Duets: The Final Chapter (2005) The postmortem album can be a crass affair, but Duets: The Final Chapter manages to redeem the ghoulish conceit. The 73-minute disc features excavated Notorious… 2005-12-20 Notorious B.I.G. Hip-Hop/Rap
Music Review

Duets: The Final Chapter (2005)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Dec 20, 2005; Lead Performance: Notorious B.I.G.; Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

The postmortem album can be a crass affair, but Duets: The Final Chapter manages to redeem the ghoulish conceit. The 73-minute disc features excavated Notorious B.I.B. rhymes digitally inserted into new songs by a who's who of current hip-hop, including Eminem, Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, and Nas. When the Biggie snippets are strong and focused, the tunes are worthy additions to his too-brief canon—the fiery, prophetic ''Beef'' (with Mobb Deep) and the grim, suicidal ''Hold Ya Head'' (featuring a Bob Marley sample) are gripping examples of Big Poppa's nihilistic streak. In the end, Duets works on two fronts: as a brisk-moving all-star mixtape and sad reminder of a towering talent.

Originally posted Dec 16, 2005 Published in issue #855 Dec 23, 2005 Order article reprints