Biggie Smalls, as he was known, quickly became one of rap's most respected MCs after the 1994 release of his debut album, READY TO DIE. His music sparked the comeback of East Coast hip-hop, while his very being added fire to rap's over-publicized East-West rivalry. For some (see "Playa Hater"), Biggie's success was too much to handle, and he became a primary target in hip-hop's continuing feud. Never feeding into that war on wax, B.I.G. chose to remain silent, until "Life After Death" became a reality, and the situation spoke for itself.
Although song titles like "You're Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You)" eerily mirror the real-life tragedy, the music on "Life After Death" serves to bring the Notorious B.I.G. back to life. As anything that he appeared on, the production (by a superstar conglomerate including Sean "Puffy" Combs and the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA) is top-notch, and his lyrical skills are razor sharp. Biggie was loved for his versatility. On "Notorious Thugs," he switches up his style to rhyme like a member of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Tracks like "Hypnotize" showcase his ability to be hardcore and commercial at the same time. Another talented rapper lost to senseless violence; B.I.G.'s winning album streak will, sadly, have to end here.
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