March 9th is probably the hardest day to cope with in hip hop history, and today marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic death of the late great Christopher Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G. Whether you pull out your Versace shades and Coogie sweater, or if you’re ballin’ on a budget just throw on the red and black lumberjack with the hat to match, but just make sure you pay homage to the legend.
“Live from Bedford Stuyvesant, the livest one representing BK to the fullest”, Biggie Smalls goes down as one of the greatest if not the greatest rapper of all time. The greatest of all time is not a self proclaimed title, it’s a title that was earned, from his charisma, flow, delivery, and lyrics. The way Biggie stepped to the mic was legendary with his smooth poise and witty word play.
To this day it baffles my mind to hear other rap artist and producers telling stories about their studio experiences they shared with Biggie. Every artist explains how he would never picked up a pen to write his lyrics but instead just go off the top off his head to lay a verse, or even a full song in one take.
Big spit lyrics that contained so much substance accompanied with endless similes, metaphors, double entendres, and very vivid imagery. Biggie was an excellent story teller in his music, and as a kid I didn’t read bed time stories I just listened to big tell me stories like Warning, Gimmie the Loot, I got a story to tell, and one of my favorite N***** Bleed. I actually learned lessons through these stories like Biggie taught me don’t trust Gloria from Astoria because he went to war with her peeps back in 91′. It’s ok only Biggie fans will understand that reference.
Accepted and catering to almost any crowd, Big connected with the children growing up in poverty, the young hustlers, the ladies man and players, stick up kids, and the fat black kids, “Heart throb never, black and ugly as ever, However I stay Coogi down to the socks Rings and watch filled with rocks.” Big showed and demonstrated through his music to always feel comfortable in your own skin regardless of what the public thinks about your image.
The impact Biggie left on the rap game is serious, whoever your favorite rapper is I promise you they either rapped some of Biggies lyrics in their music, or acknowledged him through lyrics. Just 2 albums into his career BIG was gone from the rap game forever. I find it hard to comprehend how Biggie was killed before the release of his second album and had this much of an impact on the game. Can you imagine your favorite rapper or artist gone at the age of 24? Let that marinate for a second.
There’s so much irony in Biggies music and album titles. Biggies first studio album released was titled Ready To Die, and his second album that released after his death was Life After Death. Biggie couldn’t have found a better title than Life After Death, because ultimately his music lived on after his death bringing on a new life. 20 years later Biggie is still being discussed in barbershop talks, still in discussions as the greatest of all time, and his name remains relevant to this very day. There aren’t any words to explain or describe the impact he left on a culture in such a short amount of time.
Always remember the only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace, and as a fan of hip-hop I just ask you to celebrate Biggies life by playing some of his music, or you can smoke skunk with your peeps all day because you know Biggie always said “Spread love that’s the Brooklyn way.”