clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Notorious B.I.G.'s 20 greatest verses

Looking back at the black rhinoceros of rap's illest and greatest verses.


The last verse from The Notorious B.I.G. was recorded 20 years ago. Yet, his militant rap flow, containing phrases that'll thrill you and raw rhymes sicker than your average, remain a linchpin in the history of hip-hop.

During his lifetime, B.I.G. recorded just two official albums, 1994's Ready To Die and 1997's Life After Death, and executive produced projects from Junior M.A.F.I.A. and Lil Kim. Despite the undersized catalog, the lasting impact of these records and the rhymes contained within them would set a standard far beyond just rap. On almost every occasion, the self-professed rap phenomenon made it a point to prove he had what it takes to make emcees break fast (like flap jacks and bacon) with his masterful balance of wit, wry humor and storytelling. As he rapped on "B.I.G. Interlude," through every chance given: "One by one, I knocks em out."

That collection of records has since become a template that would influence the modern MC.

Unbelievable, in life and on wax, The Notorious B.I.G. was the illest. As we continue to celebrate the larger than life emcee, REVOLT honors 20 of his greatest verses to live in the hip-hop canon.

"In The Commission, you ask for permission to hit 'em / He don't like me, hit him while wifey was with him / You heard of us, the murderous, most shadyBeen on the low lately, the feds hate me / The son of Satan, they say my killing's too blatant / You hesitatin, I'm in your mama crib waiting / Duct taping, your fam' destiny / Lays in my hands, gat lays in my waist / Francis, M to the izz-H phenomenal / Gun rest under your vest by the abdominal / Rhyme a few bars so I can buy a few cars / And I kick a few flows so I can pimp a few hoes / Excellence is my presence, never tense / Never hesitant, leave a nigga bent real quick / Real sick, raw nights, I perform like Mike, anyone: Tyson, Jordan, Jackson / Action, pack guns, ridiculous and I'm, quick to bust, if my ends you touch / Kids or girl you touch, in this world I clutch / Two auto-matoes, used to call me fatso / Now you call me Castro, my rap flows militant, y'all fa—ts ain't killing shit / Ooops Cristal keep spillin shit; you overdid it homes / You in the danger zone, you shouldn't be alone / Hold hands and say it like me / The most shady, Frankie baby, fantastic / Graphic, tryin to make dough, like / JurassicPark did quick to spark kids who start shit / See me, only me the underboss of this holocaust, truly yours, Frank White" — "Victory," No Way Out

""This goes out for those that choose to use Disrespectful views on the King of N-Y / Fuck that, why try, throw bleach in your eye / Now ya brailling it, snatch that light shit, I'm scaling it / Conscious of ya nonsense, in eighty-eight / Sold more powder than Johnson and Johnson / Tote steel like Bronson, "Vigilante" / You wanna get on son, you need to ask me / Ain't no other kings in this rap thing They siblings, nothing but my children / One shot they disappearin' / It's ill when MC's used to be on cruddy shit / Took home Ready to Die, listened, studied shit / Now they on some money shit, successful out the blue / They light weight, fragile, my nine milli / Make the whites shake, that's why my money never funny / And you still recouping, stupid stupid stupid stupid" — "Kick in the Door," Life After Death

"I used to have the trey-deuce and the deuce-deuce in my bubble goose, now I got the Mac in my knapsack / Lounging black, smoking sacks up in AC's and Sidekicks / With my sidekicks rocking fly kicks" — "Party N Bullshit," Who's The Man

"I used to get feels on a bitch, now I throw shields on the dick, to stop me from that HIV shit / And niggas know they soft like a Twinkie filling, playing the villain, prepare for this rap killing / Biggie Smalls is the illest, your style is played out like Arnold and that, what you talkin' bout Willis / The thrill is gone, the Black Frank White is here to excite and throw dick to dykes / Bitches I like em brainless, guns I like em stainless steel I want the fucking Fortune like the Wheel / I squeeze Gats till my clips is empty, don't tempt M.E" — "The What," Ready to Die

