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The Making Of Ready To Die

01 "Intro"
Produced by Sean "Puffy" Combs

Easy Mo Bee: The whole story line for the album--starting in the beginning when you hear
the robbery happening on the train and "Rapper's Delight" in the background and everything--
that was Puff's concept: to create a story line for the album. He just gave me a list of records
that he wanted and I brought them back to him. He said he wanted "Rapper's Delight," Audio
Two's "Top Billin'," "Superfly." We had "Got To Give It Up" by Marvin Gaye, [but it got
changed] probably for sampling reasons. Songs that explain their era.

"Prince" Charles Alexander: First of all, I'm the father on the intro. There are all these voices
on the intro. That "Wilona, what the fuck you doing? You can't control that goddamn boy!"
That was me. And the guy at the end, the guard that lets them out of jail and says, "You'll be
back," that's me also. And the reason that they used me is because three guys had gone in and
tried, I forgot who. I was there, Puffy was there, Biggie was there. I was engineering and a
couple of guys who were just hanging around went in and tried to do that part. And they're
like very stiff-sounding: "God damn it, Wilona." And I'm like, "Yo Puff, I am an angry Black
man. You should let me try that." I went in there and I screamed. I mean, Goddammit,
Wilona! What the fuck you doing?! I was way, way up in it. They fucking rolled. They loved
it. They kept it. That was one of the things that kind of helped me to bond with the whole
project. 'Cause I'm about 10 years older than Puffy, so I was really professional. I had a really
professional vibe. So when I went in and did that, that really broke a whole lot of ice.

02 "Things Done Changed"

Produced by Dominic Owens and Kevin Scott

Lil' Cease: That was one that was most played in the car. Big loved that song. There was no
particluar story behind it. It was more of a song that had a concept behind it rather than a story
itself. Biggie made it to represent Brooklyn. To show how he grew up, how we grew up. He
wanted to show what he was accustomed to and the lifestyle he was used to. It was one of the
very first ones made. Whenever you make a track of that nature, with lyrics so real, it stands

03 "Gimme The Loot"

Produced by Easy Mo Bee

Easy Mo Bee: When he did "Gimme The Loot" I was like, Whoa--dude's got problems!
People who wanna battle him, go up against him? Nobody's gonna wanna battle this cat. If
you heard everything he said in his lyrics, you won't live. I remember very clearly that that
song was done during the daytime. It was still light outside. Junior M.A.F.I.A. was there. I
ain't never really worked with nobody that really spit that hard before. So when I was in the
studio, I was like, "Yo, man you sure you ain't sayin' too much?" And I remember Cease and
Chico sittin' back and sayin', "Yo, Mo, just chill! You sensitive!" I was like, "I just wanna
make sure we get sold. I don't want no records getting snatched off the shelves." That's my
whole thing. I guess that was their [definition] of being "sensitive."

Maybe Puff didn't necessarily respond to me at the time when I came to him and presented
[my concerns] to him, but I remember telling him, "Yo, the shit about being pregnant, and the
'Number One Mom' pendant? Yo, be careful with that. Because you could have all kinds of
Christian rights and women's rights organizations trying to pull your stuff down off the
shelves and all that." At the time, Puffy kind of brushed it off. And I just walked away in my
mind like, all right. But I guess later it made sense to him--even without him coming back to
me. 'Cause [that lyric] got blurred out. So it worked out the way it was supposed to.

[As far as Big rhyming the two different characters' voices], he went in the booth and then it
just kind of happened. He just started doing it. He would do one voice, then come behind and
do the other one later--just like, leave a gap so he could come back and fill the spaces. I was
like, Yo, that's creative! And he really had cats fooled. Even just last year, I was around
somebody who was playing that, and still after all this time he was like, "Yo, who was that--
that was Puff?" I was like, "Man, y'all really can't hear that? That's him! He did two voices."
That just shows you how good he was.

Mister Cee: I clearly remember "Gimme The Loot," because I did the scratches on it.
Remembering that is like yesterday. I used Kid Hood's verse from A Tribe Called Quest's
"Scenario (Remix)." And how I did the turntables and made the word "Bad, bad, bad" from
turning the knob off on the turntable from pressing the stop button. Each time that I brought
the record back, it's a different effect to where you turn the knob off on the turntable to where
you stop the turntable. You get a different effect on the record. So when you bring it regularly
it's like, "Bad." Turn the knob off, "Baaad"--slower. Press the button, "Baaaad"--slowest.

