The Notorious B.I.G is a clever rap phenomenon. His persona was scandalous. His flow – very dangerous. Biggie Smalls was a lyrical savage. Nevertheless, his success was blessed. He rapped about packing gats, living without fear and putting 5 karats in his daughter’s ear!
Biggie struggled with suicidal thoughts, yet as we all know he persevered and became the first rap artist to produce a diamond album. In short, Biggie’s debut album Ready To Die and posthumous album Life After Death sold over 10 million copies worldwide. These albums made Biggie a hardcore rap pioneer.
The acronym B.I.G used to stand for “Business Instead of Game.” However, The Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation gave Biggie’s name a new meaning, “Books Instead of Guns.” Biggies foundation helps bring books to impoverished schools in New York and Atlanta. Further, the name Biggie was inspired by a gangster in the film “Let’s Do It Again”.
In the wake of Biggie’s success and tragic death, several facts remain in the dark. His hard-core affair with rap mistress Lil Kim is infamous and his love and hate relationship with rappers such as Tupac Shakur was epic. This poetic genius needs no further introduction; here are 10 juicy facts about The Notorious B.I.G.
10. Tupac Shakur Bought Biggie His First Rolex Watch
The East Coast–West Coast conflicts of the 90s involved East Coast-based rapper Biggie and West Coast-based rapper 2Pac of Death Row Records. Both legends were murdered following drive by shootings by unknown enemies in 1997 and 1996, respectfully.
Many people among the rap community debate the careers of Biggie and 2pac. Though few know that 2pac and Biggie were “bros.” Biggie and 2Pac worked together before their beef. They were known for being archenemies, but before anything, the truth is that 2pac and Biggie were really good friends. So much so that 2pac bought Biggie his very first Rolex watch.
9. Biggie Was Discovered By “Unsigned Hype”
Biggie first became known to the world when he made the “Unsigned Hype” section of Hip Hop Magazine. Back in the day, landing in The Source’s Unsigned Hype column was all a rapper needed to get his career started.
Contrary to what some may think, the column was the first platform to showcase Biggie’s talents. After meeting with magazine editor Matty C. and seeing Biggie in the magazine Sean Combs aka Puff Daddy was convinced that he had “it”.
Puffy discovered Biggie in The Source magazine and the rest is history. “The Source wanted Biggie to appear on an Unsigned Hype album that would include all of the unsigned hype artists featured in 1992. The contract was less then what Biggie wanted, so he never recorded for that album,” reports MTV News.
8. Biggie Was A Notorious Ghostwriter
Biggie wrote many of Lil’ Kim‘s lyrics. Lil Kim is a female MC pioneer and was Biggie’s rap protégé. Biggie actually did a reference track for the song “Queen B***h” where a few of the lines seem particularly strange coming from his mouth.
A clip online exists in which you can hear Biggie rapping Lil’ Kim’s song ‘Queen B***h.’ Biggie has recordings of him rapping lines such as, “got buffoons eating my p*ssy while I watch cartoons.”
7. Biggie Is Jamaican-American
Biggie’s parents were Jamaican immigrants. “His Jamaican heritage, punctuated by his mom’s thick accent, was often a source of ridicule in his childhood. His father wasn’t around to witness any of it – he left when Biggie was a 14-month baby,” reports houstonpress.com.
Biggie was the only child of Voletta Wallace, a Jamaican preschool teacher, and George Latore, a welder and small-time Jamaican politician. His pops left home when Big was just two years old, leaving his mom to work two jobs while raising him.
6. Biggie Recorded Himself Having Intercourse With Lil’ Kim
Biggie’s relationship with Lil’ Kim is well documented. He was briefly married to singer Faith Evans. He loved Faith, but he reportedly wasn’t faithful. Faith recalls the time she caught Biggie and Lil’ Kim in bed. During an interview with Wendy Williams, Faith revealed that Biggie’s infidelities were indeed true.
Faith revealed to Complex Mag that Kim and Biggie carried on their affair for at least a year and a half without her noticing. She had issues with Biggie sleeping with other women in general. One can actually hear the Notorious B.I.G. receiving oral sex on the album “Ready to Die.”
5. Biggie Was A Straight A Student
“Considered a fool cause I dropped out of high school/Stereotypes of a black male misunderstood/And it’s still all good,” raps Biggie. Many times, African American heroes and black pioneers are applauded for their physical talents, yet they’re raw intelligence and sheer will is undermined by the powers that be.
Biggie was an extremely talented drawer growing up. He wanted to be a graphic designer or a doctor. Biggie won several awards while in school. His best subject was English.
But Biggie became criminal minded. One time police officers raided the N.J trap house he was moving product in. It was 1994 and authorities say they found guns and weed.
“You cannot do that forever,” Biggie said. “You will die or eventually go to jail.” Biggie said the second time he went to jail “wasn’t the move”. Biggie attended the same high school as Jay Z and Busta Rhymes and DMX. At one point, Biggie was a straight “A” student. He has since become one of the greatest artists of all time.
4. He Distributed Copies of “Ready To Die” From His House
Biggie spent more than two years working and recording Ready To Die. Reports say these were very stressful times. The very first song that he wrote and recorded for his debut album was the song “Ready To Die”.
“If Biggie had Ready to Die recorded the way he wanted to, it would have sounded more like rapper Nas’s Illmatic,” Complex reports.
Biggie distributed copies of “Ready to Die” on cassette at his house, causing a line to wrap around the neighborhood.
Busta Rhymes said, “I watched Biggie give away Ready to Die and thought he was crazy. From his house, dubbing the album on a double cassette deck and had a line in front of his crib on St. James like he was selling the best c*ke ever. That was like the most illest sh*t because it was his way of marketing himself.”
3. Michael Jackson Asked Biggie For A Verse
Michael Jackson didn’t work with a plethora of rappers, but he did request for a chance to work with Biggie for his 1995 track “This Time Around.”
Biggie’s 1995 hit “One More Chance” debuted at number five in the pop singles chart. This tied with the king of pop’s “Scream” as highest-debuting single of all time.
The previous record holders were The Beatles. Biggie was ecstatic to work with the King of Pop on the “This Time Around” track from MJ’s HIStory – Past Present & Future Book 1 album.
Biggie has sold over 58 million records worldwide and Michael Jackson has sold over 250 million worldwide. Together, these two kings make a powerful duo.
2. Life After Death
Biggie’s autopsy was released 15 years after his death. The Los Angeles coroner’s office released a 23-page autopsy report of the rapper’s death. However, his death remains unsolved.
Biggie was murdered on March 9. He was shot six times and arrived at the hospital in full cardiac arrest. To the dismay of many, there have not been any arrests connected to his murder.
Sixteen days after Biggie’s death, his double-disc album “Life After Death” was released. It rose to #1 on the American Billboard charts. By 2000, it was certified diamond, an extraordinary accomplishment for a kid from the projects.
There were two more albums released following Biggie’s death. He is mourned and missed deeply.
1. The Lost Tapes
Biggie was recorded in an interview stating that he possessed an extremely early mixtape of him rapping carelessly (unedited, unscripted, unwritten, not practiced). Reports claim the secret project features Biggie freestyling for 60 minutes over EPMD instrumentals. However, this tape has yet to be found.
It’s been documented that Biggie’s friend “Uptown” from Brooklyn has unreleased unheard records that were recorded while Biggie and some friends were hanging out smoking and rapping in his house.