Bad Boy’s Surprise: Duets a Double Album?

This is total speculation on my part. It’s a total conspiracy theory type thing. It’s not even a rumor. It is borne out of a lot of funny circumstances, however. So, it’s not a fact by any means, but just something that’s been rolling around in my head.

As it stands right now, I believe that every track has leaked off of the Biggie Duets album, except for the 5 album interludes, The Funk featuring Redman and Nate Dogg and Wake Up featuring KoRn. Most of these (if not all) appear to have been released by Bad Boy. Why would they do this? To get some buzz going, sure. But, all track but 1? At this rate, that 1 will leak, too. Granted, most people don’t hear these leaked tracks, just internet people who download music and people who buy mixtapes – but still, you have to wonder.

In the press release, in news reports and official sites – there is only one audio disc reported. Yet, I spotted an inconsistency in graphics used for the album cover. Take a look at the two images below.

The one on the left is from Amazon.com. The one on the right is from the Bad Boy i-Squad, which is officially recognized by Bad Boy as well as in an article at IGN. See the difference? Besides the parental advisory logo, there is some text on the bottom right part of the one to the right. It says “double album.”

It has been said that the album will include a limited edition CD/DVD including various footage. Is that what “double album” means? Perhaps, but that isn’t the definition of the term, according to WikiPedia. It is: “A double album is an audio album of sufficient length that two units of the medium in which it is sold (especially records and compact discs) are necessary to contain the entirety of it.” Audio, not video.

Still, it could be. But, then again, they didn’t call it a double album in the press release and they actually used the term “double album” in the press release to describe B.I.G.’s earlier album “Life After Death” which was, in fact, a 2 audio disc release – a double album, in other words. So, they know what it means, then.

But, that’s not all. There are some other, bigger things, as well. There have been tracks that have been “leaked” with people saying that they are from Duets when they’re not in this tracklist. Were those people just full of it? Quite possibly. In fact, probably. But, perhaps not. Perhaps those tracks are for a second disc or perhaps they were just left on the cutting room floor. Or maybe those people are just full of it. Can’t know for sure. We also heard right from Black Rob’s mouth that he was doing an update of Gimme the Loot. Yet, Black Rob isn’t featured on the album as it stands. Was Rob’s track cut? Or did he slip up in mentioning it?

There was also a track Clinton Sparks leaked that he said he produced for the album. It might have been called Rap Phenomenon (whether or not that was the real title, I don’t know), but it used the verses from Whatchu Want and featured Diddy.

What about this article? (November 23, 2005): “[Paul] Wall also appears on the Notorious B.I.G.’s upcoming Duets: The Final Chapter , which he called a tremendous honor.” Um, he does? Where?

But, wait – there is more. From BET.com:

Foxy Brown has just recorded a new track for The Notorious B.I.G.’s upcoming Duets album. Though recent reports have revealed a hearing problem, the Ill Na Na continues to put in work. She was back in the studio this past weekend, at the request of Puff Daddy…uh, Diddy, for a first-time collaboration with the other half of “Brooklyn’s Finest.” The still untitled track features Foxy alongside Biggie and fellow Brooklyn-rapper Fabolous.

Is Foxy lying? Again, no Foxy or Faby on the tracklist.

JR.com says that 50 is on it. Yet, he’s not on the released tracklist.

Also, what is up with the tracklist at UK Virgin Megastores site? Compare it with the one I posted that came from the label/Warner Music Group. See anything new? The following names are new: Paul Wall, Ja Rule, Ralph Tresvant, Too Short, Webbie, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, 50 Cent, Foxy Brown, Fabolous, Q-Tip, Babs, Aasim and Ness. In all, there are 6 different songs on that list. Look, I see Paul Wall, I see Foxy, I see Faby, I see 50. Could it be?

I had seen that alternate tracklist before, but never on a site run by such an entity as Virgin. The thing is… big companies like Virgin, Amazon.com and JR.com don’t make things up. They get them from the label, etc. So, there is something there, I think.

Something is up here. Either some people (Wall, Black Rob, Foxy, etc.) are confused and/or lying and/or flat wrong – or there are more songs than what we know about.

Consider this quote from an article at mtv.com:

Diddy originally envisioned The Notorious B.I.G: The Final Chapter as a double-disc duets LP in the vein of duets albums by the likes Ray Charles and Nat King Cole. Although the LP will now be a single disc, Diddy says he still feels he accomplished his mission of releasing one last classic from his deceased best friend.

Maybe what he envisioned is really what is happening? Diddy does big things. For him to envision 2 and do 1 is somewhat uncharacteristic. Could this simply be a front? With all of this stuff lining up like this – don’t ignore the possibility. If not a double album, perhaps the single disc has more songs than is being revealed. Or, perhaps not. But, we’ll know in a month!

Patrick O'Keefe

Managing online communities since 2000, I publish a collective of websites known as the iFroggy Network. I wrote the book Managing Online Forums and, as a public speaker, have presented for organizations like CNN, institutions like Australian National University and conferences like SXSW. More about me.

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