Today is the anniversary of one of Hip Hop’s darkest days. Much like a supernova, the rap world exploded and lost one of its brightest stars. March 9, 1997 in Los Angeles, California was the day Christopher Wallace was robbed of his life at the young age of 24. Almost everyone either knows or has heard of The Notorious B.I.G. His music is timeless, his reputation speaks for itself, and his legacy will live on forever. In remembrance of the life of Grammy nominated rap phenom, here’s a list of some of the tracks that help to build his illustrious (and rapid) rise to power and fame.
Big Poppa: February 20th, 1995
This Grammy nominated hit was the second single release from the Ready to Die album. The song hit #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was a #1 hit single on the Hot Rap chart. The record is certified platinum and has sold over 800,000 copies in the United States alone.
Juicy: August 9th, 1994
Juicy was released by Bad Boy Records as Biggie’s first debut single. Produced by Puff Daddy and Poke of the duo Trackmasters, it contained a sample from funk group Mtume‘s “Juicy Fruit.” This track peaked at #1 on the Hot Rap Singles chart by Billboard and has been hailed by many as one of the best Hip Hop tracks of all time.
One more Chance Remix (feat. Faith Evans & Mary J. Blidge) June 6, 1995
This remix to the Ready to Die track “One More Chance” was certified platinum on July 31, 1995 and sold over 1.1 million copies in the US. IT ad a ridiculous commercial appeal and peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 1995 it was the Billboard Hot 100 highest debuting Hip Hop/R&B single of all time tying Micheal and Janet Jackson‘s Scream.
Hypnotize March 1, 1997
In 1998 this track was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance 40th Grammy Awards. The track peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was his first posthumous single to reach #1. It was the first single released from the Life After Death album. Rolling Stone‘s ranked it as #30 on the 50 greatest rap songs of all time.
Mo Money Mo Problems July 15th, 1997
Released as the second single from Life After Death, this song topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks (replacing the Biggie tribute “I’ll Be Missing You”). The song featured rappers Mase and Puff Daddy. The song was nominated at the 1998 Grammys for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
Sky’s the Limit November 25, 1997
“Sky’s the Limit” was the third single released from the Life After Death album. Featuring vocals from the group 112, this song peaked at #1 on the Hot Rap songs chart and got placements on charts internationally. The b-side of the single featured the track “Going Back to Cali” that peaked at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. The video to “Sky’s the Limit” feature’s Biggie’s son playing the role of his father.