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Articles by Phil Smith

Player’s Anthem: Behind Biggie And Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s Meisterwerk
In Depth

Player’s Anthem: Behind Biggie And Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s Meisterwerk

Under guidance from The Notorious B.I.G., Junior M.A.F.I.A. made their mark with Player’s Anthem, a classic slice of 90s hardcore hip-hop.

‘No Way Out’: How Puff Daddy Found Freedom With His Debut Solo Album
In Depth

‘No Way Out’: How Puff Daddy Found Freedom With His Debut Solo Album

Released in the wake of Biggie’s death, ‘No Way Out’ found Puff Daddy reckoning with a mounting crisis in hip-hop.

‘Just A Little More Love’: How David Guetta Stole Club-Goers’ Hearts
In Depth

‘Just A Little More Love’: How David Guetta Stole Club-Goers’ Hearts

A sign of things to come, David Guetta’s debut album, ‘Just A Little More Love’, blended French house music with a growing pop sensibility.

‘Angel Dust’: Behind Faith No More’s Mind-Bending Alt-Metal Classic
In Depth

‘Angel Dust’: Behind Faith No More’s Mind-Bending Alt-Metal Classic

Shaped by a rising Mike Patton, Faith No More’s ‘Angel Dust’ album was an ambitious change in direction from a radically contemporary group.

Hypnotize: The Story Behind The Notorious B.I.G.’s Mesmerising Song
In Depth

Hypnotize: The Story Behind The Notorious B.I.G.’s Mesmerising Song

Arguably The Notorious B.I.G.’s signature song, Hypnotize has become a byword for hip-hop and a definitive document of the bling era.

‘Life After Death’: Behind Notorious B.I.G.’s Posthumous Rap Masterpiece
In Depth

‘Life After Death’: Behind Notorious B.I.G.’s Posthumous Rap Masterpiece

Released just weeks after The Notorious B.I.G.’s fatal shooting, ‘Life After Death’ was a hip-hop epic that ensured Biggie’s immortality.

‘Sound Of Silver: How LCD Soundsystem Brought Disco Home
In Depth

‘Sound Of Silver: How LCD Soundsystem Brought Disco Home

Forcing the US to contribute to the global dance-music phenomenon it had instigated, ‘Sound Of Silver’ was LCD Soundsystem’s richest work yet.

Why The Notorious B.I.G.’s Legacy Continues To Loom Over Hip-Hop
In Depth

Why The Notorious B.I.G.’s Legacy Continues To Loom Over Hip-Hop

A larger-than-life talent with a tragically early end, The Notorious B.I.G. helped to create the moneyed hip-hop world we know today.

Big Poppa: How The Notorious B.I.G. Became The Daddy Of NYC Hip-Hop
In Depth

Big Poppa: How The Notorious B.I.G. Became The Daddy Of NYC Hip-Hop

Stepping out as an unlikely hip-hop loverman, The Notorious B.I.G. ensured that Big Poppa would live in the memory as a certified classic.

‘Born Again’: How The Notorious B.I.G. Found Another Rebirth
In Depth

‘Born Again’: How The Notorious B.I.G. Found Another Rebirth

Posthumously compiled from Biggie’s vast trove of unreleased recordings, ‘Born Again’ brimmed with life from one of the world’s greatest MCs.

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