Today marks 20 years since the passing of one of the greatest rappers of all time, the Notorious B.I.G.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Christopher Wallace (also known as Biggie Smalls or Biggie), became a prominent figure in the hip-hop world on the East Coast after the release of his first album, Ready to Die, in 1994. He also had a protégé group Junior M.A.F.I.A, which consisted of his childhood friends, including Lil’ Kim and Lil’ Cease, among other rappers.
While in Los Angeles promoting his sophomore album, eerily titled Life After Death, Biggie was shot and killed at the age of 24 on March 9, 1997, six months after his West Coast rival Tupac Shakur.
Life After Death was released 16 days after his passing and his number 1 on the Billboard 200 charts.
The question of “where would he be now if he were still alive?” is often thought of. There’s no doubt that he would have released more studio albums and would maybe have made it to Hollywood. There may have even be rivalries between him and other up-and-coming New York hip hop artists including Nas, DMX, Ja Rule and Jay-Z, but he definitely paved the way for them.
Thank you Biggie for your music. We miss you. RIP