Puff Daddy’s new song, “Watcha Gon’ Do”, featuring Rick Ross and Notorious BIG aka Biggie, raises some questions in regards to what is and is not relevant in today’s music industry. When analysing the lyrics to the song, Puff Daddy essentially narrates how he earns and spends his money which seems to be a common trend in 21st Century hip-hip. Rick Ross has a verse where he attempts to do the same, again, nothing different there. The track finishes off with Biggie’s verse. Biggie essentially does the same as Puff Daddy and Rick Ross, so why put Biggie in the track in the first place?
Biggie is one of the most notable figures in Hip Hop history. His music played a huge part in shaping and reshaping the music scene of the 90s. Biggie’s verse in “Watcha Gon’ Do” is “an obscure – but not unreleased – verse from the Notorious B.I.G., as the late rapper’s contribution to the LOX’s 1996 cut “You’ll See” is recycled” according to Rolling Stone Magazine. Although, the verse had supposedly been recorded in 1996, it fits in perfectly with Puff Daddy’s song. Almost as if Biggie wrote and recorded the verse with Puff Daddy and Rick Ross. Having said that, the music industry has not changed much since the passing of Biggie.
The smooth transitions and over all tone of “Watcha Gon’ Do” is produced in such a way that Biggie’s verse, though recorded over a decade earlier, still has some relevance in today’s hip hop music. Perhaps, that is why Puff Daddy decided to use Biggie’s verse. Biggie continues to make a lasting and influential impact on today’s music, even long after his death. Can we expect more verses being recycled in this way to fit in with the contemporary hip-hop culture, predominantly dominated by trap-type beats?
By Anika Shakir