04 "Machine Gun Funk"

Produced by Easy Mo Bee

Easy Mo Bee: Biggie picked that beat in my car. I had this green Acura, and we used to ride
around Brooklyn. Like Fulton St. and St. James where he lived. I'd pick him up off the stoop
where he lived. It'd be me, him, D.Roc, Lil' Cease, Chico--as many as we could--ridin' around
in the car. We'd just ride around and just blaze and listen to beats. And that's how he picked a
lot of the beats. But the actual session for "Machine Gun Funk"... It's vague to me, to be
honest. Let's put it like this: There was some hazy years. I'm a changed man now.
Chucky Thompson: Big was crazy. He was just in there with some socks on and some boxer
drawers--'cause it was really hot--doing his rhymes. That's when he was actually writing stuff
down. He didn't take long at all. It was like he knew what he wanted to say. He'd be in there
chilling, smoking or whatever and then he'd write two words, and then he'd go back to
chilling and write two more words, and then he'd go in the booth.

05 "Warning"
Produced by Easy Mo Bee

Easy Mo Bee: The significant thing about "Warning" is--and I'm definitely not trying to diss
him, he put me on the map, he's the first I ever worked with, so total respect to him--but that
beat was offered first to Big Daddy Kane. I remember him sittin' in my crib, and I was playing
him beats. I forget the album at the time that he was doing. And you know Kane was always
into the Barry White, Isaac Hayes thing. So I did this joint off of Isaac Hayes, and I'm just
feelin' it. I'm feelin' myself. I just know he gonna love this. This is the vibe. But he was like,
"Play the next beat." I was like, "Yo, hold up, man. You sure you don't want that? That's Isaac
Hayes!" He said, "You heard what I said, play the next beat."

So I just kept the beat and held onto it. A few months later when it was time to play Big beats,
I played it for him. Aw man, Puffy went crazy! He went crazy, like, "Yo man, this is it!"

06. "Ready To Die" - Produced by Easy Mo Bee

Easy Mo Bee: Again, here we go with the 'sensitive' part. When Big said, "Fuck my mom...",
when he said "Fuck the world, fuck my moms and my girl", I was like "Damn! Okay, maybe
'fuck the world'. Maybe 'fuck your girl', but 'fuck your moms?!" We all know he didn't
literally mean that. Anybody knows that. That was just his whole intensified approach to
explaining just how much he felt. He was ready to die. It was just an emotional expression.
But again, when he said stuff like that, I was like "It's like I'm working with Ice Cube!"
Amerikkkaz Most Wanted? I was like, Brooklyn's Most Wanted! I'm sure Cube and N.W.A.
and stuff like that had a profound effect on him. I'm sure in some type of way, he was
influenced by that stuff. At the time, we all were.

07. "One More Chance" - Produced by Norman & Digga \ Bluez Brothers, Chucky Thompson
& Sean Puffy Combs...Additional Vocals by Total...Instruments by Chucky Thompson

Lil Cease: My sister did the interlude for "One More Chance" - with all the girls on it. The
other girls on it, that's just my sister's friends. My little niece, she did the intro part before
"One More Chance": 'All you hoes calling here for my daddy...' It was just people that was
just around. If you're around and he need you - "Yo, I need a hook done."

"Prince" Charles Alexander: "One More Chance", I remember specifically. That song has a
piano figure that goes 'ba-bu-da-na-na-na-na'. One of the things I did is, all the way through
the song there are two parts of that piano figure, and the second part I had to keep riding, so I
had to raise the level. So it's like 'ba-bu-da-na-na-na-na' and louder, 'ba-bu-da-na-na-na-na'. So
that it would be the level of the first song. And it was a request. Puffy actually asked me to do
that, because it was a sample, and he didn't want the sample to sound just like it had sounded
before. He wanted a nuance. He wanted something that had its character in the Bad Boy
world. It was little stuff like that he was requesting that really gave Bad Boy a sound. I
remember him turning to me and saying 'Do you think we have a sound?' This was after the
"Flava In Ya Ear", after Biggie came out, and I think we were moving onto Faith. And Puffy
turned to me and said, 'do you think that we, meaning Bad Boy, have established a sound?'

Digga: Puff was in my ear every 10 seconds in the session. When me, Big, Cease and Klept
and some of the crew was in the studio it was all good. But once Puff came on the scene
everything got tight. At the time, Puff was still learning about production and he wanted to
show that he knew something about music. He wanted certain arrangements. And I was
looking at him like, 'What the hell is this guy talking about?' We'd listen to him for half a
second, then we'd be like, 'Yeah, whatever.'

