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Remembering The Notorious B.I.G

By Omar Linton
On April 5, 2013

"It was all a dream!" Christopher Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G exclaimed on his debut single "Juicy" in 1994. But for many Biggie fans, friends and family...it was all a nightmare in 1997.

March 9, 2013 marks the 16th death anniversary of the Notorious B.I.G, or Biggie Smalls as many called him. Smalls was gunned down at the age of 24 on March 9, 1997, hours after he had presented R&B songstress Toni Braxton an award at the 11th annual Soul Train Awards and just minutes after partying with label mates, friends and other stars at Vibe magazine's after party.  Smalls was at the height of his short-lived career and was in Los Angeles promoting his second album, 1997's "Life After Death...," which was due to be released 16 days after his demise on March 23rd.

Born in Brooklyn, Bedford-Stuyvesant was Biggie Smalls stomping grounds. It was where he honed his rhyming skills and also where he hustled and got into his early troubles with the law that would ultimately lead him to former A&R rep Sean Combs, who then started Bad Boys Records. At the time of Biggie's death, East Coast rappers and West Coast rappers were feuding heavily for the position of being the #1 powerhouse when it came to the rap genre of music. The most notable feud or "beef" was between East Coast's young witty wordsmith, Biggie Smalls and West Coast's rapper/actor, Tupac Shakur. Once best friends, the two artists arguably two of the greatest rappers of all time seen the evil of the music game turn them to enemies. Shakur was gunned down at the age of 25 in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada just six months prior to Smalls' death. Smalls who was married to R&B label mate, Faith Evans with whom he had a son, Christopher "CJ." Wallace was also involved in a sexual affair with label mate and fellow Bed-Stuy alum, Lil' Kim. Controversy and legal troubles followed the talented Brooklyn MC but it didn't take away his charm and charisma that made him a fan favorite. Standing 6'3 and well over 300 lbs, there was nothing "small" about Biggie. His deep voice, his uncanny ability to tell a story and his delivery for a big man and of course his infamous "uhh" made any song with Smalls an instant classic. From "Juicy" to "Hypnotize" to "Loving You Tonight" to "Sky's The Limit", Biggie was amazing at telling stories. Even though the Notorious B.I.G had only one album before his death and one posthumous album, he's still regarded as one of the Greatest of All Time where rap music is concerned. There will never be another Biggie Smalls, just like there would never be another Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson or Mike Tyson. Great talent can never be duplicated and Biggie obviously knew that he was great when he stated on the Victory track "Real sick, brawl nights, I perform like Mike/Anyone -- Tyson, Jordan, Jackson."

 

CONTINUE TO SLEEP IN PEACE, B.I.G (MAY 21, 1972 - MARCH 9, 1997)


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