We Will Always Love Big Poppa

The Notorious B.I.G. still packs a big impact

It starts with the flow. Distinctive, effortless, raw, unmistakable, and not to be fucked with—a legendary combination. There was no missing Biggie on a track, until we were missing Biggie on the tracks. Then there were the raps: “Live from Bedford-Stuyvesant…” and it just goes from there. And then there were the albums. His debut, Ready To Die (Bad Boy, 1994)? Classic. His second album, Life After Death (Bad Boy, 1997)? Classic. His third and fourth posthumous “Let’s-make-Puff-some-cash” albums? Um, okay. Not quite classic, but damn! Did you hear B.I.G. and Eminem on “Dead Wrong”? How $^%#&* dope was that?!?

Still, if you’re too young to (legally) sip champagne when you’re thirsty, there’s a good chance that saying you love Biggie is a little like Michael Jordan fans saying they love Bill Russell. You’ve heard about how great he was—but do you really understand? Ånd basing everything you know about Biggie Smalls solely on his biopic Notorious (Fox Searchlight, 2009) doesn’t exactly cut it either. In order to say you love Christopher Wallace, you need to feel the power of his presence, see all that he contributed to the culture and understand what made other people love him so much. In other words…it’s 2009, folks, get your YouTube on! Or just keep reading. ’Cause if you don’t know, now… you can just press play.

Writer: Chris Yuscavage

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