08. "Fuck Me ( Interlude )" - Produced by Sean "Puffy" Combs

Lil Cease: We were just trying to put some personality and just some comedy and some sense
of humor to it. Him and Lil' Kim did it. What they did was, there was a piano in the booth of a
studio we was working in, it was in Daddy's House. It had the piano and the chair to the
piano. Big is heavy, when he sit on something, you hear it creak, that's that shit when there's
too much weight on that shit. And he just told Kim to sit on top and he just like started
rocking her.

Chucky Thompson: That was crazy, 'cause they kept laughing. There was even sicker takes
that we couldn't use 'cause we all kept laughing. But she was tearing his ass up. They were in
the booth with the lights out. We didn't know what that little bed noise was. Somebody said
"What the hell is that noise?" He was like "It's the piano stool." He was sitting on there,
shaking it.

09. "The What" - Produced by Easy Mo Bee \ Featuring Method Man

Method Man: My relationship with Big was cool. When I seen him, it was always love. Even
if the rest of my niggas ain't fuck with him, I fucked with him. 'Cause it was like, 'Well that's
how they feel - I don't necessarily feel that way about you and shit.' It was always on speaking
terms - we smoked blunts and shit. We almost got bagged smoking some weed at the airport
in North Cackalacka. Word. The guy came over, we all lit up cigarettes. But that's a long story
right there...he was a funny muthafucka too - make you laugh all fuckin' day, man...It was no
secret: Rae didn't like him, Ghost didn't like him. They thought he was a biter. But if you look
at Rae and Ghost, they don't like nobody! The rest of my niggas had love for Big. It was just
Rae and Ghost. The other niggas had no problem. You can't hate a nigga for doing his thing.
It's ridiculous. But there were moments where they in the house, and we in the house. And my
niggas, it's like we're a unit, we moved as a unit. So where if one of my niggas ain't speakin',
then nobody was speakin'. And we would just roll by a nigga, walk right past. But Lil' Cease
can vouch for this, and my niggas can vouch for this - I ALWAYS stopped to give a word to
Big. No matter what. There was a show at Shelter, I think that was the name of the place. And
he had performed, and Wu-Tang had performed that night, and Yo Yo performed that night
too. Outside the club Big approached me and shit. Like "Yo, I wanna do something with you
on my album." I was like "Alright, yo, just make it happen. I'll come through and shit." I
knew Tracy Waples, and she was tight with Puff and them - she works for em now, she
hooked everything up. I went through that night, kicked it for a while and shit - that's when I
found out he was a funny nigga, 'cause he had me crackin' up. We puffed some blunts, Mo
Bee threw on the beat. He was like, let's just grind this shit out. We wrote our verses. We was
both in the same spot, writing our verses together. The way he ended his verse - he wanted me
to start my verse with "T.H.O.D." because he ends his verse with "You can't fuck with M.E."
So that's why my verse starts out with "T.H.O.D. man..." But it didn't actually come out that
way. You can't hear it, because I am over the top of him. If I would have rhymed over him, it
wouldn't have been on the beat. When I left, we didn't have no title for the shit, but it was a
tight-ass song. I couldn't care less about the title, because at the time, Wu-Tang songs never
had a title that had anything to do with the song. Like the hook could be "Yeah nigga, kill
nigga..." But the title of the song would be "Death In Current's Wake Of Absence To The
Third Power" or some shit.

Easy Mo Bee: I remember Meth came to the studio. I was the producer, but I was being a little
groupie, like 'Oh, shit! There go Method Man over there!' Knowing this nigga's gonna blow,
and we bout to be big here. Just taking it all in, man. Just loving it for the moment that it was.
When I heard the chorus "Fuck The World - Don't Ask Me For Shit", I was like 'okay, this
definitely ain't going on the radio'. Again, like I was saying, I guess there was that whole
"sensitive" part about me. Then, I went again worrying - "Yo, man...we gonna sell records? I
don't want them to pull it down off the shelf, man. This nigga's dope, man. We can't mess this
up.' Again, Lil Cease was like 'Yo Mo, chill, you sensitive!' That's Lil Cease. My man. He gets
the 'sensitive' credit! "The What", I titled that song. That took me back to two years before,
when I was recorded with Miles Davis. Because Miles was a hardly-talk, express-his self-
when he wanted kind of guy. You'd be talking to him and he'd just go "Hmm." I once asked
Miles what he wanted to name a song - and we had already recorded about three or four songs
- and he was like "I don't know, name 'em whatever you want to." With "The What", the song
was done and everything, and Big, Puff and me was standing there. And I remember Puff in
particular was like 'Yo, what we gonna call this shit?' And I told him 'Yo I nickname all my
beats on the disc that I saved them to, so I know what each disc is." I wrote on the disc, "The
What", Puff was like, "Yo, that shit is cool."

