“Big Poppa” was Biggie’s first #1 single (it topped the Billboard Rap charts when it was released, and was eventually certified platinum in 1995). It firmly established the success of his first album, Ready to Die, which was gaining traction following the release of the album’s first single, “Juicy,” in late 1994. The autobiographical lyrics of the album dealt with Wallace’s rough experiences with crime and violence, but they received high praise for their emotional frankness. “Big Poppa” was nominated for a Grammy in 1996, and TIME put Ready to Die on its All-TIME 100 Albums list in 2006.
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