After fighting to be brought onto the project, producer Easy Mo Bee told AllHipHop.com that the offer to have him help score the upcoming Notorious B.I.G. biopic, Notorious, was unceremoniously withdrawn.
Mo Bee, who produced the lion’s share of Big’s 1995 debut Ready to Die, said that even a contract and payment in full did not guarantee his involvement.
In late November, Mo Bee found out that production had wrapped on Notorious and that his services would not be needed.
“I was kinda furious, kinda confused, kinda hurt,” Mo Bee shared with AllHipHop.com. “The world knows that Biggie’s beginnings, especially with the connection with production, started with me. I’m the first real producer that Biggie went into a real studio with. I’m not saying that before that he wasn’t recording, doing demos at people’s houses and different stuff like that. But when he worked with me, the stuff that we came up with on Ready to Die, ended up being half of that album.”
Easy Mo Bee, who had already worked with Big Daddy Kane, GZA and even Miles Davis by that point, was responsible for Bad Boy Records first two major Hip-Hop hits: Craig Mack’s “Flava In Ya Ear” and Biggie’s “Party & Bulls**t.”
Following his work on Craig Mack’s debut and Tupac’s Me Against the World, Easy Mo Bee went on to work on B.I.G’s classic release, Ready To Die.
Their work together yielded “Warning,” “Gimme the Loot,” “The What” feat. Method Man, “Friend of Mine,” “Machine Gun Funk” and the title track, “Ready to Die.”
While Notorious chronicles Biggie’s rise to superstardom, Easy Mo Bee is not portrayed in the film, which features representations of Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Tupac Shakur, Suge Knight, Faith Evans and others, who affected the slain rappers personal and professional life.
There’s no word yet on whether even the early Notorious B.I.G. recordings reported to be made available to the public for the first time through the soundtrack, will include any of his work with Easy Mo Bee.
Despite his frustration with the situation, Mo Bee says he has no intention on seeking any kind of retribution, noting that it is impossible to separate him from B.I.G.’s legacy.
“I just wanted to make it clear that it wasn’t me,” the producer stated. “Because this kind of stuff has happened before. And when you just leave it undone and unexplained, people can fill in their own blanks. I just figured this time around, we would get some clarity on it for the public and for the people that expected me to be working on the film. The gratification that I get is just clearing up with the public. We ain’t gonna have Easy Mo Bee out there looking all funny. At least not anymore.”
In 2006, Mo Bee and a group of producers, including Lord Finesse, threatened to sue Combs, claiming they had not been paid publishing royalties in years – allegations Combs dismissed as making “no sense.”
Depsite the legal hurdles, Mo Bee is proud that at least his previous work with B.I.G. will be showcased in the highly anticipated film.
“Fortunately, inevitably, some my songs are gonna be in the film,” Mo Bee reasoned. “That is, unless they chose, for whatever reason, they chose not to use ‘Ready to Die,’ Machine Gun Funk,’ ‘Gimme the Loot,’ ‘The What,’ ‘Friend of Mine.’ Whether I’m involved with the film or not, I am forever, whether anybody likes it or not, chained to that man’s legacy for what I’ve done with him.”
Notorious was written by author and Biggie biographer Cheo Hodari Coker and writer/director Reggie Rock Bythewood.
The flick was produced by Voletta Wallace and BIG’s managers Wayne Barrow and Mark Pitts.
Notorious is set to hit theaters January 16.
Easy Mo Bee is extending his legacy with projects created for the digital enterprise.
He is currently collaborating with two independent labels, Platinum Ice Records and Honey Comb Enterprises.
He also recently released the debut project from his Easy Mo Records, Pop/R&B singer Noelle’s It’s Personal, which is available on iTunes.