Method Man: A lot of quotes off that record have been used in hooks for other artists records.
I want my money, ya'll bitch-ass niggas! I got paid $2,500 for 'The What'. And I had to hunt
Puffy down for my $2,500. It took like 2 months to get it. I was like 'C'mon Puff, stingy
bastard, give me my money!"

10. "Juicy" - Produced by Jean "Poke" Oliver and Sean "Puffy" Combs \ Additional Vocals by

Lil Cease: "Juicy" was done later. That was a 'need-to-do' record. You gotta understand, that
was way back in like '94 or '95. Niggas would start rhyming over R&B beats. That "Juicy"
beat, that's an R&B beat. We used to listen to that shit a lot. Like, we have this one Enuff tape,
and he did like this old-school mix that had all that old shit on it. And this CD went from the
house to the car to another muthafuckin' house to the studio. That was the CD we used to
listen to all day. That's what I listen to right now, but I got that shit from Big. Like, Big
listened to a bunch of old shit. And a bunch of old school shit too, like old school hip hop shit.

Matt Lyphe: Both me and Big wanted "Machine Gun Funk" to be the first single. That's what
we both agreed on. And slowly, he was being swayed otherwise. I can remember a
conversation with him trying to tell me "Matt, I understand now that this Juicy is the record
that is going to make me have commerical successs."

"Prince" Charles Alexander: That fear. That "I don't know if I can succeed" was driving Puffy.
It was driving Biggie. Biggie says it in the lyrics of "Juicy": If it didn't work out, he was going
to go back to slinging crack on the street. It was a time when everybody was not too sure if
the public was going to get it.

11. "Everyday Struggle" Produced by Norman & Digga \ The Bluez Brothers

Lil Cease: The story line of it, that shit is just a real mission for some people. Like, just that
whole rundown, it was so detailed. Just that struggle, just that life, moving that way. He just
broke that shit down, detailed it. It's telling something about his life or somebody else's life.
That shit is like watching a series or watching a movie.

Digga: Big was getting antsy, like "Yo, I gotta get this song off! I want that song bad." I could
just see him just like sitting at the board, he wasn't saying nothing. He was just bobbing his
head. When I was picking out the instruments, he would make a face like "Yeah, I want
something similar to that." The guy was always thinking about how he wanted to make
something better.

12. "Me & My Bitch" - Produced by Norman & Digga \ Bluez Brothers, Chucky Thompson
and Sean "Puffy" Combs...Instruments by Chucky Thompson

Nashiem Myrick: That was a remix because we already had a track for that. I don't know why
Puffy ain't use the original track. Either he couldn't clear the sample, or I don't know what
happened. I forget the original song. It was probably an Al Green record, but I don't know. I
can't remember. We did it over. Chuck played the guitar. He used original instruments. I guess
that was another sample problem.

Digga: The original sample that we used was from a Minnie Riperton song that Stevie Wonder
wrote. When they sent it out to him, he was like 'I love the song, but this is cursing. I'm not
with it, you can't use it.' So they got Chucky to come in and add some bars here and there and
take some bars there. He just had to change up the music so that Big could use it. Big started
to record "Me & My Bitch" at the end of a session and he didn't like it. So he kind of like
erased it and went into another studio, wrote some more stuff and then he came back out. It
probably took him a good 20, 30 minutes. He ate before he went in, and then he comes out
looking like he just fucking walked to Russia. "Ain't no more chicken wings? Order some
more wings!" Like, "Yo, we just finished eating, you was in there for like 20 minutes." He just
burnt all that shit off. Big was just a real funny-ass dude at all times. The only time he had a
little grimace on his face was when Puff tried to be an asshole. When that was going on, Big
was like "This fucking guy! He's trying to rule me. I can't rock like that."

