Arguably the greatest song about drug dealing of all time.
"The Ten Crack Commandments", the 17th track off Biggie's second classic album, Life After Death, is a step-by-step guide to achieving success as a drug-dealer. Allegedly Biggie was inspired to write the song by an article penned by Khary Kimani Turner (under the pseudonym KT) in the hip hop magazine The Source. The July 1994 article, entitled "On the Rocks: From 1984 to 1994, Ten Years of Crack", included a sidebar, "A Crack Dealer's Ten Crack Commandments" that outlines ten critical rules to help dealers survive and thrive in the drug business. B.I.G. would know as good as anybody seeing that he began dealing crack at age 12 on Fulton Street between St. James Place and Washington Avenue.
Biggie's reinterpretation of the commandments -
The Ten Crack Commandments
- Never let no one know how much dough you hold.
- Never let 'em know your next move.
- Never trust nobody.
- Never get high on your own supply.
- Never sell no crack where you rest at.
- That goddamn credit? Dead it. You think a crackhead paying you back, shit forget it!
- Keep your family and business completely separated.
- Never keep no weight on you!
- If you ain't gettin' bagged stay the fuck from police.
- Consignment strictly for live men, not for freshmen.
The great DJ Premier produced the song.
As DJ Premier once recalled, the hard-hitting "Ten Crack Commandments" was the last song recorded for the album. "As soon as we finished the record, Biggie yelled on the mike and said, 'Prime, it's over! It's over! I'm the greatest. I did it!" Those were the last words Premier would hear from the rapper. "Those are exactly the last words I ever heard that man say," the rap producer told Cheo Hodari Coker in the 2003 biography "The Life, Death, and Afterlife of The Notorious B.I.G."
Strangely enough, the producer also mentioned how Snoop Dogg and Daz were in the studio during the recording session for the song.
For the foundation of the song, Premier took a classic record from 1977 and flipped it.
SAMPLE - Les McCann - Vallarta
The sampling of the keys are unmistakable.
What's little known and really interesting about the song's origin is that the instrumental was originally intended for rapper Jeru the Damaja's, and it was used for radio host Angie Martinez's 'Top 5 at 9' show. On one fateful night, Puff Daddy and B.I.G. were present for the 'Top 5 at 9,' and after hearing the track, requested it for Biggie's upcoming album.
Coincidentally, Premier was tuning into the show while driving his car. "Right when I'm ready to turn the volume down, I hear them go, 'Yo Premier, if you out there, call me!'" While Damaja and Biggie were at odds during that time period, Damaja eventually surrendered the beat, stating, "It's hip-hop."
p.s. - if you wanna see something ridiculous watch Primo build this sample live