It’s been 19 years today since Christopher Wallace was gunned down after a party in LA. He had released one album (Born to Die), and his second (Life After Death) was released sixteen days after his death. He was born in Brooklyn and quickly rose as one of the best MCs in America, and eventually the world. Biggie was heavily involved in the East vs West rivalry that developed during the mid 90s and reamins heavily respected and consistently considered one of the best, if not the best rapper of all time.
While some will side with Pac, Nas, Big L, or Jay Z for the best rapper, I believe it is Biggie who takes the crown. I love hip hop, and while Pac no doubt had some shit to say, Nas’ lyrics still can’t be beat, and Jay always has flawless production, it was Biggie who was the entire package. He was able to tell stories that you wanted to be a part of. He made you sympathetic to his drug-filled and violent past. His flow maybe wasn’t as hard hitting as Tupac, and he may not have touched on such deep societal issues, but Tupac was a poet, a renaissance man- Biggie was just a boy from Brooklyn trying to make it.
Maybe that’s why I like Biggie a bit more than the rest. He was the hustler. He talked about setting his goals, what he had to do to achieve them, and how he was going to celebrate (sip champagne when we’re thirstayyyyy). He had a flow that made you bob your head side to side. It made you vibe.
He wanted you to party to his tracks. He wanted you to stay too late at the club before the crew rolls back to someone’s place for one last drink. Biggie was a living legend and I think he knew it. I believe Biggie had an idea he was making music that people cared about and changing the music industry forever. He was right.
Christopher Wallace, you live on, baby bay-bay.