Biggie’s first DJ, DJ 50 Grand has said that they recorded 4 different versions of his demo tape. In order to get a tape that sounded good enough to send to The Source magazine for its “unsigned hype” section, it took four different recording sessions to get it right.
The demo tape was only sold at The Lion’s Den in Brooklyn. The former store was famous for selling hip-hop vinyl and rare mixtapes. According to the owner of the store, there were about 50 tapes for sale in his store back in 1993.
Biggie knew that his crew and friends of his crew around Bed Stuy thought he had serious rap talent. But, Biggie never thought anything would come from his demo tape. He just thought that it would be something that his friends around the way would listen to and that’s it. Biggie never thought he would get signed off the strength of that demo.
Three of the original four tracks were released on the Notorious movie soundtrack in 2009. There is one track from the original demo that has never leaked and its titled “Live In Action”.
The only person that has been confirmed to still own an original copy in its original form (on a Maxwell cassette tape) is former A&R Matty C from the Source Magazine. DJ 50 Grand has saved mostly all of the stuff he has ever done with Biggie, so its very possible that he still has one of the original tapes, but he has not confirmed that he does.
And speaking of Matt C’s original demo tape, he will not sell it for any amount (trust us, we tried buying it from him multiple times and got shot down). Although many rare Biggie items have been auctioned off since his death, there has never been one single original demo tape for sale ever. If one ever does pop up for sale, expect it to go in the high five or even six digits.
When Faith Evans was looking for rare Biggie recordings for her album titled “The King and I” which was released in 2014, she found a different version of his demo tape from someone in Queens, New York. The raps of the demo tape were the same but the beats were different, making another unreleased version out there. Faith, didn’t make much of the tape and didn’t even take it for herself or copy it.
Biggie’s demo tape was not the first time that Biggie had recorded his rhymes. Biggie had done some recording with Brooklyn Jazz musician Donald Harrison. Biggie really didn’t know how to structure his rhymes or record a song, and it was the Jazzman that showed him the ropes. The recorded a bunch of tracks together, but never formed an official mixtape of those songs.