Category: Notorious B.I.G.

Biggie Smalls would have turned 40 today

Biggie Smalls would have been 40 today
It's been 15 years since the Notorious B.I.G. was killed in Los Angeles. But in an era when deceased rappers can still headline major festivals (well, in Victorian parlor-trick form), it's always a good time to revisit the catalog and legacy of one of the finest to ever hold a mike. Especially on the anniversary of Biggie Small's birthday, as the MC born Christopher Wallace would have been 40 today. 

With only two albums to his name (including one, "Life After Death," released posthumously), his catalog was short, and he didn't leave a vault of unreleased material. But his output and persona were impossibly impactful on rap and pop culture at large, and his slaying remains an emotional, debated case.

He made his on-record character, that of a cocky drug slinger who sees death at his Brooklyn doorstep, a monumental trope of hip-hop. And his flow was like a velvet glove over a coiled fist -- smooth delivery with serious precision.

Just watch this video of him performing on his hometown streets at 17 (17!) to hear just how early he figured out his talents, and lament the career we've missed out on since.


Remembering the Notorious B.I.G., 15 years later

FBI releases trove of redacted documents on Notorious B.I.G. killing

Report: Notorious B.I.G.'s 1997 slaying getting a fresh look from LAPD

-- August Brown

 Photo: Biggie Smalls. Credit: Los Angeles Times. Hat tip to the Awl for the video.

Remembering the Notorious B.I.G., 15 years later

“Hah, sicker than your average Poppa / Twist cabbage off instinct … don't think … stink / pink gators, my Detroit players / Timbs for my hooligans in Brooklyn / Dead right, if they head right, Biggie there every night / Poppa been smooth since days of Underroos.” -- “Hypnotize”

It's been 15 years since the Notorious B.I.G. was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. While there are plenty of unanswered questions in the still-unsolved homicide, one thing that can’t be questioned is Biggie’s game-changing contributions to rap music.

With only two albums of studio material  under his belt (“Life After Death,” while released posthumously, was completed before his death), the man born Christopher Wallace made himself an indelible force in the genre and helped put the East Coast sound on the map at a time when ears were glued to the gangster rap that was brewing out of the West.

Continue reading »

FBI releases hundreds of pages on Notorious B.I.G. murder investigation


Asking any fan or rap impresario who killed the Notorious B.I.G. is a question that undoubtedly yields countless guesses.

Since the rapper’s controversial -- and still unsolved -- killing in 1997 after leaving a Los Angeles music party, conspiracy theories have swirled about his death, fueled among other things by the fact that his death closely mirrored that of one time friend and believed rival Tupac Shakur months earlier.

The FBI has released hundreds of pages of files from its investigation into the murder of the Notorious B.I.G., a.k.a. Biggie Smalls. The records come from a civil rights probe the bureau launched into the killing.

The 359-page document, which you can read here, is heavily redacted, which should reopen the dialogue for the countless conspiracy theorists who have long held that the Brooklyn-bred rapper’s death was covered up.

The family of the rapper, born Christopher Wallace, filed a wrongful-death suit against the city of Los Angeles in 2002,  accusing officials of covering up police involvement; the family had alleged that corrupt LAPD officers were involved in Wallace's slaying, a claim the city has denied. A federal judge dismissed the suit last year.

Read more at L.A. Now.


Read the FBI documents on Biggie Smalls

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

Photo: The 1997 shooting death of Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace, shown receiving an award in 1995, remains unsolved. Credit: Mark Lennihan /Associated Press


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