RIP: The Notorious BIG

Real Name: Christopher Wallace

Alias: The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls, Frank White

Birth: May 21, 1972 in Brooklyn, New York

Death: March 9th, 1997 in Los Angeles, California

The Brooklyn-born rapper Notorious B.I.G. first gained attention for his work back in 92' on Mary J. Blige's "What's the 411?". When Brooklyn's own Christopher Wallace first got on wax with his own first single "Party and Bullshit" on 1993's "Who's The Man?" soundtrack, we only got a hint of what was to come from this rapper. Then Uptown Records executive Sean "Puffy" Combs signed Notorious B.I.G. to his fledging Bad Boy Records that year and history was written.

When he delivered his debut album, Ready to Die, in 1994, it became one of the most popular hip-hop releases of the year. In June of 1995, his single "One More Chance" debuted at number five in the pop singles chart, tying Michael Jackson's "Scream / Childhood" as the highest-debuting single of all time. Ready to Die continued to gain popularity throughout 1995, eventually selling two million copies. With its success, the Notorious B.I.G. became the most visible figure in hip-hop. The perfect mix of commercial materialism and realistic thuggery, Notorious B.I.G.'s 1994 debut, the multi-platinum "Ready to Die," made him an immediate hip-hop superstar. His rhymes about the lavish life of movies in Jacuzzis and holding "C-notes by the layers" entranced his ghetto fabulous listeners while bangers like "Warning" with dark eerie images captivated rap purists.

Spreading love the Brooklyn way, B.I.G. ushered long-time friends Li'l Kim and Li'l Cease into the spotlight, forming Junior M.A.F.I.A. The crew's 1995 "Conspiracy" went gold and Li'l Kim's subsequent solo album, 1996's "Hardcore" went platinum and B.I.G. became a rap institution.

However, the wheels had been set in motion for a tragedy in 97'. Early on the morning of March 9th, The Notorious B.I.G. was returning to his hotel in Los Angeles after a Soul Train Award party when another car pulled up aside his G.M.C. Suburban in front of the Peterson Automobile Museum and opened four shot's pass through the side door where Notorious B.I.G. was seated and entered leaving the world wide loved rapper un-conscious and tragically died upon arrival to a near by hospital.

Biggie's death was a vicious and strong shock to the entire music industry and sent shock waves around the world. The Notorious B.I.G.'s public funeral, however, was anything but peaceful. Thousands flooded into his Brooklyn neighborhood to catch a glimpse of his hearse, jumping on cars and clashing with police; ten people were arrested. A private funeral held earlier was more cordial, with Queen Latifah and members of Public Enemy and Naughty by Nature in attendance. The casket was open from the waist up, and the rapper had been fitted in a double-breasted white suit and matching hat.

Many artist have paid homage to The Notorious B.I.G. especially his own label mates who dedicated and released the mournful song "I'll be Missing You" as their gratitude and respect's to Biggie's short but very bright life. May 14 was declared Notorious B.I.G. Day, with over two hundred radio stations nationwide playing the single, followed by a thirty-second moment of silence. This single itself went onto sell more than three millions copies and funds from the single went to his children he left behind.

The Notorious B.I.G.'s second album, the posthumous double-disc "Life After Death", was released three weeks later, debuting at number one on the charts. The album featured Biggie in an enlightened spirit. The album released #1 hit's like the now hip hop classic song's "Hypnotize" & "Mo Money Mo Problems" just to name a few which itself became one of the biggest rap album's ever recorded hitting diamond status for being the first hardcore rap album to ever do that.

Two years later after his death, yet another posthumous album released after Biggie's departure. "Born Again" is released and debut's at #1 again on the chart. The album featured allot of top hip hop artist including Lil' Kim, Lil' Cease, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Ice Cube and other well known rappers paying their respect's in a celebration of the late great rappers life and legacy.

When clubs and concert's featured B.i.G., he always blew up the show with his lyrical tales of his life experiences and voyage into the realms of stardom and fame. Biggie said in an interview that his major role models while growing up in the streets of New York were the local drug dealers of the block and added that they gave him a view of what life was about on the streets.

The Notorious B.I.G. was a great rapper and performer because of his unique touch of lyrical and vocal production which opened the hip hop culture to a wider audience. Christopher Wallace was undoubtedly one of the greatest rapper of all time in history and will never be forgotten by his many friends and million of fans all over the globe. Notorious B.I.G survived by his wife and three children which before died, gave life to a new born baby boy with his wife.

Still today many intellectually want to learn about the late great rapper. Many remember what he accomplished as well as gained in his very young bright successful career. Notorious B.I.G. might be physically gone but spiritually he will always be here cause he was larger than life.

The murder investigation of The Notorious B.I.G is still active to this day but there have still been no arrests in the murder...

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