From Construction Timb’s to Ac’s with Rims: Biggie’s Rare ’94 Freestyle w/ Craig Mack

A rarely heard Biggie Smalls '94 freestyle with Craig Mack re-surfaces.
By    May 26, 2015

He who controls the present controls the past. Orwell wrote that, but Puffy actualized it. Nostalgia lionizes the jiggiest one for his A&R savvy in signing Mary J. and Biggie, but entirely written out of history is his first rap signing to Bad Boy: Craig Mack. He’s remembered today as a one-hit wonder, kicking that Flava in Ya Ear. But for the first few years of Big’s career, he was constantly paired with Mack on press tours and collaborations.  The disdain felt by Biggie was very real, as well it should’ve been. How would feel if you were bound to be considered one of the greatest ever and had to play with the rap Smush Parker? Mack was better than his current reputation but destined to be a sad footnote and apparently, a holy man.

In a famous magazine interview where Biggie was asked to rank his favorite and least favorite rappers, the Notorious one wrote about Mack: “I don’t really like him too much either, dog. I can’t give him a zero though ’cause he got some hot shit but like five…four, since he on some different shit, some shit I can’t relate to. I’m from the hood, he from the suburbs so it’s completely different shit. I don’t really like the music too much. I like the beats but that (scats) it’s not rhymes for me, it’s just some pretty kid shit.”

This was the first and only time that anyone ever called Mack pretty, considering his aesthetic contribution to rap is basically looking like Webbie’s illegitimate father. Over two years ago, this “Me and Craig” song leaked onto the Internet (if the YouTube credit is to be believed.) Even though I’ve squandered too many hours trying to hear every last verse that Biggie ever recorded, I’d never heard this one until it re-surfaced last week. The second verse is partially taken from “The Points,” one of the greatest unsung posse-not-a-posse cuts from the Panther soundtrack. But the first and third verse brings the rare actually rare content that Puffy couldn’t squeeze more life after death from. More evidence that Big was forcibly retired with the rap world’s highest ever shooting percentage.

As Big’s second verse goes on, the Points lyrics disappear and he goes into a freestyle, still perfectly in meter, shouting out Junior Mafia, his illness, Street Fighter 2, and tells the world that he is the genie. Thus ending speculation of how he got so great. Robert Johnson met the Devil at the Crossroads. Biggie bribed the genie with Big Bowls of beef at the Fulton Mall. Fun fact: Craig Mack also raps on this song.

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