"The Greatest Rapper of all time died on March 9th!" - Canibus
Indeed he did. The Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace) was murdered 15 years ago today. Undoubtedly one of the greatest rappers of all time, Biggie as I would call him, changed the game when he hit the scene. I recall being a young girl, walking into my brother's room and seeing posters from "The Source" magazine hanging along the wall. They were posters of Biggie. He was fat, Black and ugly as ever. HOWEVER, he stayed Gucci, Versace, and Coogi down to the socks. He was by far the fliest over weight guy I had ever seen.
After the West Coast had taken a strong hold over the rap game, Biggie aka Big Poppa or the Black Frank White was a breath of fresh air for East Coast rap (where hip hop originated). Under the leadership of Diddy (Puff Daddy back then) Biggie's "Ready to Die" album was released in 1994 and changed the game of hip hop. Biggie later introduced the world to his rap group Junior M.A.F.I.A. Artists like Lil Kim and Lil Cease boasted from this group. Biggie had officially brought Brooklyn back. He teamed up with another Brooklyn Rapper Jay-Z to form a super group called "The Commission." The Commission consisted of himself, Jay-Z and one of his side chicks, Charlie Baltimore. Groups like this were formed before by other rappers. Nas had started "The Firm," which included him, A.Z., Foxy Brown and Cormega. Unfortunately, before "The Commission" could drop their album Biggie's life was taken away from him.
Biggie got into a huge feud with another Rapper 2 Pac. Pac was a gangster rapper with a huge following on the West Coast and all around the U.S. I can remember like yesterday some of the debates my brother and his friends had about who was the best of out of 2 Pac and Biggie. Gaining most of my music knowledge from my brothers, I sided with them on who was best. Of course, like everybody else, I loved 2 Pac, but it was something different about Biggie. His keen story telling ability, smooth flow and autobiographical ryhme scheme separated him from the rest. My brother would argue, "Put on 2 Pac and Bone Thugs and Harmony. Then put on Biggie and Bone Thugs and Harmony. Then you tell me who's the best." Bone was a rap group that rapped super fast over tracks. If you could hold down a track with them, you were nice. 2Pac and Biggie both did a song with Bone. Biggie killed his, Pac, not so much. The feud between the two spent out of hand, with help from the national media. The East Coast/West Coast beef had become too REAL. Before Biggie's 2nd double disc album, "Ready to Die" dropped, he was murdered after leaving a night club on the West Coast. His murder is still unsolved, but rumors say that L.A.P.D. was involved as well as 2 Pac's former label executive Suge Knight.
If you've never heard a biggies joint, indulge in some of my favs from him below....
R.I.P Christopher Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G. "We'll always Love Big Poppa."