Born Again is a posthumous album by The Notorious B.I.G.. It was released on December 7, 1999. Unlike the first album released after his death (Life After Death), this album was created with no input from Biggie himself. It is composed primarily of unfinished material and unreleased verses recorded mainly during his Ready to Die era from 1993 to 1994, with new production and guest rappers. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart with 485,000 albums sold in the first week, and was later certified Double-platinum. Along with the usual guest roster of P. Diddy, Lil' Kim, and Junior M.A.F.I.A., the album also featured appearances from Nas, Ice Cube, Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Mobb Deep, Missy Elliott, Method Man, Redman, Beanie Sigel, Too Short, Snoop Dogg, and the Hot Boys. Before his death, Biggie had intended his third album to be a three disc collection. However, there was not enough finished material to piece together such a massive project. This is the final album of Biggie to contain mainly original material. However, in 2005, a remix album was released called Duets: The Final Chapter.
The album received moderately poor reviews from critics. Upon its release, Rolling Stone wrote that the "album won't damage his legacy. But Born Again won't improve that legacy much, either." In a retrospective review of his output in 2004, the magazine wrote "The posthumous Born Again proved Biggie was still dead, but his place in the MCs Hall of Fame remains untouchable."Robert Christgau, who gave the release a "dud" rating, later wrote, "Remember that posthumous outtakes CD Bad Boy attributed to Biggie? No? Good then—it was foul, not just ill shit but stupid ill shit."
"Dead Wrong" was an unreleased song from a demo tape back in 1994. The first verse of the original version was used in this version.
Biggie's verse from "Hope You Niggas Sleep" comes from the second verse of the original version of "Dead Wrong".
Biggie's verse in "Dangerous MC's" comes from an unreleased song called "The Ugliest" which was originally going to be on Busta Rhymes' 1996 album The Coming. Because he had subliminal disses aimed towards 2Pac the track was not included on the album to avoid beef between 2Pac and Busta Rhymes. The original is produced by J. Dilla.
The Notorious B.I.G.'s part in "Biggie" was from "Let's Get It On" from the album Eddie F. and the Untouchables on the title track "Let's Get It On" featuring 2Pac, Heavy D and Grand Puba. The compilation featured the only known in-studio collaboration of two up-and-coming hip-hop MC's at the time, 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G..
"Niggas" is a remix of an original unreleased version from 1993.
"Come On" is a remix of the original unreleased song from 1993 produced by Lord Finesse.
Biggie's part in "Rap Phenomenon" comes from the song "Keep Your Hands High" by Tracey Lee.
"Tonight" has Biggie's first verse from "Long Kiss Goodnight", from Life After Death.
"If I Should Die Before I Wake" has Biggie's verse from a song called "Stop The Breaks" which features Raekwon, Killa Sin, O.C. and KRS-One. It was recorded without portion of lyrics, so verse is censored too.
"Who Shot Ya?" is a B-Side to his 1995 single "Big Poppa".
"I Really Want To Show You" has Biggie's verses from "Everyday Struggle", from Ready to Die.
"If I Should Die Before I Wake" contains a sample of "This Is For The Lover In You", performed by Shamalar.
"Who Shot Ya?" contains a sample of "I'm Afraid the Masquerade Is Over", performed by David Porter.
"Can I Get Witcha" contains a sample of "Livin' It Up (Friday Night)", performed by Bell & James, "Humpin", performed by The Gap Band, "Charisma", performed by Tom Browne, "Life Will Pass You By", performed by Faith Evans and "Come and Talk to Me", performed by Jodeci.
"I Really Want to Show You" contains interpolations of "Come and Talk to Me", performed by Jodeci.