The 50 Best Storytelling Rap Songs

22. The Notorious B.I.G. "Warning" (1994)

Album: Ready to Die
Producer: Easy Mo Bee
Label: Bad Boy Records

"Warning," from Biggie's 1994 Ready to Die, is a classic, from its killer opener ("Who the fuck is this paging me at 5:46 in the morning?") to the compelling narrative about an intercepted stick-up plot to chilling threats like, "There's gonna be a lot of slow singing, and flower bringing, if my burglar alarm starts ringing." "Warning" is both a clinic for deft lyricism and a showcase for Big's knack for unconventional songwriting. It's basically a phone conversation between Big and a friend who got wind of a plan to rob him. But the plan appears to jump off before he can get off the phone, and the slow-burning suspense only lets up in the skit after the song, when Biggie blasts the two hitmen sent to take him out.

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