So RZA's contribution to Life After Death isn't exactly hidden; he's the listed producer on "Long Kiss Goodnight." But amidst the hit-centric album, this track often gets overlooked. It sits at the end of the second disc, 105 minutes after the intro. "Long Kiss Goodnight" is the only one produced by the Wu-Tang leader, but bangs hard with a Shaolin style that meshes nicely with Biggie's classic flow. The tracks exceeds the five minute mark but commands your attention each step of the way.
6 Artists You Forgot Were on "Life After Death"
"Mo Money Mo Problems" utilizes an obvious sample of Diana Ross' "I'm Coming Out," but did you know that Ross' track was actually produced by Nile Rodgers? It's enough to gain Rodgers and his Chic partner-in-crime Bernard Edwards writing credits on the massively successful hit. Ma$e and Puff Daddy may be the listed features, but the song is even more-so indebted to Rodgers for creating that bubblegum pop style on "I'm Coming Out."
Without a listed feature, it might be easy to forget that Biggie's wife Faith Evans had a place on Life After Death, but sure enough she was on there. Evans actually is listed as contributing additional vocals to "You're Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You," the final track on the album that is intensely eerie given the circumstances. Biggie foreshadowed his death throughout his career, with albums titled Ready To Die and tracks like "Suicidal Thoughts" and this one.
Mobb Deep wasn't at the forefront of the East Coast / West Coast beef, but they were in there a little bit. Tupac dissed Prodigy on "Hit 'Em Up," and Havoc leant the beat for "Last Day" to B.I.G. as the drama came to a boil. It's the only track that the Mobb Deep member produced on the record, and isn't the most well-known cut on the album. With The Lox in tow, it is somewhat of an underground classic. Each MC goes hard over Havoc's brilliantly dark production.
DJ Kay-Gee (Naughty By Nature) & Lionel Richie
New Jersey's Naughty By Nature and Notorious B.I.G. aren't closely related, although the two do have an unreleased song circulating the web. NBN's DJ Kay-Gee lent his production skills to Biggie on "Miss U," the second track on the second disc of the album. The track also has a credit given to Lionel Richie, who you probably didn't remember as being a big part of Life After Death. His vocals are a big part of bringing that heartfelt, soulful feel to the song's chorus, a rare vibe for an album that tends to keep it dark.
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The "Life After Death" features were crazy.
Today marks nineteen years since The Notorious B.I.G. released his second and final album Life After Death. The album featured some of the biggest stars in rap music of the time - Jay Z, R. Kelly, The LOX, Bone Thugs, Lil Kim, etc. - on huge tracks that have since become legendary.
While many of the features take a sliver of the spotlight away from Biggie, there are a handful of unsung heroes who played a lesser role on the album that tend to be forgotten. To celebrate the record's anniversary, we're highlighting some of those names to pay tribute for their contributions on one of the great hip hop records ever.
Click through the galleries to learn about some of the most intriguing features on Life After Death.