"B.I.G. Is Proud Of What I Did": Faith Evans Talks 'The King & I'
20 years ago, Notorious B.I.G., was killed by an anonymous gunman. 20 years later, he’s still in the upper-echelons of every list detailing the best rappers of time. He’s still played in the club and on the radio, making his legacy something noted even by kids who weren’t alive when he was at his peak.
Posthumous albums have a sketchy past but this latest Biggie album feels different. It’s essentially a duets album with his widow Faith Evans who has also led the entire project The King & I. It features newly recorded vocals by Evans alongside Biggie verses, sounding relevant but also respectful to the era of rap that he once ruled. Featuring his own mother as well as, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes and Lil Kim, it’s a record you’d imagine B.I.G. would be proud to put his name on.
Ahead of the release of the album this Friday, we spoke to a legend in her own right, Faith Evans. Evans took us from the birth of the record to its finish, talking about everything from feeling Biggie’s approval to choosing something organic over something forced and modern.
How’s it feel to be speaking about the record and Biggie’s life? Does it make you feel better about what you’ve produced?
I would say the other way I around. I would say what I produced makes me feel better about speaking about it, if anything. A few people have heard the music and it feels good that they receive it in the way that I wanted it to be.
What’s the biggest validation for you? Is it when the fans hear the music or is it speaking to family and friends after they’ve heard the record?
It’s sort of a gut thing, something inside me that makes me feel B.I.G. is proud of what I did. To be quite honest that’s really enough for me. So far it feels like a lot of people like it. The reality is, people are gonna like it or they’re not. If I feel good about what I’m presenting then... you know, I’ve had a few different things that have made me feel like I’m not the only one that feels that way.
Was there a certain song on the record that made you feel like you’d nailed that sound and made something that B.I.G. would be really proud of?
Not one in particular because it seemed like everyday things were either off to a great start or we finished a great record. It was always feeling very progressive all the way up until we were done and started mixing and mastering.
One of the biggest things about his music is 20 years later people are still playing it in the clubs and on the radio. This radio feels like it’s harking back to those times rather than chasing for something modern. Was creating something he would be attached to a great concern?
Not so much because to be quite honest, if he were alive I can’t really say what he would be attached to or like but my approach every time I do make music is not to make things based on what’s being played. My creative approach is pretty much always the same except I had his vocals to factor in and his fans to consider but at the same time my approach is always to make good music so I don’t really put unnecessary pressure and standards on myself. I’m not opposed to learning new stuff and working with new people but that still won’t change my creative approach.
The features on the record are impressive with everyone from Snoop to Lil Kim. Was it important for you to have people on the record that have been around you and B.I.G. for a long time?
Yeah. Not even so much the length of time but just people who have had a connection to him or the both of us for that matter. There’s a lot of artists who were suggested but if I did it would just be because...obviously, I would have to respect them as an artist but it would just be because they’re hot right now but not because they have a personal connection for me and B.I.G. So for me some of the suggestions didn’t feel organic. I might want to work with those people but for this project in particular I wanted it to make sense. I didn’t know I was going to have as many features but we got into creating and certain songs I was like, “this sounds like such and such would be good on it.” It just kind of came the further I got into creating the album.
Obviously one of the names that people were surprised to see on there was Lil Kim. Did you have to swallow your pride at all to get her to appear or was it natural?
I didn’t have any hesitation with that and she didn’t hesitate to say yes. We’ve wanted to work together before now but as things turned out, it was even more special that it was on this record.
Let’s go right back to the beginning to when you started thinking about this project, how long has it been in the works for?
From the time I actually started working on music, a little over two years.
What sparked the beginning of the project?
Well what sparked the beginning of doing the project was Natalie Cole Unforgettable with Nat King Cole but that was a long time ago. I thought that was a really nice idea and it would be good to do something similar one day. What sparked me actually pursuing it though was actually my Attorney’s suggestion. He reminded me of the idea so that’s when we went about trying to make it happen.
