Artwork by Jay Lloren!
We can’t reiterate well enough how important it is to acknowledge the roots as we continue towards mapping out the modern day street scene. Street wasn’t always about distinct fashion, or fancy rhymes in music. It used to be a lifestyle that I shouldn’t really be calling “style” because it is definitely chaotic and it was probably not a choice for many.
Nonetheless, we are are here to give love for musical legends who helped pave way to the kind of street culture that we have today.
“The greatest rapper of all time”
Arguably, this is how Christopher George Latore Wallace has to be remembered. Known as “Chris” for some, but for many, he is “Biggie Smalls” or “The Notorious B.I.G.”. And easily, “The greatest rapper of all time”, says his friend, Sean Combs (Diddy) who is also a remarkable name in the scene. A statement that is widely proclaimed by Brooklyn and, possibly, a big part of the hiphop scene to this day.
Spread Love, It’s the Brooklyn Way
A big banner sign with the number “72”, celebrating the year of Biggie’s birth, with his famous lyrics “Spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way” now hangs inside Barclay’s Center.
Instead of a moment of silence, the entire Barclay’s Center including the Brooklyn Nets make noise as they remember the 20th Death Anniversary of The Notorious B.I.G. as they permanently hang the commemorative banner inside the stadium.
— Sean Diddy Combs (@diddy) March 13, 2017
“Chris” was THE MC
Hailing from a neighborhood filled with suffering smudged on its walls, the streets has always been his stomping ground. Getting immersed entirely to the street culture, he was no longer the name, “Chris”, as he used the alias, “Biggie Smalls”, named after a famous gangster character from a 1975 flick. He then changed his screen name to “Notorious B.I.G.” for legal reasons.
Since he was young, as her mother tells, Biggie has always been surrounded with music. He has incorporated his reggae and, especially, his jazz influences on taking new techniques for his music. This has gotten him on the map of the music industry early on his career.
With over 17M total albums sold, countless tours, and top hits, Biggie will always be remembered best with a mic. Notable music icons of today such as Quest Love, Nas, T.I., Lil Kim, Diddy and, I’m sure, a lot more artists have recognized Biggie’s superior song structure. He has always been a figure from Brooklyn who would always have a unique flow – because sometimes it’s not about what you say, but how you say it.
“He wore his ugly as a badge of honor”, Quest Love on Biggie’s artistry and lyricism.
Read more about the Art of MC-ing!
20 Years After His Death
Not only having have one of the biggest death mysteries in the entire music scene, Biggie is a musical legend that influenced hiphop music and pop culture, vastly.
His legacy lives on through his music as Faith Evans (Biggie’s wife) releases her collaborative album with The Notorious B.I.G., “The King & I”. She recently released the single “NYC” featuring Notorious B.I.G. and Jadakiss spitting verses about their gritty upcoming hailing from the same hometown. The album is set to come out by May 19th!
Fans couldn’t be more excited saying stuff like, “Unreleased B.I.G. is like Christmas”. Damn, right!
So to all you budding rappers, MCs, hiphop and street culture fanatics, we’re not saying you should know the legend that is Notorious B.I.G… or actually, yeah, that’s exactly what we’re saying. We are all for acknowledging the roots and legends. So by that, I leave you with one of my favorite Biggie song:
The Notorious B.I.G – “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems” ft. Mase and Diddy/ Puff Daddy/ Sean Combs
I don’t know man, the dude has got a lot of names. Anyway, here!
I hope it’s familiarity sparks your interest to get to know him and hiphop legends more.
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