Ben’s Brilliant Best Albums of the 1990s. No. 98. The Notorious B.I.G. – Ready to Die

Is ‘Fuck Me (Interlude)’ the worst skit of all time? I don’t know. Maybe. Probably not, I guess, because there are a lot of really really bad skits out there. It is pretty bad though. I mention it because the idea that an album with a track that is just a minute and a half of two people pretending to have sex could also be one of the best of a decade is difficult for me to accept. My least favourite thing in all music, even worse than, like classical music or something, is when people do sex sounds on their songs. It’s just embarrassing, trying to do the washing up while somebody is all, ‘ooooh yeah, that’s a good way of doing the sex baby, mmmmm, it makes me so horny and that’. I can’t stand it.

One of the great advantages that albums released after the invention of the cd had over earlier records is that they always existed in a world where a track could be skipped at the press of a button. The reputation of The Beatles’ white album will always have to at least acknowledge that a generation of critics and listeners didn’t have the option of just skipping ‘Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da’. You had to mess around, lifting needles off records and putting them back on again. ‘Fuck Me (Interlude)’ has always been conveniently easy to ignore (and nowadays, thanks to streaming, you can guarantee you don’t even catch the start of it) so it hasn’t tainted the reputation of it’s parent album in the same way.

It’s a good system. It works. We can all like ‘Ready to Die’ without having to explain away the sex stuff. It never happened. It doesn’t exist. ‘Ready to Die’ is just a brilliant rap album with no skits whatsoever.