Faith Evans & Biggie Smalls’s New Album
“Today, if he was alive, I know, ultimately, we would’ve done something like this, but the way the stuff has come together, and the way I’m using his vocals, it’s giving the stuff new life. It’s totally different.” With this extremely powerful words of B.I.G`s widow Faith Evans, we open another thorough review, with a special annotation. A mission of prolonging Brooklyn Rapper`s afterlife in a duet album “The King & I”.
This project emerges two months from 20th anniversary of Biggie`s death , drops on May 19th to be exact and holds 25 tracks with a lot of superstar guests and some unreleased track joints from B.I.G. Let`s unwrap this blessed present asap.
The King & I Tracklist
1. A Billion
3. Beautiful (Interlude)
4. Can’t Get Enough
5. Don’t Test Me
6. Big/Faye (Interlude) f. Jamal Woolard
7. Tryna Get By
8. The Reason
9. I Don’t Want It f. Lil Cease
10. I Got Married (Interlude) f. Mama Wallace
11. Wife Commandments
12. We Just Clicked (Interlude) f. Mama Wallace
13. A Little Romance
14. The Baddest (Interlude)
15. Fool For You
16. Crazy (Interlude) f. 112 & Mama Wallace
17. Got Me Twisted
18. When We Party f. Snoop Dogg
19. Somebody Knows f. Busta Rhymes
20. Take Me There f. Sheek Louch & Styles P
21. One In The Same
22. I Wish (Interlude) f. Kevin McCall & Chyna Tahjere
23. Lovin You For Life f. Lil Kim
24. NYC f. Jadakiss
25. It Was Worth It
At The King`s Table
Sitting at the King`s table, main chef serves the pre-course meal emotionally, sayin`:
“Baby I don’t want the money
I just need you back with me”,
and intros the album softly. Nostalgia continues after the “Billion” onto the “can`t turn back the time” tune “Legacy”. The hook sticks to the main album`s theme tight like:
“And I knew..
I knew from the very first moment
That you were a king fit just for a queen
And I can tell from day one you were for me
Who know that this love be the legacy”.
After the “Beautiful Interlude”, where we can here old recordings of Faith`s and BIG`s interview cuts on their mutual feelings on each other, we jump to another soulful jam called “Can`t Get Enough”. Evans again reminisces about that good, happy loving times with her first husby and confirms that she just can`t get enough of that Biggie nourishment.
Second Piece Of Queen`s Cake
With egoistic and confident “Don`t Test Me” warning, soulful Faye vocal renditions in “Tryna Get By” (my favorite), to second album fav “The Reason”, “The King & I” keeps getting hotter and hotter. The alternate switch of bars between Faith and Big in second verse heats up the jam even more:
“All I do all day is drink Tanqueray
Thinking of a way to put a smile on your face
It seems like it’s a waste of time, that’s why I wrote the rhyme
I hear you jump in every car, except for mine
But you mean them Benzes and Bentleys they see me in all the time?
The range rover trucks? That’s all mine
You better slow your roll baby, you ain’t got enough dough to pay me
You know the pin number, just page me when you real baby”.
In first mutual collabo Lil Cease taps down the energy in typical Biggie style, while Faith creams the hook tops with soulful singing of demanding some real woman respect. Lil Cease nails his part with:
“Ayo you crazy sis, don’t put me in that shit
Fuck around and say the wrong shit and I’ll be in a twist
You know that nigga Big get high and start trippin’
Try to make you mad, but then you get to flippin
Ayo Fiz, I understand where you comin’ from
But these hoes is savages, son!”
The Loving Memories
After Mama Wallace contributes her memories on the two young couple, we get to “The Wife Commandments”, third favorite on “King And I”. And here, you really can`t distinguish what`s better, the verses or the supreme catchy hook. Real wonder of magic when these two energies combine. I really understand what Faith was telling when she shared the feeling of the presence of B.I.G. And after another Mama Wallace interlude where Ms. Wallace expresses her feelings about meeting her son`s wife for the first time, we dive into slick “Little Romance”.
This amazingly heart-appealing beat just brings you back to those happy golden years of truthful rap. But then, the heart beat switches the tempo down to pure soul, where Evans displays her full set of skills, portraying love to her man.
Then 112 helps Mama Wallace get through the next interlude named “Crazy”, after which the dope energy switches back in. “Got Me Twisted” calls for another love awakening, demanding a full surrender of the listener.
Collaborative B.I.G. Circle
The final parts of the Royal sweets belong to various artists collaboration projects. First “When We Party” featuring Snoop Dogg comes in and opens up the collabo circle in Snoop groovy vibe. Then, passionate “Somebody Knows” ft. Busta Rhymes opens the one million question of the ultimate search of the justice laying behind tragic rapper`s death.
“Take Me There” with Sheek Louch and Styles P, produced by Just Blaze besides the main album producer Faith Evans, touches the same topic, but with the much straighten, rawer note. The LOX boys nailed their drops:
“I got ’em
Ayo, platinum choker, heavy smoker
The gun toter, Barrack Obam’ supporter
Recently Hillary voter
Smoking loud way up in the cloud
Disappearing in my thoughts
Disappearing from courts”
“Dreamt of Ferraris and Ferragamos
Raised on the streets, and married the marijuana
Told the joint terminate my thoughts like Sarah Conner
But it couldn’t, but I smoked with Big, a badge of honor”
“One In The Same”
This jam sticks in between the collabs and presents another soulful interpretation. Faith feels down for Biggie not being here today and so she expresses her deepest feelings about it, once again.
The King And I Epilogue
At the end of the King`s audio book, we have last four musical endorsements. Kevin McCall and Chyna Tahjere join Faye in the last interlude “I Wish” for the final ode to the King Of Hip Hop. In the track after, a collaboration jam with Lil` Kim, “Lovin` You For Life” is another beautiful rendition and another “The King And I” highlight hit.
Lil` Kim rocks the mic on it like:
“I’ve been handling your death like the undertaker
Keep you close to my heart, like a pacemaker
Damn I missin’
The way we used to kissin’
And you cookin’, your favourite dishin’
Fish ‘n’ Spaghetti
For you to die, I wasn’t ready
And life after death, ain’t been so fresh
Still a motherfuckin’ king of NYC
The highly recognizable scratches by Dj Premier open the “NYC” jam. Light groovy song hosts Jadakiss`s sore vocal signature while hook samples Biggie`s wise lyricism:
“And we’ve waded through the suffering and pain
The bitches ride the dick like the A-train
That’s why I flip
Keep a burner to my hip
Take a hooker to the crib, you know she got to strip
Stay dipped, take out of state trips
Don’t drink a lot of Hennessy, I only take a sip
I’m a skipper, like a captain, rappin’ is my speciality
And the best is me”.
“It Was Worth It”
In the last tracking, emotional imprints become a final stamp, sealing this magnificent thank you letter that Faith Evans wrote to her beloved first husband. We all know how much of a big impact Biggie has left on Hip Hop culture and Faye just gave us another inspirational extension of his passionate art that will surely bring more life to a loving memory of B.I.G.
You already knew from the start, this type of piece of art can`t pass without a strong note at the end of the rating schedule. “The King And I” brings back the Notorious spirit onto our world and prolongs the effect that B.I.G left after his misfortune passing. Faith Evans did a wonderful job with this mutual project deed and therefore this royal craft can easily sleep tight among its high rate of 8/10. Get the album here.
Or stream right away in the Spotify player below: