With his irrepressible charisma, dynamic lyricism and knack for making hits, The Notorious B.I.G. was already a larger-than-life figure at the time of his death in 1997. However, even he couldn’t get Prince to appear on his second album, Life After Death. Diddy explained why he and Big couldn’t land a Prince feature during a recent interview.
According to Diddy, Prince wasn’t all the way cool with hip-hop when Biggie was recording Life After Death. “We met with Prince,” Diddy says in the interview.
He continued, “We did the thing (‘This Time Around’) with Michael Jackson, and me and [Biggie] was always Prince fans and stuff like that. But this was during a time when Prince wasn’t really rocking with hip-hop and wasn’t really clearing any samples, so that really didn’t go too well. But we was always still cool with him and wound up sampling some of his records and he wound up not chasing me for them in the future.”
Prince may not have appeared on Life After Death, but Diddy says the “Purple Rain” performer still supported hip-hop—even if he wasn’t always that cool with the profane language. He even let Diddy and other rappers use his samples in the future.
“He would just go through his phases and he came back to us and just let us know how proud he was of us and the whole thing,” Diddy explained. “He was just really protective at one time of just what was going on as far as the whole ‘bitch’ and ‘hoe’ controversy. That was a real moment in hip-hop. That was a real reflection point in hip-hop where we were being kind of asked to take responsibility and think about what we were saying.”
You can peep the rest of Diddy’s interview in the video below.