9th Wonder and Phonte

BIGGIE WEEK: Was Biggie Smalls the G.O.A.T.? – Reflections from 9th Wonder & Phonte


Game recognize game. And when your name appears 99.99% of the time on the Hip-Hop Nation’s lists of greatest rappers, you just might be the greatest.

The debate will likely rage on forever as to whom is the “Greatest Of All Time” in rap music, but there is little doubt that The Notorious B.I.G. remains one of the sturdy pillars of the genre and the culture.

At age 24, and with only two studio albums to his credit, Christopher Wallace had a definite “it” factor – that certain something that today might be called “swag” or might have earned him a privileged place among living icons.

Still, in death, his iconic status lives on. And in rap, where there is mutual respect among competing MCs but little affection, even the greats who still uphold the music can agree that BIG left an indelible mark on them as artists and people. For producers and DJs, the relationship to Bed-Stuy’s Boy was different but equally powerful – the way he “rode the beat” ranks high among many of their reflections eternal.

AllHipHop.com spent last evening (March 8) with two North Carolina rap giants – producer extraordinaire, 9th Wonder, and his talented partner and former Little Brother member, singer/rapper Phonte. At the legendary Sigma Sound Stage, after sharing their own endearing stories of industry triumphs and struggles during Red Bull Music Academy’s stop in Philadelphia, the duo reflected on whether or not The Notorious B.I.G. was indeed the G.O.A.T.:

  • rep87

    Biggie   and  Pac came thru an era when it was alot of talent and they held their own and stood out from others today is weak and watered down

    • dominicancoke

      today is southern down what rapper in what coast raps worse than gucci or wacka or soulja besides lil b in cali the south has good rappers but it has an endless list of non lyrical special ed short bus shawty’s 

  • R_REAL_TALK

    i believe he was and so was big l compared to ho yall got todays the rappers name alone sucks not to mention the rapping skills wacka flocka, gucci mane, soulja boy, lil b, and the list goes on and on those was the good old days when hip hop was real now days its just like fat joe said the g?ay mafia??????

    p.s yall no i dont lie???????

    ¨°º¤ø„ ¸ ¨º¤ø„¸¸„ø¤º°¨¸„ø¤º°¨
    _______REAL REAL
    _______T A L K
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    • dominicancoke

      i agree son there’s a gay mafia ruining hip hop just look at drakes northface in the motto video lol these boys are flaming. and not for nothing southern rap murdered hip hop what happen to the southern vets like outkast scarface and lyricist like luda killer mike z-ro these other southern rappers speak gibberish especially soulja boy plies gucci mane wacka oj the juiceman and the king of gibberish lil wayne

  • dominicancoke

    i consider biggie one of the greatest of all time. i can’t consider him the greatest since his life was cut short that’s no different than 50 dying on his massacre album and than being considered the greatest of all time.biggie was with out a doubt a rare breed lyrical genius story telling with an impressive voice and you as a fan can say he was the greatest like thats how dope he was biggie came at a time in hip hop where rhymes matter very different from today’s pop rap run by greedy record execs and payola if a rapper with the likes of biggie came into the market today kids would not like it since it has no swag or skinny jeans  rappers now a days can express their homosexuality freely just look at lil wayne or drake or kanye west lil b made an album tittle im gay thank god we still have some lyricist left ..don’t teach me how to doug e show me you can spit

  • EL_BARK

    Man gucci man, aint all that bad as a rapper.
    He may not be a lyrical beast, but dude can flow to a beat,
    And he spit so real talk, every now and then.

    “These rappers bets respect me
    You try to ron artest me
    They gonna have to arrest me”

  • Biggie was great at what he did, he wasnt the best of all time, it depends on your taste, i never saw him as a lyrical monster, to me he was a good story teller and made simple words sound good with his flow and voice , he had a good flow and his voice stood out, i use to realy like biggie when i was younger, but when i hear his music now that im a little older his lyrics are simple to me , its his flow that makes what he says sound good.  but when you compare his lyrics to real lyrical mcs like percee p, g-rap, rakim, big pun, chino xl and cats like that makes biggies lyrics sound dumbed down, and that how i see biggie and jay -z and dumbed down lyrics ,but they make catchy songs that people can rap along to, but the older i got i like to hear shit that makes me say damn what the hell did he just say or what did that mean got to listen to it over and over, but biggie and jay is fun music to me does not make my mind think to where im like damn

  • AugustusPaulo

    BIGGIE GOAT no doubt just my opinion 

  • Orignal Clova

    Big is GOAT..but when it comes to the south…look up Austin,Texas ..People Sleep on Austin

  • G.O.A.T.?…nah…for his time when he was alive, but of all time? noooooooooooooooppppeee!

  • IllyPhilly

    Nope, there is no GOAT. Everybody’s taste in rap is different. I wouldn’t even consider Whitney Houston the GOAT as a singer. Her style didn’t do it for me like Teena Marie. 

  • Diemenz

    phonte said girls use to say his lyrics man back int he day majority of hip hop was lyrical, and girls are into words why u think they pack poetry shows. biggie personally not in my top 5 maybe top 10 but he was dope dont get me wrong but hop hop has to many great emcees in my book to put biggie 

  • If you dont think Big is the greatest of all time, do yourself a favor.  Play ANY of your favorite albums right now and play life after death back to back.  And remember that album is 16 years old. Dun Talk!!!!!

  • thereal757

    Tupac was the best Big was good for hiphop Krsone was the greatest lyricist of all time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • thereal757

    JAY-Z is the most sucessful rapper he is one of the best lyricist of all time