Tuesday, March 9, 2010

RIP To the King of NYC

"The greatest of all time died on March 9" (c) Canibus

I don't think Christopher Wallace was the greatest but he is by far one of the greatest to ever touch the Mic. 13 years ago, Notorious BIG was taken too soon from the world at 24 - on the verge of being an even bigger star with Life After Death.

One of the greatest lyricists, storytellers and battle rappers ever - Biggie set the template for most of these rappers today. A street dude with a charm and an ear for the pop charts thanks to P. Diddy's guidance.

I tried to do a post with my favorite 10 Biggie songs or appearances and it was gonna run too long. My favorite verse was the opener on Diddy's "Victory". "Sky's the Limit" helped get me through some rough times in 2005 at school when I felt like I was losing my friends. "Unbelievable" helped me zone out and appreciate DJ Premier for his simplicity.

I listened to the remastered "Ready to Die" in 2004 and was in awe over the original "One More Chance." I couldn't believe how perfect that album was - Gimme The Loot inspired me to write a poem like Big with 2 voices/flows, Everyday Struggles was real talk. Suicidal Thoughts is just chilling to hear.

I remember where I was when I heard Pac was killed. When Biggie was killed, it was an even bigger blow for me as I was just starting to listen to hip-hop. But I remember back then falling in love with "Notorious Thugs" and hearing Biggie spit that double time flow. And I remember hearing "Nasty Boy" and just loving that beat (still looking for that sample).

It was a dark time and say what you want, but we needed that shiny suit era to make people feel good again before DMX came in and took it back to the streets.

The sad thing is we never know where BIG could've gone with his music. Pac was evolving all the time but with BIG we just have 2 albums. What if his 3rd album would have explored his growing spirituality a bit? Was he plotting to leave Bad Boy like Pac was with Death Row? Could he have collaborated with the impressive 98 NY class of rookies (NORE, DMX, Big Pun, Canibus)? We'll never know.

Nas shed some light on he and BIG's relationship on "Last Real N Alive" - had no idea they had a rivalry or about how Raekwon and Ghostface called him out. New York was mad live back then with the three biggest acts all going for supremacy.

But what we do have is 5 years of great music to enjoy for ages. Pay respects to a legend and enjoy his music from "Party and BS" to "Mo Money, Mo Problems"

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