At first listen, the seemingly buried album track "I Got A Story To Tell,” off 1997's Life After Death, doesn't quite reach the heights of the Notorious B.I.G.'s more celebrated work. It's not armed with the oft-bitten, iconic bars of, say, "One More Chance.” There's none of the savage brilliance of "Who Shot Ya?” And nightclub DJs typically bypass it for the feel-good funk of "Hypnotize.”

Yet, "I Got a Story to Tell” is the late Christopher Wallace's greatest moment on record. Recorded in the winter of 1996, the sparsely produced cut—a laidback Biggie effortlessly glides over Buckwild's reggae-inflected acoustic guitar and sampled drums from Al Green's "I'm Glad You're Mine”—displays the Brooklyn kid in his purest form. From the shameless opening line ("This here goes out to all the niggas that be fuckin' mad bitches, in other niggas cribs”), Biggie puts on a free songwriting clinic, turning his precarious night with an attractive chick who "get dick from a player off the New York Knicks” into artful storytelling.

It's a tale that's as riveting as it is hilarious ("Got a body that make a nigga want to eat that—I'm fuckin' with you”), ingeniously book-ended by an extended,
ad-libbed version of the soap opera. By the four minute, 42 second-long masterpiece's conclusion, it becomes crystal—you're in the presence of a true rap phenomenon.
—Keith Murphy

Listen to "I Got A Story To Tell"

Listen to the ad-libbed second part of "I Got A Story To Tell"

**Check back in with KING-MAG.com and be on the lookout for your chance to vote on the best Biggie song of all time. For more of KING's tribute to the Notorious B.I.G., pick up the May '07 issue of KING Magazine. On newsstands now!