(May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997)
Christopher Wallace B.K.A The Notorious B.I.G, Biggie, or Biggie Smalls was born in Brooklyn, New York and is now known as the saviour of east coast hip-hop. Smalls became a dominant figure in the hip-hop game back in ’94 with the release of his debut album, ‘Ready to die’. From an early age Smalls was surrounded by hip-hop, attending school with some of the most influential hip-hop figures known today such as: Jay-z, Busta’ Rhymes, and DMX.
Surrounded by the rough corners of Brooklyn, Smalls became affiliated with life on the streets as well as rap as a young teenager. He began spitting on the streets of his hometown at the drop of a beat and with local artists; this led to his demo tape release, which soon found itself in the hands of an editor at ‘The Source’ magazine. In ‘92 Smalls was featured in ‘The Source’ in their Unsigned Hype column, a column dedicated to aspiring talent. Following his feature in The Source, an A&R and record producer by name of Sean ‘P.Diddy’ Combs contacted the young rapper to arrange a meeting, and the rest is now history.
Biggies influential status in hip-hop is recognized due to his thick and unrestrained flow, which was expressed through narrative and emotive rhymes about crime, violence, and the overall struggle encountered on the streets. His ability to drop a rhyme in and outside of the booth, with or without a pen or paper is what added to his significance in hip-hop. He was the best of both worlds an artist and an emcee with one of the meanest and most murderous flows I have ever heard in hip-hop. His name has inspired many artists to grip the mic and has been announced as one the greatest in hip-hop in renowned publications such as: MTV, The Source, XXL Magazine, The Rolling Stones, and more.
Biggie’s relevance in hip-hop is as strong today as it was 20 years ago when this hip-hop phenomenon first came into the scene. His beats, lyrics and name created a legacy that is still mentioned by artists today such as: Alicia Keys, Ja Rule, Eminem, Lil’ Wayne, and more. In an era of revolutionized hip-hop, his music continues to be heard on major radio stations, music channels, clubs and more, with such hits as: ‘Big Poppa’, ‘Hypnotize’, and ‘Juicy’. Biggie has shown me that the purpose in life is to create a legacy that outlives you, which he has done truly proving that there is life after death.