Life After Death: 17 years since the passing of The Notorious B.I.G. [Article]
Brooklyn, NY – It’s hard to believe it’s been 17-years since we lost one of the greatest artists our genre has ever seen. It’s not often he’s omitted from people’s Top 5 MC Ever lists, even to this day. And to think, Christopher Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G. was only 24-years-old when he was gunned down in Los Angeles after leaving an after-party hosted by Vibe magazine.
It was March 9, 1997 and Biggie Smalls was essentially on top of the world. His album debut, Ready to Die, had given him superstar status. Faith Evans had given birth to Biggie’s son, Christopher “C.J.” Wallace, Jr. in Oct. 1996 and a month after that Biggie was earning his first executive producer credit through Lil’ Kim’s album debut, Hard Core. His sophomore album, Life After Death… ‘Til Death Do Us was just weeks away and the Vibe party he was leaving at the time of his murder was celebrating it’s release. He never got a chance to see how the world would come to appreciate the 2LP (with the title shortened to Life After Death after Biggie’s passing) as one of the greatest hip-hop albums to ever be released, and cemented his status as legendary. He had only been in the game for five years and had already garnered a full career’s worth of accolades and accomplishments. Posthumously released albums, countless hit singles and memorable guest appearances continue to fill the airwaves across the world. In 2009, the biopic Notorious was released and between box office and DVD sales, the film has grossed over $100 million to date. The love for The Notorious B.I.G. is everlasting. To date, he’s credited with 3 studio albums, 1 compilation, 10 official singles and 1 soundtrack. [More]
As a Biggie fan, it’s always hard to imagine what level of of greatness and creativity we’ve missed out on. How deep would his song catalogue be today if he hadn’t be taken so young? If Jay Z is any proof in the matter, the possibilities of what Christopher Wallace would have achieved by the age of 41 are endless. More music, more business. Maybe movies? Maybe fashion? Maybe sports? It’s quite possible that the entire landscape of hip-hop as we know it today could be different. Would there be a Jay Z, the industry mogul? Would there be a 50 Cent? How would Eminem and B.I.G. mesh? What would B.I.G. think of DipSet? You get the point. While speculating is undoubtedly pointless, one thing is for sure – we were robbed of a great artist and the art that he had yet to create. In true modern day form, fans have taken to social media today to express their continued devotion to the Brooklyn son, and the grief his passing continues to manifest.
The murder remains unsolved but information continues to leak and details surrounding his death have become clearer:
“Biggie was shot and killed while he was in a GMC Suburban with his entourage waiting at a red light. A black Chevrolet Impala SS pulled up next to the vehicle and the driver fired shots at the Suburban, with four shots hitting Biggie. Biggie’s autopsy was released to the public in December 2012. According to the report, three of the four shots that he suffered weren’t fatal. However, the fourth bullet proved to be the one that killed Biggie, hitting several vital organs.”
One can only hope that efforts remain in place to reveal the full story of what happened, and who was responsible. For his family, if nothing else.
We’ll always love Big Poppa.
Written by Jesse Plunkett for HipHopCanada