13. Big Poppa - Produced by Chucky Thompson and Sean "Puffy" Combs

Nashiem Myrick: Puff said he wanted to use "Between The Sheets". He said loop it. Me and
Chucky went in - that's when he moved the studio to the Hit Factory, and we produced it in
there. That song was actually supposed to be for Mr. Cheeks, the Lost Boyz. We gave that
song to the Lost Boyz. And then something happened and Puff was like, "Get that song back,
get it back from him." We traded them for another track. Remember that song "Jeeps, Lex
Coups, Bimaz & Benz?" That track Easy Mo Bee did for Craig Mack. That was going to
follow up "Flava In Ya Ear", but Craig didn't like it. He couldn't rhyme to it or something. So
we ended up trading that track to the Lost Boyz for "Big Poppa". Both of those songs became
hits, so I guess it was a good trade.
Chucky Thompson: Knowing Biggie, as a person, he's bigger than New York. He's a real
universal artist. His style reminded me of Ice Cube. So I was like, "Let me see if I can put him
on a bigger page." And that's why I came with that little West Coast line. I just kind of took
him out of the New York vibe and took him a little more out West, and he carried it. At the
time, we were listening to Snoop's album. We knew what was going on in the West through
Dr. Dre. Big just knew the culture, he knew what was going on with hip hop. It was more than
just New York, it was all over.

Matt Lyphe: I think another important misconception about the making of that album, the
production of that album, is that Puffy was coming up with creative, catchy loops for Big to
rhyme on. Big was very savvy himself in thinking of creative, catchy loops to rhyme on. I can
remember specifically him telling me: "I'm going to rhyme over that 'Bonita Applebum' ( A
Tribe Called Quest's 1990 single that sampled the Isley Brother's -Between The Sheets- ) That
was his idea. That's "Big Poppa". That's "Between The Sheets."

14. "Respect" - Produced by Jean "Poke" Oliver and Sean "Puffy" Combs \ Additional Vocals
by Diana King

Banger: "Nineteen Seventy something \ Nigga I don't sweat the date \ My moms is late!" That
shit was ill. How he'd do our situation on our conversation - he'd analyze it and absorb it and
suck it up and then make a song about it. He absorbed his whole life.

15. "Friend Of Mine" - Produced by Easy Mo Bee

Easy Mo Bee: Big used to be out on the avenue. He used to be standing out there with 'Lil
Cease. And we could either find him on the avenue, or he was around the corner on his stoop.
If he was in the neighborhood, he was in either of them two places. I remember hooking up
this beat and finding Big at this fried chicken spot, which to my knowledge is still right there
on Fulton between Washington and St. James. I rolled up in the car, I got the beat ready, I'm
happy. I was like, "Yo Big." He came over to the passenger window, I told him to get in, and
was like "Yo, check this out, man." He was like, "Yo, I'm lovin' that, Mo." I think what was
helpful was the hook that I had on there. That just told him what to talk about on the record.
He ended up doing a relationship-type record, talking about a chick. The thing about that
record is the hook I sampled: "You're no friend of mine\You know that ain't right." That's
Black Mambo. I might've been working with hard ass Big, but I was gonna pull a whole other
crowd because of that Black Mambo. Black Mambo was from the Paradise Garage. DJ Larry
Levan would throw that on, - either mix it with beats, with other songs, or he would just
throw on a capella by itself in the club - and you would hear people stomping and going crazy.
So I knew that anybody who heard that song was gonna think about the Paradise Garage - a
disco, dance-music type of club from back in the day. So there are dance music elements
attached to the song, but they fit.

