Too Late to Stop Now
Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Box Set Edition
Reviewed by Alejandra Ramirez, Fri., Dec. 16, 2016
Totaling 80 tracks, Bad Boy 20th Anniversary documents Sean "Diddy" Combs' New York imprint, founded in 1993 and bottling the heyday of hip-hop. Coated with deep-cut soul venturing into the new millennium on Billboard-topped R&B and fading in recent years while struggling for relevance, the 5-CD mini box serves as a final victory lap. The collection's best cuts are oldies – Faith's bouncy "Love Like This" (1998), B.I.G.'s introspective "Juicy" (1994), and the label head's bedroom-eyed "Satisfy You" (1999) – riddling the entire endeavor with a heavy-ass nostalgia. In fact, the stark reality of Bad Boy no longer ruling the rap game with an iron fist ultimately sinks in deep and hard. Biggie's long dead and the label hasn't released anything comparable to its Nineties catalog in the past decade. Any number of tracks released after 2006 could've been omitted without forgoing quality. Amongst the exhaustive listening session, a few unexpected blasts from the past prove most welcome, then. For starters, the futuristic slink of Cassie's "Me & U" from a decade back would have gone platinum again if released this past year. Nelly's "Shake Ya Tailfeather" (2003) still has everyone howling the iconic war chant, and Mase's smooth delivery in "Feel So Good" (1997) remains one of the best raps over the iconic Kool & the Gang funk sample. Take a trip down hip-hop's memory lane.