The Notorious B.I.G.: Ready to Die (1994)
How does this album contribute to the commercialization and mainstreaming of hip hop in the early 1990s?
Some questions and themes you might consider: how does the album differ from influential hip hop/rap groups that came before (i.e. Public Enemy, N.W.A.)?; are there particular sounds, lyrics, or songs that helped the album achieve commercial success?;
the development of gangsta rap as a popular genre; the role of Bad Boy Records and Sean “Puffy” Combs as producer; the role of autobiographical details in the lyrics; the significance of New York City and the album’s connections to 1997’s Life After Death?
Your paper must establish a clear thesis that poses an argument that you will make about your chosen album and topic. This thesis should structure and shape the evidence, examples, and sources that you use and integrate throughout the body of the paper. Be sure to reflect back on this thesis in your conclusion in order to end on a precise and argumentative note. While you will want to be sure to introduce important details about the album, be careful of spending too much time on a description or summary. Be sure to connect the album to the topic you decide to write about and demonstrate how and why your chosen album is of wider significance.