Posted by: vincentlopez | November 21, 2008

The Source July 1995 issue featuring The Notorious B.I.G.

Source July 1995 #70

R.I.P. Biggie

The King of NY was on top of the world by the time this issue came out.  What more could he ask for?  He had a platinum album with a string of hits, nationwide fame, Faith and a little money.  I’m not sure if he knew he was getting ripped off by Puffy at the time, though, but at least he realized that he needed to branch out and kick start the career of his own crew (Junior M.A.F.I.A.).  Makes me wonder what would have happened if he had lived.  Would he have made a wack album or two by now?  Would he have collaborated with Big Pun?  Would he, Jay-Z and Charli Baltimore have made The Commission album to compete with The Firm album?  Would he have just retired and stayed behind the scenes?  Most importantly, is he one of your top 5 rappers of all time?  And if so, is he number 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5?

Some other highlights from this issue:

Pharoahe Monch writes the monthly editorial – …with an important message.

– Freaknik in Atlanta

Snoop Dogg on trial for murder

Jigmasters as the Unsigned Artist of the month – DJ Spinna is one of the best ever.

AZ with the hip-hop quotable for “Rather Unique”

– Microphone Check with Mic Geronimo, The B.U.M.S., King Just and Montell Jordan

Record Report:

Bushwick BillPhantom of the Rapra (3.5 mics)

Lost BoyzLegal Drug Money (3.5 mics)

Showbiz & AGGoodfellas (3.5 mics) – What the eff????  This is at least a 4.  The production on this album is some of the best I’ve ever heard.  AG isn’t a slouch on the mic at all but if Nas had rhymed instead of AG, it would have been considered a classic.

Masta Ace IncSittin’ on Chrome (3.5 mics)

South CircleAnotha Day Anotha Balla (3.5 mics)

MiilkboneDa’ Miilkcrate (3 mics)

VA – Tales from the Hood OST (3 mics)

Questionmark AsylumQuestionmark Asylum (The Album) (2.5 mics)

The Dayton FamilyWhat’s on Your Mind (2.5 mics)

Source July 1995 issue


July 1995 fat tape



  1. thank you vincent

  2. Someone on the internet in a comment section made a great point about Big in comparison to 2pac for top MC status: Pac spouted ideas, emotions, pain/struggle, etc…Big just talked fly sh*t.

    But man oh man, Big was the flyest sh*t talker of all time. So it really comes down to how much you value that trait in an MC versus what an “artist” i guess like 2pac was delivering when he got on the mic. Pac’s message was bigger than hip hop, but Chris Wallace made hip hop bigger by sticking to the script better than anybody else. Chicken or the egg, you know?

    And Big would’ve DEFINITELY made a wack album if he stayed alive. Puffy would’ve had him cater to all the bad trends that have come and gone since Big passed. But if Big was alive today, Jay-Z probably would’ve retired after 3 albums and been a business man.

  3. Tnx a lot

    And yes, definitly number 1


    And I think the same like Zilla Rocca, a wack cd was gonna come, but sh*t would be the best wack cd made 😉

  4. I doubt B.I.G. (#1 for numerous reasons, some are technicalities, but #1 is #1) would have made a wack album. Artists like Jigga and Luda (among others) still haven’t made a wack album so that’s not an automatic.

    Look @ those wack a** Mic ratings. Further proof that Hip-Hop “back in the day” was equally as mundane as it is now. Only thing that switched up was radio. And if Goodfellas was rapped by Nas, it wouldn’t be considered better, it WOULD be cuz he rocks the mic better than an Andre the Giant.

  5. Thanks to the great Lord that i have this issue!!! Definetly a collector’s item.

    now this is Biggie yall talkin about now, my n*g for life, so here we go!!

    Ripped off by Puff? if u mean that publishing deal, Big knew what he was doing, i mean he needed the dough, he had stuff he had to take care of. so i know the story behind that. Puff wasnt gonna do BIG like that, cmon now.

    that Junior mafia album was dope as hell to me, had it when it first came out!

    If BIG was alive today he would have not made a wack album to this day. All the dope producers would love to work with him. Plus Puff would still be focused on music instead of Hollywood. The Hitmen would still be together, and Puff would still be in ’97 mode crankin out hit after hit. So it would still be on and poppin baby!

    U damn right he would collaborated with Pun. matter of fact Pun said he had a rhyme he saved for it if he had the chance to make a record with him. At least he had the chance to talk to BIG, remember that skit PUN did with Funk Flex on Pun’s 1st LP when he said BIG gave him pointers on how to handle women? them 2 on the mic would have been deadly.

    Yes, BIG, JAY & Charli would have done the Commission album but not in competition with the Firm. I think they would have run with it, like a Commission & the Firm compilation LP or somethin cause BIG & JAY was cool with AZ. BIG & NAS was cool. BIG & JAY was cool with Foxy. Also i think JAY & NAS probably wouldda been cool around that time as well cause BIG would have introduced the two. BIG was always thinkin ahead, he knew if he could get JAY & NAS with him that trio woulda been unstoppable in rap. Period. So it would of been one big ole family!!

