Before his tragic murder at age 24, the Notorious B.I.G. had become a nearly instant classic. With just two albums – Ready To Die and Life After Death – the Brooklyn MC painted poetic portraits of a “life misunderstood” with glimmers of aspiration and triumph that gave us all good vibes.
More than just about anyone, the Notorious B.I.G. has appeared on best rappers who ever lived lists, including AllHipHop.com’s own “Top 5 Rappers Dead or Alive.” It is obvious that he was a lyricist, with wordplay and analogies that left people smiling and shaking their heads in wonderment. But who can forget the beats that Biggie bounced on? Surely, it was the combination of BK bravado and clever comebacks that ushered in his existence, but many times, it was the unforgettable boom-bap under his husky voice that captivated us, too.
Though he only recorded two studio albums, Biggie must have had hundreds upon thousands of beats to choose from. What he selected – for both himself and his Junior MAFIA cronies – were memorable tracks that still stand the test of time. He must have been looking for just the right canvases to guide his rap brush across, seeming to know ahead of the rest of us that his time was short.
Out of the stacks and crates, Biggie chose the beats of one man in particular, DJ/producer Jiv Pos. Under the tutelage of DJ Enuff, Jiv Pos had made his way up the ranks of DJs in the area, all the way to Lil Cease and Junior MAFIA, to create one of the crew’s biggest hits, the Platinum-certified “Get Money Remix” And walking into their door meant rubbing elbows with the Notorious One himself – an opportunity that lives on in Jiv Pos today.
Jiv Pos also produced “You’re Nobody Til Somebody Kills You”, and while he didn’t get rich off his chance opportunities with BIG, he may have gained something far more valuable than money. In fact, he says he feels blessed to have been part of the largest-in-charge’s time on Earth – something that can’t ever be taken away.
“I never seen BIG with a pad. He would be there sitting chillin’, getting his smoke on. He would get that head bop going. Mind you…there was heads up in the studio,” recalls Jiv Pos. “BIG was oblivious to the activity around him. Then he would be like “mic me up,” and go into the booth and kill it. Minus the adlibs and vocal stacks, he did “You’re Nobody Til Somebody Kills You” in, I think, two takes. Crazy.”
AllHipHop.com spent some time with Jiv Pos just a few days ago on the cusp of “Biggie Week,” LISTEN TO THE AUDIO CLIP as he conjures up more memories to help the rest of us recall the bittersweetness of Biggie:
Follow Jiv Pos on Twitter (@JivPos).