Had you been listening to the Biggie verses in the vault for a while or did you start going back through it when you started the project?
Yeah, I listen to stuff all the time but I didn’t have any of his acapellas in my personal collection of stuff. I didn’t have any of that so I started by looking for acapellas on YouTube and then some of the producers actually had some vocals also.
Was the project finished when you were doing the Bad Boys reunion shows?
No actually it wasn’t. When we had breaks in the tour I would go to Atlanta or Miami to keep recording.
I know that it probably wasn’t planned to release it at this time but it’s lined up perfectly coming out two days before his birthday and a year after the reunion shows. Does the timing feel right?
That was God’s plan because I was definitely hoping that it would be out before this year but it wasn’t ready, everything wasn’t lined up. That’s just how it turned out. It wasn’t a bad thing but that wasn’t the original plan.
Did the Bad Boys shows last year re-energise you and fuel this album?
Well no, I was actually already working. I was more than halfway done with recording the album by the time we went on the tour. If anything, it put me in the comforts of some of the people that ended up on the album a little more often. That was my main source of income doing performances with or without them. It was a lot of fun. My shows aren’t on that level of production and I don’t usually play arenas but it was a lot of fun.
Have you thought about touring this album?
Oh yes, absolutely.
Have you thought about what it would look like?
Not yet. There’s a lot going on with doing interviews and video shoots so I am kinda thinking about those things but I haven’t really started to focus on them not as yet.
The King & I is out Friday. Grab your pre-order here.
This post tags
- Threatening, abusive, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane or indecent
- Violates or infringes upon the rights of any other person, including material which is an invasion of any privacy or publicity rights or which is protected by copyright, trademark or any other proprietary right;
- Violates any law or advocates illegal activity;
- dvertises or solicits money, goods or services.
- Mobile Content is provided by Warner Music
- ‘Mobile Content’ means the pictures, videos, texts, skins or sounds available for purchase by the customer.
- ‘Purchase’ means the payment of fees for the delivery to Your mobile phone of Mobile Content in accordance with these Terms.
- Warner Music reserves the right, at Our discretion, to update or revise the Terms at any time without notice to You. Please check the Terms periodically for changes at this web page. Your continued use of the Service following the posting of any changes to the Terms constitutes acceptance of those changes.
- You acknowledge that any message material obtained from the Service is done at Your own risk and that We are not endorsing or associating with any particular person or event that may be featured within the Service.
- You further acknowledge that You are only entitled to use the Service for lawful purposes, for Your own personal, private use and will not use the Service in breach of Our or any third parties intellectual property rights in the Service.
- The Mobile Content may only be used by You for personal, non-commercial use and not otherwise for copying, republication, re-distribution, re-dissemination, re-communication, publication or any other commercial exploitation in any form or by any method whatsoever by You or other persons.
- The Mobile Content will not be used by you in a manner and context that damages the reputation and goodwill of Warner Music.
- You will observe all reasonable instructions from Warner Music regarding any usage restrictions of or corrections to items in the Content.
- You acknowledge that standard telecommunication data charges may apply for the delivery of Mobile Content
- Warner Music will not be liable for any costs incurred or for any reimbursement as a result of unauthorized subscription to the Service by someone else using your mobile phone.
- Warner Music will endeavour to provide current, accurate information but makes no warranty regarding the timely delivery, currency or accuracy of any information provided to you as part of the Service nor that the Service will meet your requirements.
- Warner Music warrants the Service will be rendered with due care and skill and that all necessary licenses for Mobile Content have been obtained.
- Due to the nature of telecommunications systems We are unable to guarantee the Services will always be fault or virus free. You acknowledge that the Service may, from time to time, be adversely affected by events outside Our control. We will make all reasonable endeavours to ensure the uninterrupted and timely supply of the Service and will take all reasonable steps at Our expense to correct any error, omission or mistake, but will not be liable for any error, delay, or failure in transmission of the Service that could be reasonably considered beyond Our control.
