On March 9, 1997, the world seemingly stopped as fans reacted to the untimely death of one of the hottest emcees in the game- Notorious B.I.G. The Brooklyn rapper was shot and killed in Los Angeles at the age of 24 and he continues to mold hip-hop 23 years later.
Christopher Wallace was both charismatic and very complex. He had a way of using his unique storytelling ability to bring fans into his world and make you dance at the same damn time. Although his time here was cut short, Wallace- known as Biggie, Biggie Smalls, B.I.G., and Notorious- is arguably one of the greatest rappers to have ever lived. Truly starting from the bottom, Biggie used his God-given skills of hip-hop to find relief from the environment he grew up in.
Here are 5 reasons Biggie’s legacy continues to shine brightly on the culture decades following his death:
- His freestyle skills were unmatched. A freestyle on the streets of Brooklyn in 1989 introduced Biggie Smalls to the world. Even at age 17 he had the ability to portray full and detailed stories about life on the streets off the top of the dome with an unbreakable flow and finessed lyricism.
- He was humble. In a world where rappers solely spit about drugs and alcohol, he would often rap about himself and make fun of his own image. He once rapped “black and ugly as ever.” He may have been on top of the rap game, but was as humble as ever.
- He only released two albums before his life was cut short. His first album, “Ready to Die,” caused him to become one of the first rappers to ever go quadruple platinum. And his second album, “Life After Death”, went gold in its first week before ultimately going over diamond and becoming one of the biggest selling albums in hip-hop history. Both are considered hip-hop classics.
- His storytelling is unparalleled. Biggie Smalls was a prolific writer. His tricky wordplay and detailed stories will have audiences unsure of their actual reality. He could take you outside of your world and into his for the two minutes you spend listening to tracks like “Somebodies Got to Die,” where he imagines his own revenge after the loss of his friend.
- He showed us that the sky really is the limit. Tracks like “Juicy” show that there’s more to life than the circumstances you’re born into. “Birthdays was the worst days, now we sip champagne when we’re thirsty,” Biggie Smalls used a lot of his lyrics to preach positivity that if he could make it anyone can!
Check out the playlist below as we celebrate the life of the Notorious B.I.G. !