The second episode of DJ Premier’s Youtube series, “So Wassup?”, premiered today (August 10) with an episode about the creation of The Notorious B.I.G’s classic single, “Unbelievable”. The song comes off Biggies iconic album, Ready to Die, and has quite the origin story.
The song was recorded after the album was turned in to Bad Boy. Biggie wanted a street banger for the B-side to the album’s lead single “Juicy,” knowing the record would go well with the mainstream, but he also wanted to bless the streets. “He wanted to get a street record for the B-side because he already knew he had radio on lock,” Premier explains in the episode.
The track samples Biggie's own track, “The What,” featuring Method Man, refraining, “Biggie Smalls is the illest,” throughout. Premier remembers that the song almost did not happen due to other projects he was working on at the time, later deciding to do it for B.I.G as a friend. “I was really so caught up in my timeframe of work, and I told B.I.G I don’t have the time..” he explained. “I need that street banger, and you gotta give it to me,” he remembers B.I.G saying for him to agree finally.
Premier says as soon as the beat was finished, B.I.G. went in the booth with no hesitation, spitting the entire record off the dome. “To have his clever wordplay and he doesn’t do it on paper, that shows you the incredible mind of the Notorious B.I.G...”
Premier still keeps the original floppy disc to this day, along with a plethora of other classics in his catalog. Make sure to tune into DJ Premier’s “So Wassup?” on his Youtube channel.