Love Letter To A Record: Adrian Eagle On The Notorious BIG’s ‘Ready To Die’

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Adrian Eagle – The Notorious BIG’s Ready To Die

Dear Ready To Die,

This love letter is thanking you for getting me into the beautiful genre of rap and hip-hop. I was introduced to you in primary school by the troubled kids who would always be in trouble and playing you in the back of art class during during grade 6. Justin was a friend in my class who would always be getting in trouble but seemed to have a soft spot for me. He said “You look like Biggie”. I was like “Who’s Biggie?” and he told me this elaborate story about him in which I would learn and study in my later teens. Justin handed me your CD to take home before buying my own, it was love at first listen.

Smooth, word play, punch lines, flawless rap with your amazing production and conceptual track list. To this day you are a love of mine. Playing you now brings back all of the early memories of nights, mornings, hot long days, raining freezing mornings on the way to school, working, hustling and grinding to this album. You definitely left a positive impact on my life. I remember hearing ‘Juicy’ for the first time and relating so much – a single-mother household, rising from darkness, turning a negative into a positive through music. I was and still am inspired on the same journey. I’m still thankful to have be introduced to you all those years ago.

My love starts at the intro, one of the most iconic and graphic picture-painting introductions to an album that I have ever heard. I can see it all perfectly as the seconds roll by and I am transported to New York, and Biggie’s life. The lyrical themes and passion on this album are a thing of beauty. Biggie’s passion on ‘Things Done Changed’ really displays his power and force while showing his amazing story-telling skills right off the bat.

‘Big Poppa’, ‘Friend of Mine’, ‘Me & My B!tch’ all gave an overweight boy from Adelaide housing trust a huge HOPE and dream that one day I would find a girl who liked me for being me even though I was big. Notorious B.I.G made it sexy and cool to be big and still made it cool as his skills were next level. Whereas I remember hearing ‘Suicidal Thoughts’ for the first time as a kid and being shocked but admiring the story and wordplay of it all. Only reflecting on it as I got older did I appreciate that song more and more once I actually understood the depths of what he was going through and talking about.

So much funk, so much soul, old school samples used to perfection with those Boom-Bap drums and one of the greatest voices and rappers of all-time. Christopher Wallace, Notorious B.I.G – Ready To Die – Thank you for being a masterpiece and inspiring me daily. You are the benchmark. Thank you for sharing your story through this immaculate piece of art.

– Big Love,

Adrian Eagle

Adrian Eagle’s latest single ‘A.O.K’is out now. Stream it here. Adrian Eagle will head out on the A.O.K tour, his biggest headline shows to date, throughout April. Head here for dates and details.

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