} Track Review

Notorious B.I.G.-I’m With Whateva
(feat. Juelz Santana, Jim Jones & Lil’ Wayne)
Available: Duets: The Final Chapter

Suge Knight has taken more than one bullet for a client, and it still isn’t all that difficult to imagine him the sort of guy who kills rivals. On the other coast, P. Diddy is the reason rappers whine about A&Rs, a perpetual acne med-hocking celeb. With middling production skills but a highly-developed commercial instinct. He’s divided his post-Biggie days between talking about how close he was to the “big, black, and ugly as ever” Christopher Wallace, and kicking Biggie’s corpse in the ass, so the promised “final chapter” of Biggie retreads comes as a relief to this reviewer.

Whether out of disturbing hubris and nonchalance or something more post-modern, the organizers toss one of Easy Mo Bee’s best charts, the whah-guitar, organ, and burnished ’70s horns of “Ready To Die,” the title track from Biggie’s debut, to lift off Big Poppa’s (relatively) middling verse and set it over a bit of ominous, Mission Impossible-aping keys and drums with ample guest-spots from one of the better lineups on this record, and equally vaguely-ominous but largely-nondescript hyping and world-weariness. Though Juelz’ verse isn’t by any means disappointing, the producers also needed to strip off Biggie’s “ready to die” ennui to make it fit into the Dipset boys’ “stayin’ alive” jadedness, meaning only 30 or so seconds of his original remain intact.

Verdict: Not.

what the hell? moment of the week

Michael Jackson is known to make mistakes (Bad, anyone?) but I can’t do better than describe his most recent mistake than by using an United Arab Emirates paper’s headline which refers to his “toilet faux pas.” While shopping in a Dubai mall, Jackson misread the Arabic-
language signs and entered a women’s restroom. Though disguised with a women’s traditional head-scarf and applying makeup, a 37-year-old woman identified him and snapped a picture
on her mobile phone. Jackson pursued
the women, apparently hoping to prevent the
pictures from going public. Eventually, police seized the woman’s phone and destroyed
the photos. It’s good to see that Arab authorities
prefer to side with the androgynous,
child-dabbling Western celebrity over a middle-
aged Eastern schoolteacher.

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