Monday marked 18 years since The Notorious B.I.G.’s unsolved murder, ending an already legendary career—and more importantly, a life—at 24 years old. In tribute, the once self-proclaimed King of New York—a claim that caused no controversy—freestyled over a classic beat by the original King of New York.
Kendrick Lamar appeared on Big Boy’s radio show on Los Angeles’ 92.3 FM and dropped fresh bars over four Biggie songs, most notably “The What.” The track originally appeared on 1994’s landmark Ready to Die and featured Method Man in a guest role.
Lamar crushes it, to no one’s surprise. He goes double time and then slows up to match the beat. He also hits on a potential Empire reference and digs into politics in the rap game and in the States. It’s awesome. Listen to it. Hopefully it’ll hold you over until [Untitled]—his highly, highly, highly anticipated second album, which will be released March 23.