Notorious B.I.G.

Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace is the Brooklyn, New York bred MC (who is also known as "Biggie") that is considered arguably the best pound for pound MC to ever dominate rap's musical arena. Paired with his right-hand man Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, Biggie would take over the East-Coast and the entire rap game respectively. The legendary storyline of Biggie & Tupac Shakur's relationship is still one that Hip-Hop enthusiasts debate on whether or not their saddening pre-mature deaths were correlated. The complexion and perception of Hip-Hop would never be the same after both Tupac & Biggie were lost to senseless violence. Biggie's ability to impact Hip-Hop on such a monumental level would pave the way for other New York heavyweights such as Jay-Z & Nas. Biggie's ability to tell deep introspective stories so vividly with an immense amount of authenticity, humor and skill would cement him as one of Hip-Hop's greatest when his career came to an abrupt end.

The Notorious B.I.G. was born on May 21st, 1972 and raised in the Bed-Stuy area of the Brooklyn borough of New York. Biggie had always been a fan of Hip-Hop and his ability to excel in his English classes at school would prove to foreshadow his greatness of being a wordsmith during his rap career. At the age of 17, Biggie (whose name came from his large physical stature of being over 6 feet tall and nearly 400 pounds) would drop out of high school to start selling crack on the streets to attain the flashy and wealthy lifestyle of a hustler. After his second stint in jail for selling drugs he would record his first demo and soon the tape would fall into Mister Cee's hands (Big Daddy Kane's DJ) who would turn the tape into the Hip-Hop magazine, "The Source". The upper echelon publicity of this publication would soon catch the attention of record producer Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs at Uptown Records who would sign Biggie immediately and form his own record label Bad Boy.

The buzz he generated from guest starring on Mary J. Blige's "Real Love Remix" & releasing his first solo track "Party & Bullshit" allowed him to deliver his classic debut album "Ready to Die". Unfortunately, this would be the only album that Biggie would put out while he was still alive. Still, it was an entirely proper debut album that is still considered by some as a completely perfect recording. The lead single, "Juicy" is arguably the most important song that was released in 1994 because of the gorgeous production by Puff Daddy and Poke of the production team Trackmasters. Although, the great Pete Rock claims he came up with the original version and that it was stolen from him. The single solidified Bad Boy records, it had impeccable timing and balance dropping amongst some of the biggest releases in the game such as Snoop Dogg's "Doggystyle". It would be followed by the platinum smash hit "Big Poppa". It even had the legendary Wu-Tang Clan MC Method Man with Biggie on "The What" which had Meth displaying arguably the best guest appearance on a Hip-Hop track ever due to his insane back to back verses. The album even displayed Biggie's unbelievable flow and unparalleled skill on songs such as "Gimmie The Loot". This track displayed Biggie's creative mindset in which he changed his voice on the track to make it sound like he was trading verses with a different person whilst at the same time illustrating an incredibly vivid street anecdote. "Ready to Die" solidified its classic status with the perfect dark, introspective & dope suicide themed track "Suicidal Thoughts". Biggies debut album is still considered by man to be one of the best Hip-Hop albums ever and has reached Diamond selling status as an album by it sales reaching over 10 million copies sold. 

On the set of filming "Poetic Justice" starring Tupac Shakur, Biggie would meet the West-Coast MC and they would become friends soon after. So much so they would end up chilling with each other and freestyling together on video. Unfortunately, their relationship would take a downturn as Tupac was shot outside of a recording studio in New York in 1994 and when he saw Biggie & Puffy inside the studio he began to believe they set him up to die. From there Biggie would release a song "Who Shot Ya" in 1995 that has strong implications being about Tupac and yet Biggie stated that it was recorded long before Tupac's shooting. A short time later, Suge Knight (the former CEO of Death Row Records) would make fun of Puff Daddy at the Source Awards and then would proceed to bail out Tupac from jail to immediately sign him to Death Row. In 1996, Tupac would release his anger and put out one of the best diss records against Biggie titled "Hit Em Up". As the year was about to end Tupac was shot and killed in Las Vegas in October of 1996 after a Mike Tyson boxing match. In March of 1997, Biggie would fly out to LA to squash whatever was left of the West Coast vs East Coast rap beef and record this interview in which he states he doesn't know why Tupac thinks he would set him up. Unfortunately, just a couple of weeks later he would get shot in the passenger seat of a car in Los Angeles while the song "Going Back to Cali" was playing. Biggie would never live to see the release of his double-CD album "Life After Death" that would be lead by the hit single "Hypnotize"  and is considered as on the best mafioso Hip-Hop albums of all time with three Grammy nominations for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Solo Performance & Best Rap Performance

It is no secret that Biggies rap career was definitely cut too short and his music will forever remain as some of rap's greatest contributions to the culture and genre respectively. We encourage you to check out his music below!

Notorious BIG- Hypnotize

I believe the Notorious B.I.G. was the greatest rapper who’s ever lived. I remember in ‘94, when Ready to Die came out, I was in 11th grade, living in my mother’s house in Virginia. There was a frenzy at my high school, arguing and talking about that album. We used to spend hours in the car, reciting his raps, trying to figure out what in the hell made him veer off in this way or that way. Some rappers just say a punchline, and it’s like, “OK, we get it.” But Big delved deep. He was a master painter with words. And his flow was just so effortless. I mean, I think I’m an awesome writer, but my bars still sound like bars. Big had all these intricacies, all these colors, all these witty things – and it didn’t sound like a rap. It was a conversation.
— Pusha T on Notorious B.I.G.'s legacy

Biggie- Big Poppa

Biggie - Gimme The Loot

The Notorious BIG & Method Man - The What