Today in Hip-Hop History: The Notorious B.I.G.’s Posthumous Third LP ‘Born Again’ Dropped 23 Years Ago

On this day in Hip Hop history, the late Notorious B.I.G. released his second posthumous album, Born Again. This project was a compilation album featuring old recorded verses over newer beats with guest features. The album had a high reception rate, debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and selling 485,000 albums in the first week. It sold so well that it was certified double platinum a month and seven days after its release.

The album’s critical reception was mixed, to say the least. Many critics were stuck in between whether this album was merely a way for Bad Boy Records to cash in on an opportunity or a tribute album to arguably the best rapper of all time. Rolling Stone wrote that the “album won’t damage his legacy, but Born Again won’t improve that legacy much either.” Late in 2004, the magazine stated that “The posthumous Born Again proved Biggie was still dead, but his place in the MCs Hall of Fame remains untouchable.” Whether or not these reviews ring true to listeners is up for debate, but what is certain is that the star-studded cast of features on this project definitely helped Biggie flex his abilities even from the grave. Features on the project included greats such as Busta Rhymes, Redman, Method Man, Missy Elliott, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dogg and although these are titans of rap, none of them were able to outshine the Notorious B.I.G. For Biggie fans, this project was a gift from the afterlife. It has become a must-have among all diehard fans of the late king of New York.  The album made appearances on the top music charts all over the world and has sales that continuously increase due to the successes of Biggie in his life. After this project, Bad Boy released one last posthumous album titled Duets: The Final Chapter in 2005.