Legendary rapper the Notorious B.I.G., born Christopher Wallace, was also known as Biggie Smalls professionally and Big Poppa by his fans, was gunned down in 20 years ago today at the age of 25. While the artist only recorded two solo albums during his brief life, his music has left a lasting influence to the point that many have called, and still call, him the greatest of all time, or the GOAT. Many young rap artists out today cite him as an influence. Fellow Brooklynite rapper Jay-Z gives a shout out to Biggie at nearly every concert to this day. For those who do not follow rap, or don’t even know his name, many at least recognize the most iconic image of him…
Biggie’s influence remains such that NBA’s Brooklyn Nets will celebrate the life of Brooklyn-born rapper when they host the New York Knicks at Barclays Center on Sunday. The evening will commemorate Biggie’s iconic legacy.
Wallace’s original stage name Biggie Smalls came from a character in the 70s blaxploitation movie “Let’s Do It Again” starring Bill Cosby & Sidney Poitier. At 300+ pounds and standing over six feet tall, the former drug dealer live up to the assumed pseudonym. When he was sued for using the name he became The Notorious B.I.G. Honestly, the law suit was a waste of time. Even for many of us with the vintage to remember the the character from the classic movie, the name Biggie Smalls will henceforth be associated with Big Poppa first.
Biggie, Biggie, Biggie can’t you see?
Sometimes your words just hypnotize me.
While not a devoted fan of the exaltation of sex and drugs that permeated rap at time, Biggie hit a balance that was not has hard hitting as some others like N.W.A., but was not anywhere near the easy-listening sounds of say Heavy D. So yes, I am a fan of The Notorious B.I.G.’s music and his smoother than silk delivery as he told his truths his way.
So today, on the anniversary of his leaving this world, my iPod plays all things Biggie, to celebrate a life that had such an impact while he walked this world.
Sequitur / Non-sequitur:
I started this post on my cell phone – it amused to see each time I typed “The Notorious” it immediately suggested “B.I.G.”
Let’s see how other’s are rapping up their slices:
I love it when cell phones predict what I want…love and hate I guess. 🙂 Great post!
Although one’s life may be cut short, let us never underestimate the impact that life has on others.
I don’t know much about rap – but I have heard him referenced when I listen to radio shows that talk about music and writers and as a person who “creates” – I appreciate inspiration.