1994. West B-More. Elementary School.
So this was the same cat from that CD cover. Hold on…..this was the same cat from that CD cover! It just didn’t make any sense. The CD cover with that endearing little baby rocking that bigger-than-life afro. What was up with the melodic, husky vocal tones that were coming from those car speakers outside of my 4th grade window? Isn’t ignorance so blissful when you’re young? Little did I know that the contrast in theme between album cover art and hip-hop genius would forever leave an imprint on my musical conscious? This was The Notorious B.I.G.; loud and in color.
Not only was the dude making east coast hip-hop relevant again, but he was making the big man sexy. Now, there were other husky MCs before B.I.G.; Heavy D, The Fat Boys, Chubb Rock, etc, etc. But never has a 6’3, 300 pound dark-skinned brother with a lazy eye been so appealing to the opposite sex. It wasn’t just about being “black and ugly as ever” and staying “Coogi down to the socks.” Biggie was blessed with an unfathomable amount of charisma. And that was music to my young ears, being an up-and-coming chunky tot-like don myself. And I see some ladies tonight/ that should be having my baby/baby. I had no idea what those words meant. But it felt great imagining myself say them to girls who didn’t even know I was alive.
Things done changed. I’m a grown man now, and just as I have matured and changed, so has hip-hop. But I still miss Christopher Wallace. I just wonder to myself what might have been if B.I.G. would have lived past the tender age of 24. Would Puffy–I’m sorry–P. Diddy–my bad– Diddy have become the global icon he has transformed into over the last 14 years since Biggie’s death. Would Jay-Z be considered the G.O.A.T. of hip-hop today if B.I.G. were still alive? Would Lil’ Kim gotten all of that plastic surgery to make herself unrecognizable if her mentor were still guiding her career? Who knows? But one thing is for sure, there will never be another Notorious B.I.G. And on this March 9th 2011, let us remember a legend. Baby, Baby!!
14 years after the tragic murder of Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace, his spirit still lives on. Big’s spirit is kept alive not only through hip-hop, but mainstream and pop culture alike. P.Diddy announced today “Biggie Day” via Twitter which started a trending topic. Check out the tweets and some of my personal favorite Biggie videos below. We’ll ALWAYS love Big Poppa!