    BIG would have retired after he done alot that met his standards, then he would do alot of Behind the scenes work, makin things happen. I mean everybody would love work with the man, he would have been larger than life if he was alive today. NYC would have laid out the red carpet for BIG everywhere that man went. Its just crazy just thinkin about it. he would be a legend, a living legend!

    BIG is the number 1 rapper in my all-time top 5 list. I havent heard nobody even close to him. BIG never said a wack rhyme when he was alive!! Now think about that!!

    Lost Boyz 1st LP is at least a 4.5!!
    Showbiz & AG Goodfellas is a at least a 4. U right on that 1 vincent.
    Masta Ace Sittin on Chrome is a 4.5 to me! That album is one of my all-time favs, no doubt!!
    Miilkbone had one hit & Questionmark asylum had 1 hit and thats it.

    And that Source Fat Tape has so many classics on there its too many to name!!

    • 3.5 mics is fair for Sittin’ On Chrome, and definitely fair for Goodfellas. Cripes, Vincent. You whine over the Goodfellas rating but don’t text a word for O.C.’s Word…Life?

  6. Much thanks for posting. Sometimes I think Big is the greatest, sometimes I don’t, but he’s undoubtably in my top 3.

  7. DJ Spinna is definitely the sh*t. Biggie is best ever for the original “One More Chance”. Freakin awesome

    Great issue, thanks for the hookup man!

  8. Biggie did make a wack album…Life After Death. I know he died before it was released (and the Source gave him 5 mics in sympathy) but lets be honest…that album was mediocore at best. For every good song on the album he had a bad one to match it. No question Biggie was a dope emcee but with two albums worth of material can we really says he was the best of all time? If he was alive it would be interesting to see what path his career took.

  9. if u guys think Biggie woulda made a wack album is purely smoking something or just getting off on something.
    That would not even be possible for BIG to make a wack album!! R u kiddin me??/!!!

  10. I think Poppa would’ve made a horrible album that, as Zilla pointed out, would have every lame rap gimmick from whatever year it was released. Puffy would have tried to cash in while he could. Look at Black Rob and “Whoa” being released hot on the heels of Juvie’s “Ha”. (while Cash Money was still reasonably obscure)
    Anyhow…..he would’ve made a wack record, taken some time off and then come back with an album that would crush everything in it’s path.
    Very few rappers have a discography with no duds and Biggie would have been no exception.

  11. U guys trip me out with this over anaylizing, and think something up just to sound like u know something.

    once again U GUYS ARE ON CRACK, if u think BIG woulda came out with a wack album. Thats all i gotta say, im done wasting my breath on this issue, u guys just dont have common sense if think that BIG would even go that route.

  12. Life After Death is wack? U just admitted you have sh*t taste in music. No matter how many times you’ve listened to Blowout Comb or can sing “Oodles Of O’s” in your sleep, your opinion sucks buddy.

  13. Keep spinning your fantasies about Biggie thinking so far ahead he would have made sure Lil’ Wayne and The Game were on his CS: Source team or some sh*t. Biggie isn’t even close to top 5. How the f*ck does a dude with 2 albums get put in the frame? Ghost did 3 classics while Biggie was still alive and only got stronger. Biggie’s sh*t ain’t even in the same category as what Cube did from NWA to Westside Connection. He can compare to a f**king wildman like Kool Keith or Andre 3K? To the Brick City sh*t Redman rocked? The back catalogue of LL or Scarface? The transformative sh*t that Rakim brought? Daddy Kane? F*ck that noise. Biggie was a good MC, but this GOAT sh*t is the triumph of public relations over reality. He’s got less classics than f**king Mobb Deep, and no one ain’t gonna say Prodigy is a GOAT candidate.

    And of course he was going to make a wack record-he was on that Puffy sh*t. He would have been shaking his fat ass in some gold-ass suit in ’98, and we all would have laughed. Name me an MC that made 5-6 albums without one stiff. Even Ghost had Bulletproof Wallets, which shows that an MC can be dope as f*ck and still have the record label f*ck sh*t up. Get off a dead d*ck and study the game.

  14. Man, you’ve gotta let it go. Damon over there thought that your boy made a lame joint and I’d be close to agreeing. Biggie was GREAT for what he did but the fact is that he’s not here anymore and all we have left is speculation and hope for what could be better. Unfortunately…….we don’t have many rappers that can be put in the same canon.
    Since Big Poppa was killed , the rap world has seen countless emcees that have made major impacts on Hip Hop as we all know it but everyone wants to keep looking back fondly instead of looking forward.
    I fall victim to this myself, which is why I’m online bullsh*tting about what could have been while I’m 10 years older than anyone I know that loves this stuff. I’m sad that Biggie was killed, but life goes on and you have to look at what was going on at the time.
    The rap world was far from good when our boy passed and it’s a real stretch to think that if he had lived, he would have made something of real importance. Bear in mind that he was basically the guy that ushered in the era of money rap. He just happened to be REALLY good at it so you didn’t notice that his content was less than it could have been at the time of his passing.
    Seriously……..Big Poppa….Rest In Peace

  15. […] Vincent upped the July 1995 issue of The Source, with a special editorial from Pharoahe Monch (and oh yeah, a cover story of BIGGIE!). Pharoahe reveals a mystical creative process and then dives into a sincere, if muddled, tirade on art and activism that would come to define the backpacker movement. In case you didn’t want to commit to downloading the 100MB .pdf file, I transcribed Pharoahe’s piece after the jump. […]

  16. @Franklin Mint, i feel u on that one, good response.