"Live from Bedford-Stuyvesant, the livest one / Representing BK to the fullest / Gats I pull it / Bastards duckin' when Big be bucking.... B-I-G, G-I-E, a.k.a., B.I.G, get it? Biggie / Also known as the bon appetite / Rappers can't sleep, need sleeping, Big keep creeping / Bullets heat-seeking / Casualties need treating, dumb rappers need teaching / Lesson A - don't fuck with B-I, that's that / Oh I, thought he was wack, oh come come now / Why y'all so dumb now, hunt me or be hunted / I got three hundred and fifty-seven ways / To simmer sauté, I'm the winner all day / Lights get dimmer down Biggie's hallway / My forte causes Caucasians to say / He sounds demented, car weed scented / If I said it, I meant it, bite my tongue for no one / Call me evil or unbelievable" — "Unbelievable," Ready to Die

"We agreed that going shooting is silly / Because niggas could be hiding in showers with Mac Milly's / So I freaked ' em / The telly manager was Puerto Rican / Gloria, from Astoria, I went to war with her peeps in '91, stole a gun from her workers / And they took drugs, they tried to jerk us / We blaze they place, long story / Glo seen my face, got shook / Thought a nigga was coming for the safe / Now she breaking, shut up, 112, whats shaking / A Jamaican, some bitches I swear / They look gay, in a black Range Rover / Been outside all day / If its trouble let me know, I'll be on my way / Please I got kids to feed, I done seen you make niggas bleed / Nightmare this bitch don't need / Ron, get the gasoline / This spot, we bout to blow this / Get the cash before the cops and Range Rover cats notice / Room 112 / Right by the staircase, perfect place / When they evacuate, they meet they fate / Ron pass the gasoline / The nigga pass me kerosene / Fuck it, its flammable / My hunger is unexplainable, strike the match, just what I expected / The dread kid ejected in seconds and here come two opposite sexes / One black, one Malaysian / We in the hallway waiting patient / As soon as she hit the door we start blasting / I saw her brains hit the floor/ Ron laughing, I swear to God / I hit Maxi Priest at least 12 times in the chest / Spinned around, shot the chick in the breast / She crying, head shots put her to rest / Pop open the briefcases, nothing but Franklin faces / The spots hot, sprinklers, alarm systems / That's when other guests start to slip in / It's time for us to get to dipping, I know them niggas in the Range is on they way up / Flipping, pistol gripping, I load the clip in the hallway, got real loud and crowded / They walked right past us, I don't know how they allowed it / The funny thing about it, through all the excitement / They Range got towed, they double parked by a hydrant / Stupid motherfuckers" — "Niggas Bleed," Life After Death

"If I wasn't in the rap game, I'd probably have a key knee deep in the crack game / Because the streets is a short stop / Either you're slingin' crack rock or you got a wicked jumpsuit" — "Things Done Changed," Ready to Die

"Niggas is mad I get more butt than ash trays / Fuck a fair one, I get mine the fast way / Ski mask way, nigga ransom notes / Far from handsome, but damn a nigga tote / More guns than roses, foes is shaking in their boots / Invisible bully like The Gooch / Disappear, vamoose, you're wack to me / Take them rhymes back to the factory / I see the gimmicks, the wack lyrics, the shit is / Depressing, pathetic, please forget it / You're mad cause my style you're admiring / Don't be mad, UPS is hiring / You shoulda been a cop, fuck hip-hop / With that freestyle you're bound to get shot / Not from Houston but I rap-a-lot / Pack the gat a lot / The flav's bout to drop uh" — "Flava In Ya Ear (Remix)," Funk The World

"Back in the days our parents used to take care of us, look at em now, they even f—king scared of us / Calling for help because they can’t maintain, damn shit done changed" — "Things Done Changed," Ready to Die