16. "Unbelievable" - Produced by DJ Premier

DJ Premier: "Unbelievable" was the final song recorded for Ready To Die. I used to see Big
all the time over on Washington and Fulton St., because I used to live on Washington between
Lafayette and Greene, at Branford Marsalis' crib. We'd always go down to the corner to get
our 40's and Big and all of them, Kim, everybody used to be on the corner every Friday. I
used to see Big and Big was always like, "One day I'm gonna get a beat from you." But when
it came to him asking me to do "Unbelievable", I didn't really have time to do the song
because I was about to go on tour. He was like, "Dawg, I gotta have you on there." He even
told me, "My budget is over, I have no money. Preem, please look out." I was getting top
prices back then. But it was Big, so I was like, fuck it. I did that song for $5,000. I was telling
him, "Dawg, I don't know what to give you, because if I do something for you, it's gotta be
bananas." He said, "Man, I don't care if you take 'Impeach The President.' Take that and do a
beat." I said, "Really, you serious?" He was like, "Hell yeah!" I went in and got the
Honeydrippers breakbeat classic "Impeach The President", took the snare and kick and
chopped it up and started playing those little sounds. I wanted to make something more
hardcore, 'cause he had played me 'Warning' and stuff like that. I wanted to make something
that was equally as hard or better. And he was like, "Nah, keep playing them little buttons you
pushing and change it up and make it do different melodies on the hook and stuff." He sat
there a while and went in there and did the vocals. I never saw him write nothing. He'd be
like, let me get a pen and a pad - and then he wouldn't write shit. Might scribble little funny
objects or something. That was it. Matter of fact, when we were doing "Unbelievable", he
brought Faith to the session the day we laid the verses, and said "Yo Premier, this is gonna be
my wife. I'm about to marry this woman." I was like, Word? I didn't think nothin' of it. And all
of a sudden he was married. Big was the one that told me to do the R. Kelly scratch on the
chorus. He was like, "Yo, scratch that part off of 'You're Body's Callin', cause 'You're Body's
Callin' was popular at time. I was like, "That might not match the key." He was like, "Just try
it." I didn't have that record with me that day, so I went in and got it the next day from my
crib, brought me back to studio, made the scratch and I was like, Damn man - this shit
actually goes!

17. Suicidal Thoughts - Produced by Lord Finesse

Lord Finesse: When I first worked with Big, he was as street as you can get. You couldn't get
any more street than what Big was rapping about and what he was bringing to the table. But
him and Puff were both growing at an incredible rate, between Puff being at MCA getting
ready to go to Bad Boy, and Biggie just being able to absorb what Puff was sending him like a
sponge. Biggie watching and learning Puff was like Payton and Malone, ya know? Puffy
dishing it and Biggie capturing and scoring, dunking. That combination was incredible. Puff
was at a point where he was growing at an enormous rate; he had Craig Mack, and he'd just
come off Mary and Jodeci. He was ready to show the world. He was able to sculpt Big to not
only be an underground artist, but to be well rounded. To not just dunk, but to be able to
finger-roll, crossover dribble, to be the best player he could be in the game. And Big learned it
real, real quick! When Ready To Die was almost done, Big had all the raw street incredible
songs and Puff said "Okay, you got to do what you wanted with the album. Now let's do what
I want to do with the album." Big was like, "Puff said to do this, so I'm going to do it. Puff let
me do what I want to do, so I'm going to do what he wants too." Because of that, putting his
ego to the side, like "I'ma try this", that gave him the edge. And after that, he tried everything
and it worked! It was crazy. When we did "Suicidal Thoughts", I laid the beat and Big told me
he had this incredible idea. But I wasn't in the studio with him when he laid that song. I didn't
hear "Suicidal Thoughts" until the album came out. People kept telling me, "Yo, that song that
you did with Big was crazy!" And I was like, What is they talking about? Because I wasn't at
the session. But when I heard it, all I could think in my head

"Prince" Charles Alexander: "Suicial Thoughts" was funny, 'cause at the end we were trying
to get a "Thud." At the end of the song, he drops the phone and he falls, 'cause he has shot
himself. So he shoots himself, the phone drops and there was supposed to be a body thud. But
we could not get a body thud, we looked on all kinds of different tapes that have sound
effects. So I was like, "Yo, you know what we're going to have to do?" So Puffy and I told
Biggie to go in there - and to his credit, he's a trooper, he was really a great guy - we turned
off the lights and we played the music and we said, "Biggie, when the gun shoots, just fall.
Just fall as hard as you can." Man, the gun went off and we heard the biggest fucking thud
you ever want to hear in your life. We started rolling. We thought it was hilarious. 'Cause we
didn't think he was going to do it. But he did it and when I listen to it now, that's one of the
things I always think about that day. It was me, Puffy, Biggie. It was the way you would think
an album was done - all the creative people are all in one room. I don't know if Puffy works
that way anymore. That was really intimate. He's very much an executive now. He comes in
and sanctions and puts his name on things that he's requested. Back in the day, we were
creating on the fly.

Nashiem Mayrick: That song is so real. I never talked to Big about that record, but everybody
else was like, "We don't even know if that can go on the album." 'Cause he killed himself on
the record. It's like, how could you come back from that? No one has ever killed themselves at
the end of their album. The energy that came through him was the truth to everybody. He said
things that was in everybody's head, but no one has ever put it down like that. He said things
on that album, and that record in particular, that a lot of people in the hood, people in the
streets - think that way. He said, "I'm a piece of shit, it ain't hard to fucking tell." I was like,
"Wow, how could you say that son”