An EDM Tribute to The Notorious B.I.G.

Yes, The Notorious B.I.G. was a great story teller and technically he was nice (you don't get that far with out that), but the thing that made Biggie

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Yes, The Notorious B.I.G. was a great story teller and technically he was nice (you don't get that far with out that), but the thing that made Biggie who he really was, was his flow. While other rappers will mumble or say any old nonsensical bullshit, Biggie held no punches. He got right in your face and told you like it was. More than that, today's rappers can often be boiled down to a singular catchphrase or sound, to the point where they have become shallow imitations of their inspirations; Biggie wasn't like that. Biggie had so many incredible lines that it's impossible to really say what was his signature line. Is it "I like it when you call me big poppa?" or how about "it was all a dream..." or how about "when I die, fuck it I wanna go to hell! 'Cause I'm a piece of shit, it ain't hard to fuckin' tell." Seriously! And that's just the tip of the iceberg. You can go on Facebook or twitter and invariably see a Biggie line and you know exactly where it came from. While his beat selection was often on point, too, they were much more a complement to Biggie than vice versa.

The best part about today's EDM movement? Many of the producers were in school, growing up to Biggie's music while he was still alive, so it's not rare to find a classic Biggie line thrown atop some dubstep or in a drum & bass track. Here are some of the best remixes and tracks that utilized Biggie Smalls' skills as an MC, helping his legacy live on.

Bro Safari - "Scumbag"

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Song Sampled: "Suicidal Thoughts"

The trap may have originated in the dirty south, but we're sure after listening to Bro Safari's inspired tune that Biggie would have been just as notorious in the traphouse as he was on the block in Bedford-Stuyvesant "do or die" Brooklyn. Chopping up "When I die, fuck it I wanna go to hell! 'Cause I'm a piece of shit, it ain't hard to fuckin' tell" over some heavy 808s and juicy snare rolls, Bro firmly put his stamp on the trap sound. The track has since become one of the seminal in trap's renaissance and we're more than happy to see that Biggie is getting his day again.

Subscape - "Screw Up"

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Song Sampled: "Runnin' (Dying to Live)"

"I grew up a fuckin' screw up!" is another one of those signature Biggie lines and it's Dub Police artist Subscape who really unlocks the true power of the line. The sample, which comes from "Runnin' (Dying To Live)," was one of those posthumous tracks that had people crying for the days of yesteryear when it was released on the soundtrack for Tupac: Resurrection. And while that tune was tight in it's own right, Subscape's track (and the VIP) just stomps. Melodic yet aggressive, Subscape summons Biggie's raw aggression with a lunging beat that just means business, some serious wobbles and those classic dubstep snares this VIP really does Biggie justice.

Craggz - "My Detroit"

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Song Sampled: "Hypnotize"

This is more of a sly version; Craggz (of Craggz & Parallel fame) flipped "Hypnotize" for Hospital's Med School imprint, using it as a homage to the Detroit techno scene, letting the washes and vibes from that scene flow freely into a running drum & bass tune. The samples used aren't the real meat of the track, but the way he slid them in there is perfect, especially that "my Detroit" right before the drop.

Ratatat - "Party & Bullsh*t (Remix)"

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Song Sampled: "Party & Bullshit"

To say that Ratatat unleashed the party from "Party & Bullshit" would be a serious understatement. They did to this classic Biggie jam what a directors cut does to a movie that hit the silver screen too soon - in other words, they read between the lines and unleashed the essence of the pure tear-the-walls-down emotion that this song was meant to evoke. The only thing I miss on this track is a young Diddy's half-hearted, half-stoned commentary. Where Brooklyn at? I got you Puff.

Pretty Lights - "Empire State of Mind (Remix)"

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Song Sampled: "Juicy"

Yes this is primarily a remix of Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind," but Pretty Lights artfully takes the first verse from Biggie's arguably most successful single ever, "Juicy," and seamlessly fits into the famous "Empire State of Mind" beat and hook. Perhaps this remix gives a look at what Biggie might have sounded like had he managed to continue his superstar trajectory. A more commercial sound, but still strictly New York.

Evol Intent - "Glock Party"

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Songs Sampled: "My Downfall," "Let's Get It On"

During the latter-half of the 2000s, Evol Intent couldn't be touched. Their unique brand of drum & bass ran through the scene, and this track is a thing of dirty beauty. Not only did they flip Diddy's rant at the beginning of "My Downfall," but they stitched a few lines of Biggie's guest verse on Heavy D's "Let's Get It On" for further bite. Real aggressive, intense dnb right here.

K Theory - "Notorious"

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Song Sampled: "Notorious Thugs"

K Theory takes the Biggie and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony collab "Notorious Thugs" and chops it up into glitchy madness. The track has a certain mystique with it's atmospheric pads and sweeps and it only uses bits of the original vocals but it still does the job.

Dave Owen - "Tru That"

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Song Sampled: "Big Poppa"

For being a drum & bass producer of today's era, Dave Owen's definitely cut from the '90s cloth of jungle producers. His skill for chopping samples from the soul/jazz era is on par with the finest from the jungle era, which lends to him throwing a dope hip-hop sample atop to add something special to it. While the actual beat is made from the same track used in Jay-Z's "Who U Wit," he utilized Biggie's "who rock grooves and make moves with all the mamis" to big up how well he can twist a track. Genius.

Pretty Lights - "Sunday School"

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Song Sampled: "Deadly Combination"

Passing by Behind Your Eyes was Pretty Lights third album and by this time we were already familiar with his unique glitchy-electro-soul hip-hop grooves, but with "Sunday School" he gets NOTORIOUS. "Fuck 'em! I didn't want to go to heaven anyway!" booms through your speakers as the swag just oozes through this one. By cutting this one piece, it gives the track a whole new level of confidence. An otherwise mellow and jazzy tune, Biggie just puts the exclamation point it. That's what Biggie did.

SK-1 & Soundmurderer - "Limb By Limb (REWIND Remix)"

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Song Sampled: "Unbelievable"

The Detroit junglist duo had a thing for turning the amen break into a thing of twisted beauty, getting acclaim from the Rephlex Records camp. This actually dropped on their REWIND imprint in 2001, and was a hectic remix of Cutty Ranks' "Limb by Limb" that had three movements. In the third and final movement (around 5:17), they flipped the DJ Premier instrumental for "Unbelievable," using it to accent Cutty's toasting. Watch out for the drums that fall around it.

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