Photo: New York Daily News Archive (Getty Images)
Today (March 9th) marks the 20 year anniversary of Notorious B.I.G.’s death. While his 1997 murder in a Los Angeles drive-by shooting has never been solved his legacy is etched in hip hop history.
Christopher Wallace was born on May 21, 1972, and raised in the Bed-Stuy housing projects of Brooklyn, New York. The former teenage drug dealer was a once-in-a-lifetime talent, destined for music immortality as you can see from a YouTube clip of him freestyling at age 17.
Biggie became a larger than life figure upon the release of his seminal debut album Ready to Die in 1994 and a string of hit singles and albums that became the club soundtrack of the ’90s and are still influencing artists today.
Notorious B.I.G.’s staccato tales about thug life were nothing new, but his big poppa from the heart delivery and wheezy, from the chest voice have been often emulated, but never duplicated.
In celebration of the landmark anniversary, Puff Daddy announced a social media campaign #WeMissYouBIG to celebrate the legacy of his former BFF and collaborator.
Often and rightly so, Notorious B.I.G. will forever be linked in life and death with Tupac Shakur. The two greatest rappers of their time were central figures in the East Coast-West Coast beef that eventually led to both of their tragic deaths just months apart in two unsolved murders.
Their star-crossed stories will (yet) again be explored in the long-delayed Tupac biopic, All Eyez On Me (release date June 16). Puff Daddy, never shy to “honor” his friend, revealed that his Bad Boy Records documentary Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival next month.
And last, but not least and perhaps most exciting was the Notorious B.I.G.’s widow Faith Evans announcing a posthumous duet album with her and her late husband, slated for release in May called The King & I (check out the cover art below).