May 21, 2012 marks the day that the Notorious B.I.G. would have turned 40, if not for the tragic murder he fell victim to back in 1997. The Source recognizes the contributions that B.I.G. made to Hip-Hop, in life and in death.
In an exclusive interview with The Source recently, Ms. Wallace talked about her son’s music and the impact it has had on the Hip-Hop community. “When he passed away, I never knew he was so famous. I never knew he was so well liked, maybe because I never listened to the music. But I guess over the years, I love it more and appreciate the art more,” she said.
Biggie burst onto the rap scene back in 1994, when he dropped his debut album Ready To Die on Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment. The critically-acclaimed album easily put Big on the top of the list of MCs, as it displayed a lyrical talent by the oversized rapper that was hard to come by. With the success of his debut, Biggie blew up and was highly respected. In or around 1996, he formed his own Undeas rap label, whose first release was Junior M.A.F.I.A., a collective of Brooklyn-based rappers which included Lil’ Kim. By 1997, Biggie was considered the East Coast king, but unfortunately, was at the center of an East Coast/West Coast beef with former friend 2Pac. Their feud and the subsequent highly-publicized coastal war is arguably what led to their murders, as both became victims. After his death, Biggie’s second album (a double album that received 5 Mics in The Source) Life After Death, was released to rave reviews.
R.I.P. to the Notorious B.I.G.
Says Ms. Wallace, “For someone to think of my son, his music, his legacy, and can smile about it, I’m happy for them. If it makes you happy, then I’m happy.”
(Additional reporting by Chris Frown)