Released May 19th of this year, Faith Evans released her duo album with the late great and husband, Notorious B.I.G.. Now for most that remember Biggie especially after his death know the subject of new material makes most cringe. Unlike 2pac, Biggie did not have a lot of unreleased tracks to work with and Born Again and Biggie Duets ended up for the most part just being “remixed” tracks with a lot of guests.
The King & I takes a different approach, and as Faith Evans talks about with us, she makes this project not only different, but very personal and heartfelt. Faith discusses the origin of the project.
Well I have a new album entitled The King & I. It is a collaboration album with me and the Notorious B.I.G. along with a few special guests.
With a lot of the collaboration albums that have come out the last year, Faith explains the creative process and decision to do a album with Biggie.
To be honest, this is something that I had been…, well I won’t saying planning, but back in the day I was talking with Biggie’s mom, Ms. Wallace.
We were watching Natalie Cole’s Unforgettable video with her dad Nat King Cole. I thought that was dope and clever and it would be cool to do something like that one day.
I had secured the deal to do the duet album but I made the move to do the album only a couple years ago. My attorney told me let’s have a meeting with the people that bought the masters.
I never knew once I did get a chance to do it that it would be in a whole other house other than Bad Boy.
While to everyone the vocals on The King & I from Biggie are verses from many of the greatest hits from him, the project does a good job of recreating that magic with Faith and giving the verses a modern and fresh twist. Faith talks about her favorite songs and moments from the album.
Man, that is a hard one because the way I sequenced the album, it is really like a musical movie. It is sequenced to correspond to our relationship from beginning to end.
Each song has a different mood and time that it represents. One of the songs that I really love is One In The Same that I produced with Salaam Remi and James Poysner.
Somebody Knows with Busta Rhymes is another one which Biggie’s vocals come from Who Shot Ya and it is a song about who killed him.
The feedback although skeptical by some, has been good by the majority once they hear the album. It is well mixed, produced and mastered and does not have that cut and paste feel some songs have with vocals from deceased artists. Faith talks about the feedback she has received on the album.
People can tell that I put a lot into this album. It is not like there is no albums or songs done with Biggie since he passed away. In the beginning when I started working on the project, I was not planning on a whole bunch of features because that has already been done.
It was not like I just remixed Biggie’s songs, I really took my time and his accapellas and picked the parts I wanted to use and I made those songs apply to him and I.
Most of those songs were not about me or our relationship. So therefore I really had to be creative with my team of writers and producers and say we are only going to use this phrase or this part of the song that talks about our relationship.
It was a lot of fun creatively because I had never had the opportunity to do a album like this. I try to make good music which is always my approach as opposed to just making “current music” or what is hot on the radio today. I try to make music that feels right, so that is the biggest feedback I have received, that it feels good and it is great music. That is what I want more than anything.
One familiar aspect of The King & I is the production work of Hitmen producers Stevie J and Chucky Thompson, who produced many hits while on Bad Boy for Biggie and Faith Evans. Faith talks about reuniting with them and making new records for the album.
Well it is always the same vibe with me. Most of these people I still keep in touch with and I am still cool with them. It was like a reunion in terms of this album because it was a different feeling because everyone had that same love for Biggie and what he represented and wanting to see this project happen.
Everyone said this is a really dope idea and they had already heard the music that I had already recorded and it inspired everyone to come with music that was even better.
The new single Legacy has been getting a lot of great feedback and is one of my personal favorites off the album. Faith talks about how the song came together.
Legacy was produced by myself and Stevie J. When I went to Atlanta to work with him on a few songs, he had that Biggie acapella, I believe they recorded that in Trinidad.
The vocal may have been used on something (Would You Die For Me) but it is pretty rare, it was not a popular record. It is like if this album had a title song, Legacy would definitely be it.
The song totally embodies what the album is about, because so much stuff happened in such a short time but who knew that 20 years later this would even happen.
I am proud to be a representative of his legacy and to be able to present it…, in my way.
Well said, Faith, well said. To purchase The King & I, click on the link below.