Song: "Victory" (1997)
Album: No Way Out
There's a tragic undercurrent, of course, to Puffy's opening lines of "Victory" in the wake of Biggie's death, something impossible to forget as Big counts off the beat ("One. One, two. Check me out right here, yo."). But they draw on a sense of epic grandeur-violins, come in-and root it in a partnership that made the track possible, that made so much of everything in hip-hop possible: Big as the talent, Puff on the business. But the tragic reality of what happened aside, there's triumph involved with the fearless acknowledgement of the fact that Bad Boy won't always be hot, they won't always be alive, and their kingdom won't always reign supreme. That takes moxie, which this tracked oozed, as made evident from square one.