Throwback Thursday: The Notorious B.I.G. – “Mo Money Mo Problems” (featuring Diddy & Mase)
Few songs get the party started quite like this one.
Today in 1997, “Mo Money Mo Problems” ascended to the No. 1 position on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the second single from the Notorious B.I.G.’s Life After Death album and his second No. 1 hit — his two No. 1s occurred in the months after his passing. The song samples the Diana Ross classic, “I’m Coming Out,” with Diddy and Mase providing a verse each and an uncredited Kelly Price providing guest vocals.
(Sidebar: I have a huge issue with rap songs that don’t credit featured vocalists because, often times, it is the sung chorus that sticks with the listeners.)
“Mo Money Mo Problems” was about the envy and hate that comes with being a young rich nigga. Its video is a marker of the Shiny Suit Era — when Diddy was on his new money shit and didn’t know how to act — and of a time when rappers weren’t ridiculed for just having fun with their music and videos. These days, everybody has to be a member of the Talented Tenth or face the wrath of the “custodians” of the culture — we’re looking at you, Mr. Budden. I consider this song one of the greatest of all time and count myself lucky for being alive at the time of its release. Check it out below.