"Biggie Smalls is the wickedest / Niggas say I'm pussy? I dare you to stick your dick in this / If I was pussy I'd be filled with syphillis, herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, gettin rid of ya / Got it locked like the penitentiary / Niggas mention me for M.C. execution, who you chosen? / The back MC or the black fat MC?/ Jack Dempsey would start shaking, all it's takin, is some marijuana and I'm making MC's break fast like flapjacks and bacon / Backspins to windmill, who's still the gin drinker ill thinker - explodin when the paper hits the ink / Take your gangsta chronicles, turn to page 666 / Holocaust, Big the merciless, niggas press they luck-and they get a buttfuck-in-straight up the ass, raw dog with the rash / And I don't fuck wit the condoms, the condoms is a problem from the AIDS getting sprayed / Diseases, Big pleases, MC's across the seas is just the way I clutch my prey / Hey, I'm crazy and deranged, blowing niggas out the frame, simple and plain / But gettin back, to the black, rhinocerous of rap / Big took a loss, how preposterous is that nigga?" — "The Wickedest Freestyle"

"I make yo' mouthpiece obese like Della Reese / When I release, you lose teeth like Lil' Cease / Nigga please, blood floods your dungarees / And that's just the half of my warpath / Laugh now cry later, I rhyme greater / Than the average playa hater, and spectators / Buy my CD twice; they see me in the streets / They be like, "Yo he nice, but that's on the low though" / Be the cats with no dough, tried to play me at my showI pull out fo'-fo's, and go up in they clothes / Short-change niggas, snort 'caine niggas / Extortion came quicker, bought the Range nigga / Ya still tickle me, I used to be as strong as ripple be til Lil' Cease crippled me / Now I play hard, like my girl's nipples be / The game sour like a pickle be, y'all know da rules / Move from BK to New Jeruz, thinkin 'bout / All the planes we flew, bitches, we ran through / Now the year's new, I lay my game flatI want my spot back, take two / Motherfuckers mad cause I blew, niggas envious / Too many niggas on my dick, shit strenuous / When my men bust, you just move with such stamina / Slugs missed ya, I ain't mad at cha (we ain't mad at cha) / Blood rushin', concussions, ain't nothin / Catch cases, come out fronting, smoking somethin / Sippin' White Russians, bitch in the Benz bumpin'I laced it with the basic, six TVs a system / Knockin' Mase shit, face it, we hard to hit / Guard ya shit, 'fore I stick you, for your re-up / Wipe the pee up, lick shots, woke your seed up / Go in the ashtray, spark the weed up / Long kiss" — "Long Kiss Goodnight," Life After Death

"I been had skills, Cristal spills / Hide bills in Brazil, about a mill' the ice grill / Make it hard to figure me liquor be kicking me / In my asshole, undercover Donnie Branco / Left my East Coast girl the Bentley to twirl / My West Coast shorty, push the chrome 740 / Rocking Redman and Naughty, oh, where my kitty cat / Half a brick of yay in the bra where her kitties at / And I'm living that fo' life, we push weight / Fuck the state pen, fuck hoes at Penn State / Listen close, it's Francis, the Praying Mantis / Attack with the Mac, my left hand spit, right hand grip / On the whip, for the smooth getaway / Player haters get away or my lead will spray / Squeeze off til I'm empty, don't tempt me / Only to Hell I send thee, all about the Benji's" — "It's All About The Benjamin's (Remix)," No Way Out

"Introducing the black bastard from Bedrock / Guaranteed to make heads rock, tote Glocks / Drop cops that mistake me for Rodney / Strictly head shots, I knock the twist out your dreadlocks / Who got the props? Biggie / Who got the Glock? Biggie / But who is he? You can't get my description, you need a prescription / Two doses of the ferocious / Feel the weight when I'm crushing 'em, bumrushing 'em / Stuffing 'em, I put the pressure on em, hon / Lord a mercy, Jesus Christ / He's just nice, he just slice like a Ginsu / It's meThe Notorious B.I.G G.I.E Smalls, yo! / This is for chumps that don't know who I am, I had a song on the soundtrack "Who's The Man?" / The single was dope, but the movie didn't slam / Emcees is like JJ's moms "Damn, damn damn!" / Is it because I rip the props or beat the cops? / I got more dough than a pizza shop / Biggie Smalls is the illest, your style is played out like Arnold and that "whatchu talkin 'bout Willis?" — "Basement Freestyle"