- The terms that apply to the Service are those that are expressly set out in this document and those implied by consumer protection laws to the supply of the Service that are unable to be excluded. No other terms apply.
- All information, text, material, graphics, software and advertisements on the Network is protected by Australian and international copyright and trademark laws. Content on the Network is published in real-time, and you must not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, frame, upload to a third party, post, transmit or distribute this Content in any way except as expressly provided for on the Network or expressly authorised in writing by Warner Music or its Affiliates.
- The Service is subject to the limitations of the enabling technology on which it is reliant and may be adversely affected by network performance and other operational factors beyond Our control including, but not limited to, congestion, network coverage, dropped connections, the performance of Your mobile phone and the maintenance of secure network connections. We can accept no responsibility for losses caused by any of these factors or any factors which could be reasonably considered outside Our control.
- We will not be liable to You in any way for failures, defects or delays in the delivery of the Service which are caused by one or more of the following reasons: (a) You have provided an incorrect phone number or other incorrect information before ordering a Service; (b) Your mobile phone does not support the Service; (c) Your message mail box is full and has no additional memory to receive the download; (d) Your phone is out of range or for some other reason cannot be contacted; (e) You accidentally erase a Service provided to You.
- Where any statute implies any term into your use of or any arrangement arising out of the Services and that statute prohibits exclusion of that term, then that term is included. If and to the extent permitted by the statute, however, the liability of Warner Music and its employees, agents and contractors for any breach of such term is limited, at Warner Music’s option, to the resupply of Services or the repayment of any fee or part of the fees paid by You for the Services.
- All products, services and prices offered are subject to change without notice. You should check the price of a product before placing your order.
- If We believe there has been a breach of the Terms We reserve the right immediately and without notice to withdraw or bar the Service.
- We reserve the right to disclose information about You to applicable regulatory or government bodies where We are required by law to disclose this information.
- We reserve the right to cancel, modify or supersede the Service if, in Our sole discretion, the Service is not capable as of being conducted as specified in the Terms.
- This agreement is governed by the law in force in Australia, and the parties irrevocably submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Australia and courts of appeal from them for determining any dispute concerning this agreement.
- If any of the Terms are invalid or unenforceable, it will be struck out and the remaining terms will remain in force.
- If We do not act in relation to a breach by You of the Terms, this does not waive Our right to act with respect to subsequent or similar breaches. If You do not act in relation to a breach by Us of the Terms, this does not waive Your right to act with respect to subsequent or similar breaches.
- You may not assign or transfer Your rights or benefits under the Terms to any other person or entity without Our prior consent.
- You are responsible for ensuring that any contact details provided by You are up to date. You must notify Warner Music as soon as possible of any changes to your contact details.
- If You do not agree to the Terms You shall not use the Service.
At some other WMA sites, you can submit information about other people. For example, you might submit a person's name and e-mail address to send an electronic greeting card and, if you order a gift online and want it sent directly to the recipient, you might submit the recipient's name and address. The types of personally identifiable information that may be collected about other people at these pages include: recipient's name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number.
We also may collect certain non-personally identifiable information when you visit many of our web pages such as the type of browser you are using (e.g., Firefox, Internet Explorer), the type of operating system you are using, (e.g., Windows or Mac OS) and the domain name of your Internet service provider (e.g. Optus, Bigpond).
We sometimes use this information to communicate with you, such as to notify you when you have won one of our contests or when we make changes to our subscriber agreements, to fulfil a request by you for an online newsletter, or to contact you about your account with us.
We use the information that you provide about others to enable us to send them your gifts or cards. We will not disclose personal information about or send promotional material to these recipients unless they have requested it.
The information we collect in connection with our online forums and communities is used to provide an interactive experience. We use this information to facilitate participation in these online forums and communities and, from time to time, to offer you products, programs, or services. When you enter an online forum or community please be aware that information you disclose in these areas, for example your email address, can be collected and used by people you do not know. This may result in unsolicited messages being sent to you by other people or organisations.