    @TC & 150,000 Chinese Monkeys- what yall just said further proves my point on what i said earlier. U guys just go ahead and continue to kill yourselves. I dont have to say another word, ur responses show how intelligent u are. so go right ahead.

    @TC, if u think Life After Death is wack then u shouldnt be even allowed to speak on hip-hop period! U can say its wack on this site, but go to NYC or speak to some real hip-hop heads and say that. But we all know u wont.

  17. Real quick…

    Every elite MC has made a wack album.
    Pac (mainly after his death, but still).
    LL Cool J.
    Big Pun.

    To think that Big would’ve stayed fresh album after album, year after year, is shortsighted. It’s like what Blueprint once said, “Cats don’t fall off, they just become uninspired.” I think Big was the greatest technical MC of all time, but there’s only so many ways you can rap about the same 5-6 topics–look at Mobb Deep.

  18. The guy who spells “you” with a single letter and talks big on the keyboard is making judgements about intelligence. You’re a clown.

  19. u are right, im talking big on the keyboard. im talkin tough…. cmon bro. all im doing is feeding off what u wrote. if u get mad, its ur fault.
    look at what u wrote.

    so yeah, ill be a clown. just like homey.

  20. @ Zilla Rocca, I agree with that.

    Big Daddy Kane and taht Prince Of Darkness album
    Raekwon with every album after OB4CL
    Method Man with Tical 0
    Common-and he may be on track to make another wack one from what I’m hearing

  21. When did I say Life After Death is wack Brandan? I’ll sit and tell anybody on the planet that it’s the greatest Hip-Hop album of all time. I was clearly responding to the foolishness Damon wrote. Make sure you know what you’re talkin’ bout before you address me kid.

  22. aiight TC, just makin sure bro.
    its all good on this side.

  23. making a wack album is not a real science, everybody has a different opinion about that

    To me, it means that Biggie would still be the sh*t, no doubt!
    But the BEATS, thats something else.
    Probably would have followed the trends, wich I have no problem with, but its not my thing.

    Biggie is the dopest, but him rapping over Timbaland, Pharrel and stuff like that wouldn’t be very dope to me

  24. “Life After Death” The greatest album of all-time? Really? It’s not even better than “All Eyez On Me”, which is Pac’s 3rd best record. And it’s not better than “Ready To Die”, which is Biggie’s best record and one of the 10 best Hip-Hop records of all-time.

    Look, the bottom line is Biggie, like Puffy cared more about money than music. It was all good because Big was soo talented, but eventually Puff would’ve convinced him that putting Mya, Beyonce, and Brandy on half his tracks would’ve made him more money and then he would’ve kept hiring the big producers, who’d just make him cookie cutter. Jay-Z has this same problem.

    Hip-Hop was about unique rappers with unique producers and sounds. Think Dre for the West Coast, Premier for the East, Rap-A-Lot’s production core in the south. That’s when Hip-Hop was at it’s best, because everybody was different.

    When Timberland and The Neptunes and Scott Storch started producing for everybody, that’s when it got f**ked up. Biggie, being an associate of Puffy’s would’ve easily gone for this, since music was just a hustle for him anyway

  25. […] for grabs once B.I.G. died as he was hailed as the King of New York by many in the Hip Hop world (July 1995 Source Cover). Jay wanted the crown and boldly stated on “The City Is Mine” that he was taking the […]

  26. Big would probably die of bad health in 3 years anyhow.

    But on the subject, I definitely think Biggie would have made some bad music. Either that or people would get tired of him.

  27. […] for grabs once B.I.G. died as he was hailed as the King of New York by many in the Hip Hop world (July 1995 Source Cover). Jay wanted the crown and boldly stated on “The City Is Mine” that he was taking the […]

  28. […] for grabs once B.I.G. died as he was hailed as the King of New York by many in the Hip Hop world (July 1995 Source Cover). Jay wanted the crown and boldly stated on “The City Is Mine” that he was taking the […]

  29. Had to get this since today is his Born Day. To me, he’s the greatest MC and rapper of all time.

  30. Dj Screw was featured in this issue, would like to know where one could acquire a back issue?

  31. lol All Eyez on me was better than Life after death…thats why biggie sold more? and dont tell me it was cuz of his death, pac died and his album didnt become as sold as his .-.

  32. Masta Ace-Sittin On Chrome: Easily could have been 5/5 instead of 3.5/5

    • 3.5 mics was fair for Sittin’ On Chrome. Ace gotten so much better with time. Disposable Arts, A Long Hot Summer, now you’re talking classics

  33. […] who wrote the infamous July 1995 Source cover story featuring B.I.G. on the cover, also recalled why he called Biggie the best the East Coast had to […]

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