Busta Rhymes, Notorious B.I.G., Roc Marciano, J. Dilla - "Modern Day Gangstas"

Busta Rhymes, Roc Marciano, Knowledge the Pirate, and Rockwilder
(presumably backstage at Highline Ballroom),
December 26, 2017, via KP's Insta.
Strap in because there's some history behind this one ... or just scroll down to the track. Story goes that the original version of Busta Rhymes and Notorious B.I.G.'s "Modern Day Gangstas" aka "Dangerous MC's" aka "The Ugliest" was recorded over a J. Dilla beat in 1996 for Busta's debut, The Coming, but was shelved because Biggie went hard at Pac in his verse (like borderline self-incriminatory hard), and Bus didn't want to get mixed up in the beef.

Puffy retained the masters, because he's Puffy I guess, and then released a remix of the song over a Nottz beat on Notorious B.I.G.'s posthumous 1999 album, Born Again. This version featured Snoop Dogg and Mark Curry, whereas the original Dilla version features Busta Rhymes affiliate Labba. (Peace to The Lost Tapes for shedding light on the above back in 2014.) There's also a 12" promo release of "Dangerous MC's" on Bad Boy, featuring Mark Curry, Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes, with "Who Shot Ya" on the b-side. Discogs doesn't give a date for this release, it's not up on YouTube, and I'm not cracking the seal on my copy, so who knows when that came out or what it sounds like. Alas, none of these versions, as far as anyone knows, featured Roc Marciano.

Fast-forward to late 2017. Roc Marciano Tweets this:

Shortly thereafter, DJ, producer and friend of the late J. Dilla, House Shoes implies that he has the unreleased song in question:

Sure enough, five days later, Shoes kicks off the December 13, 2017 edition of his dublab program, Magic, with a track he lists as "Biggie Dilla Busta Rhymes ft. Flipmode – Modern Day Gangsters / Dangerous M.C.’s." The full program is available to download. All I did was cut out the first song, using Audacity. Stream/download Busta Rhymes and J. Dilla's "Modern Day Gangstas" ft. Notorious B.I.G., Labba and Roc Marciano below.

(P.S. It has been suggested, due to some differences in volume between the Roc verse and the rest of the vocals, that this track was Frankensteined using several different versions of the song. Note the DJ Kay Slay drops over Roc's verse and DJ Whoo Kid drops over Big's, which support that theory, as the Dilla version without Roc appeared on Busta Rhymes and DJ Whoo Kid's Surrender mixtape. But do you really care?)

***Update 2/13/20***
Roc Marciano's manager, Jazz, confirms on Twitter that the Roc Marciano verse comes from a DJ Kay Slay radio broadcast, hence the drops. He adds that it was played only on the radio and did not appear on any Kay Slay mixtapes.

***Update 4/14/21***
Props to Civilian3030 for pointing out that because The Coming was recorded before "Hit 'Em Up," it's highly unlikely, if not impossible, that "The Ugliest" was recorded for those sessions. Alternately it could have been intended for When Disaster Strikes or perhaps another project altogether.


sharokh88 said...

That’s the offical version right there. Something been always off about Labba’s verse and the gunshot ending.

Civilian3030 said...

The Coming was released on March 26, 1996. Hit 'Em Up was recorded in May of 1996. The Ugliest couldn't have been recorded for The Coming, it would have been recorded for When Disaster Strikes.

The Ugliest (OG) (1996)
- Biggie Solo

Modern Day Gangstas (OG) (2001)

- Busta (V1), Baby Sham (V2), Roc Marciano (V3)

Modern Day Gangstas (Remix)
- Biggie (V1), Busta (V2), Labba (V3)

Modern Day Gangstas (House Shows Composite Remix)
- Biggie (V1), Busta (V2), Roc Marciano (V3)

$bin♦ said...

Good point about The Coming/When Disaster Strikes! Thanks for that. But have you ever heard/do you have the Baby Sham version? Also where does Dangerous MCs figure into this chronology? (The version w/ Busta, Mark Curr and Snoop Dogg.)

Unknown said...

$bin yes I have all of the versions listed above. Dangerous MC's came out in 1999.

The Ugliest >
Dangerous MC's >
Modern Day Gangstas (Original - Flipmode Version) >
Modern Day Gangstas (Remix - Biggie Version)

$bin♦ said...

That's dope! Care to share the Modern Day Gangstas OG version? I don't think it's made the rounds yet!

Civilian3030 said...

$bin shoot me an email, Civilian3030@gmail.com

mikalkup said...

It's all bs, big recorded it and busta and flip mode recorded a different track with the same beat. People just wanna create ish..

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