We sometimes use the non-personally identifiable information that we collect to improve the design and content of our site and to enable us to personalise your Internet experience. We also may use this information in the aggregate to analyse site usage, as well as to offer you products, programs, or services.
We will disclose information we maintain when required to do so by law, for example, in response to a court order or a subpoena. We also may disclose such information in response to a law enforcement agency's request.
Agents and contractors of WMA who have access to personally identifiable information are required to protect this information in a manner that is consistent with this Privacy Notice by, for example, not using the information for any purpose other than to carry out the services they are performing for WMA.
Although we take appropriate measures to safeguard against unauthorised disclosures of information, we cannot assure you that personally identifiable information that we collect will never be disclosed in a manner that is inconsistent with this Privacy Notice. Inadvertent disclosures may result, for example, when third parties misrepresent their identities in asking the site for access to personally identifiable information about themselves for purposes of correcting possible factual errors in the data or in the event that unauthorised persons breach our security systems.
If the WMA site discloses personally identifiable information to companies not affiliated with WMA who want to market products or services to you, it will provide you with an opportunity to opt out or block such uses.
WMA may on occasion combine information we receive online with outside records to enhance our ability to market to you those products or services that may be of interest to you. If you prefer not to receive marketing information from this site, click here for instructions on how to make your request.
The WMA site will not use or transfer personally identifiable information provided to us in ways unrelated to the ones described above without also providing you with an opportunity to opt out of these unrelated uses.
Finally, if you receive promotional material from WMA about us or our affiliates and do not wish to receive it any longer, you can request that we remove your information from our mailing lists by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow us 7 days to amend our records. If you have provided your details directly to another Warner Music Group site, you may also have to notify that site directly.
The WMA site sometimes may offer contests or promotions that are sponsored by or co-sponsored with identified third parties. By virtue of their sponsorship, these third parties may obtain personally identifiable information that visitors voluntarily submit to participate in the contest or promotion. WMA has no control over or responsibility for the third-party sponsors' use of this information. The WMA site will notify you at the time of requesting personally identifiable information if third-party sponsors will obtain such information.
To protect your privacy and security, we will take reasonable steps to help verify your identity before granting access or making corrections.
If you wish to have your personal information deleted from our records, please email us at email@example.com and we will endeavour to delete it unless we need to keep it for legal reasons.
- emailing the site or asking us to email anything to you;
- sending us any information;
- entering any contest that requires information about you or offers a prize;
- joining any club or group;
- posting any information on any bulletin board;
- entering a chat room; or
- buying anything online.
WARNER MUSIC GROUP BUSINESS GOVERNED BY THIS PRIVACY NOTICE
Warner Music Australia Pty Limited
East West Records
Atlantic Recording Corporation
Elektra Entertainment Group
Warner Bros. Records Inc.
London Records Inc.
Warner/Chappell Music Inc.
Warner Music Group Inc.
If you would like to stop WMA disclosing personally identifiable information collected on this site to companies which are not affiliated with it, please email us at [firstname.lastname@example.org] or send your name, street address and e-mail address to us by regular mail to the following address:
Warner Music Australia
PO Box 500
Crows Nest, New South Wales
If you would like to stop receiving any specific marketing information from this site, please notify us of the specific information that you no longer wish to receive by sending your name, street address and e-mail address to us by regular mail to the following address:
Warner Music Australia
PO Box 500
New South Wales
If you would like to review the personally identifiable information that we have collected about you online, please email us at [email@example.com] or send your name, street address and e-mail address to us by regular mail to the following address:
Warner Music Australia
PO Box 500
Crows Nest, New South Wales
We will send you the personally identifiable information that we have collected about you online. If you would like to correct any factual errors, please note such corrections and send them to us at the same address listed above, so that we may make the corrections that you have requested.