Nearly two decades after the late Notorious B.I.G.‘s Life After Death album invaded store shelves, unreleased photos from the multi-platinum-selling LP have emerged this weekend.
The unexpected images landed across the Internet Saturday (March 9), exactly 16 years after the rapper’s untimely death.
As we collectively commemorate the 16th anniversary of Christopher Wallace’s untimely death today, the good folks over at ego trip have unearthed a real gem from the Biggie vault. Coupled with an interview with the record’s art director Ebon Heath, we get a look at the early designs for Big’s iconic (for more reasons than one) 1997 sophomore album, Life After Death. Heath also drops some gems about how the final design came about, the events that followed the rapper’s tragic passing, and even the time Biggie checked Diddy at the album cover photo shoot! (Miss Info TV)
The album’s art director Ebon Heath also discussed how the imagery came together with Bad Boy head Diddy.
“In the beginning [of the process] we spoke about the album. Puff was really his [own] art director – it was more of us supporting his vision and coming up with it from the conceptual stages. And he was like, Life After Death is gonna be bright. It’s gonna be about blue skies and green grass. And this isn’t some dark shit, this is really about the life part not the death part. So it was more about clouds and more about bright blue skies, and white suits, and let’s be alive – some positive shit. We were like, all right, cool. So we started doing comps – and we started picking locations, getting ready for the production. We had all these different looks planned. We were gonna shoot not only the album photos, but we were gonna shoot all the [photos for] singles at the same time. So we rented some massive mansion, I think it was in Jersey, someplace.” (egotripland)
A few years ago, former B.I.G. love interest Charli Baltimore said Life After Death was supposed to be a double album.
“The only thing that bothered me [about the Notorious movie] was that Big and I was involved in a serious car accident. Life After Death the album was not supposed to be a double album. It was because Big was in the hospital for three months and there was nothing left to do but work on it and recover. Puff was like, ‘You’re crazy to do that. Let’s get an album out and do it now.’ He was told he would never walk again and if he were to walk again he may have a wheelchair or a walker… From what I understand that accident was a very much downplayed in that movie. To me that was a huge part of Big maturing and evolving and Life After Death coming out the way it did.” (Vlad TV)
Last year, Diddy named his favorite Life After Death song.
“Aww man, Life After Death? It would probably have to be …,” Diddy responded when Sway asked him to pick his #1 LAD track while the two were on the set of a Miami video shoot in January. ” ‘My Downfall,’ ‘My Downfall’ is my favorite joint.” The Hitmen-produced track is a gut-wrenching display of Brooklyn bravado. “My Downfall” is prefaced by a skit in which Biggie receives death threats over the phone, exemplifying the type of resentment that Big’s success brought out in his detractors. With rap legend DMC on the song’s hook and Diddy adding fiery ad libs, B.I.G. eerily pondered his own death. (MTV)