Simpler times, people. The year was 1997 and the hip-hop landscape was a vastly different place. The death of The Notorious B.I.G. had left a major void in Puff Daddy's Bad Boy Empire, and Ma$e stepped up to carry the load with his official debut album Harlem World. Released twenty-three years ago to this day, the album marked the young rapper's first major look since "Mo Money Mo Problems," a verse that boosted his status in a major way.
Lined with guest appearances from DMX, Busta Rhymes, 8 Ball & MJG, Puffy himself, and more, one of Harlem World's many highlights came by way of "24 Hrs To Live," a smooth posse cut the likes of which we simply don't see anymore. Featuring a lineup of DMX, The LOX (who were also signed to Bad Boy at this time), and Black Rob, the conceptual track found each emcee reflecting on their last days. Though plenty of gems are shared throughout, Jadakiss offers up one of the most enticing options in his opening bars. "Yo, yo if I had twenty-four hours to kick the bucket, fuck it, I'd probably eat some fried chicken and drink a Nantucket," he muses. On the other end of the spectrum is DMX, who prefers to level the playing field. "24 left until my death," he spits, in the track's darkest verse. "So I'm gonna waste a lot of lives, but I'll cherish every breath."
Be sure to check this one out for old time's sake, and show some love to Ma$e's Harlem World in the comments below.
So I'm gonna waste a lot of lives, but I'll cherish every breath
I know exactly where I'm goin', but I'mma send you there first
And with the shit that I'll be doin', I'mma send you there worse
I've been livin' with a curse, and now it's all about to end