Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans & More Recall The Making Of Biggie’s One More Chance Remix (Video)
Approaching a year after The Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready To Die released, Biggie Smalls, Puff Daddy, and the Bad Boy Records family were still hard at work delivering it to the masses. While Junior M.A.F.I.A. was fast at work on their own offshoot debut, Puffy commissioned an album-cut remix. “One More Chance (Stay With Me Remix)” was deeply inspired by the early 1990s blend tapes of Kid Capri, Ron G, DJ S&S, and others.
Producer Rashad Smith, who also made “Just Playing (Dreams)” for Biggie in the day, was the one who Bad Boy’s founder/CEO called first. “Puff [Daddy] is very militant in working with producers, because he knows the sound that he wants. Anytime he called us to come in the studio, he was very, very specific as to what he wanted,” Smith tells Revolt. “Puff knew records; he knew break-beats. He listens, and he knows his music. So he’ll say, ‘Hey Rashad, I need you to go through your crates, and I need you to pull these five records out. I know the parts, exactly, that I want to chop up. And this is what I need you to do.'”
Mary J. Blige, whose own Uptown Records material gave way to Biggie Smalls before Bad Boy Records existed would reunite with her former label-mate. “The remix came about through Puff just being like, ‘Yo, I need you to come down here and get on this Big song.’ Whatever, we were all family. If he called, [I would be there].” Blige felt a strong connection to the 1983 Debarge ‘Stay With Me’ single. “That sample, that came from one of my favorite songs by Debarge. I was talkin’ to Puff about it; he played me the [remix]. I just had to get on it, ’cause he had jacked the Debarge sample.”
Rashad Smith reveals that Debarge was not the intended sample to the 1995 remix single. Instead, the producer for LL Cool J, Craig Mack, and Nas sought Faze-O’s 1977 “Riding High” beat. EPMD had used that sample for 1989’s “Please Listen To My Demo.”
“[Puff Daddy] will put that heat on my neck. ‘I need to get this done right now. Yo, find me something in five minutes!’ I’m laughing. I’m scratchin’ my head in the middle of making a beat. Puff was like, ‘Yo, we gonna remix “One More Chance.”‘ I knew the record, but I just wanted to listen to it again, to kinda get familiar with the rhymes and everything. I’m thinking we’re gonna use the same rhymes [and] remix the original vocals. [Puff Daddy said], ‘Nah, it’s a whole new record.'” Reportedly, Puff needed to know the sample within five minutes. “I’m like, Faze-O might be kinda crazy; I can hear Big over this!” He says Puffy did not object to the choice, only stressing the urgency. “I looped it up and took it to the studio. I told Puff, ‘I like it, but it’s aight.’ Big ain’t even get on it yet. Then I had another idea. I said, ‘Yo, I wanna rock that Debarge sample.'” Rashad reveals that Kid Capri’s album The Tape inspired the choice, care of the song “Billy.” Upon hearing the idea, Bad Boy was down. “Puff said, ‘That’s the one.”
Notably, the remix features sung vocals by both Mary J. and Faith Evans. Faith, who was Biggie’s wife at the time, recalls, “Back then, everything he did was like an assembly line, a process. The studios were all booked out.” Puffy orchestrated who would sing what. “When he asked me to do the hook for the ‘One More Chance Remix,’ he knew that he wanted one part of the hook to be similar to the Debarge record.'” Evans confirms that she and Blige were each present for the other’s recording.
“One More Chance (Stay With Me Remix),” released as the video version, would reach #2 on the charts. It topped the Rap charts.