Guerilla Black and the Notorious B.I.G.
Key Song: Guerilla Black f/ Beenie Man "Compton"
Remember when Shyne was accused of sounding too much like Biggie, because his voice had a similarly thick baritone? Come back Mr. Barrow, all is forgiven. It's funny to think about how, at one time, people perceived a possible career for Guerilla Black. Some of us were scared: Had the new generation completely forgotten about Biggie's legacy? Would this pale imitation supplant this memory in the minds of the youth? We shouldn't have been concerned. All in all, it was an excellent troll-job; not only did Guerilla rep the West Coast and Compton specifically, but he unquestionably bit Biggie's flow, even doing so over a sample of Sister Nancy's "Bam Bam," an obvious echo of Biggie's early career appearance on Super Cat's "Dolly My Baby." But what he was missing (in addition to charisma, versatility, originality, etc.) was Biggie's wit; Christopher Wallace would never have let a clunker like "call me Plato, I philosophize" pass his lips. —David Drake