Personnel includes: The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, The Lox, Too Short, Layzie Bone, Krayzie Bone, Bizzy Bone, Lil' Kim, Puff Daddy (rap vocals); Daron Jones (vocals, various instruments); 112, R. Kelly, Carl Thomas, Angela Winbush, Quinnes Parker, Michael Keith, Marvin Scandrick (vocals); Carlos "July Six" Broady, Stevie J., Paragon (various instruments); Deric "D-dot" Angelettie (programming); Faith Evans, Pam Long, Kelly Price, Keanna Henson, Karen Anderson, Deborah "Portia" Neeley Rolle, Michael Keith, Marvin Scandrick (background vocals); Ron Grant & Friends.
Producers include: Sean "Puffy" Combs, Stevie J., Easy Mo Bee, Daron Jones, Kay-Gee, RZA, Buck-Wild, DJ Premier, Havoc, Clark Kent.
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.
Personnel: The Notorious B.I.G. (background vocals); Quinnes Parker, Daron Jones, Marvin Scandrick , Michael Keith (vocals, background vocals); Krayzie Bone, Layzie Bone, Bizzy Bone, Carl Thomas (vocals); Michael Ciro (guitar); Faith Evans, Deborah "Portia" Neeley Rolle, Karen Anderson, Keanna Henson (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Eddie Sancho ; Charles "Prince Charles" Alexander ; Lane Craven; Michael Patterson ; Paul Logus; Richard Travali; Sean Combs ; Tony Maserati .
Liner Note Author: The Notorious B.I.G.
Recording information: Caribbean Sound Basin, Trinidad; Daddy's House Recording Studios, New York, NY; NRG Recordings, Hollywood, CA.
Photographer: Michael Lavine.
The double-CD LIFE AFTER DEATH arrives 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.
Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.77) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone (5/1/97, pp.49-50) - 3.5 Stars (out of 5) - "...a worthy and more mature, if less uniformly spectacular, successor to his 1994 debut....there's considerable pleasure and fun to be had when an artist feels free to stretch out and try anything, and those pleasures are available in abundance on LIFE AFTER DEATH..."
Spin (1/98, p.86) - Ranked #7 on Spin's list of the "Top 20 Albums Of The Year."
Q (1/98, p.113) - Included in Q Magazine's "50 Best Albums of 1997."
Vibe (5/97, p.111) - "...LIFE AFTER DEATH truly rises, though, when Biggie is full control; he tells tales like a true alum of those hard-to-creep Brooklyn streets....LIFE AFTER DEATH is an olive branch to his divided kingdom....Long live the king!"
The Source (5/97, p.79) - 5 Mics (out of 5) - "...Big documented the illmatic mean streets of his Bedford Stuyvesant stomping grounds....LIFE AFTER DEATH's finest moments are the instantly catchy, future-radio-favorites....Big's potent verses of violent death became a self-prophecy indeed."
Village Voice (2/24/98) - Ranked #13 in the Village Voice's 1997 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.