Ready to Die is the debut studio album by American rapper The Notorious B.I.G., released on September 13, 1994, by Bad Boy and Arista Records. The album features production by Bad Boy founder Sean "Puffy" Combs, Easy Mo Bee, Chucky Thompson, DJ Premier, and Lord Finesse, among others. It was recorded from 1993 to 1994 at The Hit Factory and D&D Studios in New York City. The partly autobiographical album tells the story of the rapper's experiences as a young criminal, and was the only studio album released during his lifetime, as he was murdered sixteen days before the release of his second album Life After Death in 1997.
Ready to Die was released to critical acclaim and became a commercial success, achieving Gold certification. In 1995, it was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and has since reached a certified 6x platinum with sales. It was significant for revitalizing the East Coast hip hop scene, amid West Coast hip hop's commercial dominance. The album's second single "Big Poppa" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 1996 Grammy Awards. Ready to Die has been regarded by many critics as one of the greatest hip hop albums, as well as one of the best albums of all time.