"B-I-G P-O-P-P-A, no info for the DEA Federal agents mad ‘cause I'm flagrant / Tap my cell and the phone in the basement / My team supreme, stay clean Triple beam lyrical dream / I be that cat you see at all events bent Gats in holsters, girls on shoulders / Playboy, I told ya, mere mics to me / Bruise too much, I lose too much / Step on stage, the girls boo too much I guess it's 'cause you run with lame dudes too much / Me lose my touch? Never that! / If I did, ain't no problem to get the gat / Where the true players at? / Throw your Rolies in the sky / Wave 'em side to side and keep your hands high / While I give your girl the eye, player please / Lyrically, niggas see B.I.G be flossin’ / Jig on the cover of Fortune, 5 double O / Here's my phone number, your man ain't got to know I got the dough, got the flow down pizza / Platinum plus like thizat, dangerous on trizacks, leave your ass flizat" — "Mo Money, Mo Problems," Life After Death

" I got techniques dripping out my buttcheeks / Sleep on my stomach so I don't fuck up my sheets, huh / My shit is deep, deeper than my grave, G / I'm ready to die and nobody can save me / Fuck the world, fuck my moms and my girl / My life is played out like a Jheri curl, I'm ready to die!" — "Ready to Die," Ready to Die

"Hah, sicker than your average, Poppa twist cabbage off instinct / Niggas don't think, shit stink Pink gators, my Detroit players, Timbs for my hooligans in Brooklyn / Dead right, if the head right, Biggie there e'ry night / Poppa been smooth since days of Underroos / Never lose, never choose to, bruise crews who / Do something to us, talk go through us / Girls walk to us, wanna do us, screw us Who us? / Yeah, Poppa and Puff, close like Starsky and Hutch, stick to clutch / Dare I squeeze three at your cherry M-3 / Bang every MC easily, busily / Recently niggas fronting ain't saying nothing / So I just speak my piece, keep my peace / Cubans with the Jesus piece, with my peeps / Packing, asking who want it, you got it nigga flaunt it / That Brooklyn bullshit, we on it" — "Hypnotize," Life After Death

"Frank White the Desperado used to rock the all-black Movado / The all-black El Dorado / All that and a bottle of Dom P Niggas can't harm me, I keep the army / Is Brooklyn in the house without a doubt I'm the rapper with clout everybody yap about" — "Gettin' Money (Remix)"

"It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up! magazine / Salt-n-Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine / Hangin' pictures on my wall, every Saturday Rap Attack, Mr. Magic, Marley Marl / I let my tape rock 'til my tape popped / Smokin' weed on Bambu, sippin' on Private Stock / Way back, when I had the red and black lumberjack / With the hat to match / Remember Rappin' Duke? Duh-ha, duh-ha / You never thought that hip hop would take it this far / Now I'm in the limelight, 'cause I rhyme tight / Time to get paid, blow up like the World Trade / Born sinner, the opposite of a winner / Remember when I used to eat sardines for dinner / Peace to Ron G, Brucey B, Kid Capri / Funkmaster Flex, Lovebug Starski / I'm blowin' up like you thought I would / Call the crib, same number, same hood/ It's all good, and if you don't know, now you know, nigga" — "Juicy," Ready to Die

The whole song — "Warning," Ready to Die (1994)

"To protect my position, my corner, my layer / While we out here, say the hustlas prayer / If the game shakes me or breaks me I hope it makes me a better man / Take a better stand / Put money in my moms hand / Get my daughter this college plan, so she don't need no man / Stay far from timid Only make moves when your heart's in it / And live the phrase Sky's The Limit" — "Sky's the Limit," Life After Death

Sign up for the newsletter Join the revolution.

Get REVOLT updates weekly so you don’t miss a thing.