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The Notorious B.I.G.
Lives On In His Influence
By Clayton Ruley
 

He died on March 9th 1997 and this a little tribute to the man that brought Hip Hop/ Rap back to the East. He may not be the greatest but he is one of the games most influential because of when and how he came out.

We first heard him on Super Cat's "Dolly My Baby (remix)", Mary J. Blige's "Real Love (remix)" and his own cut off the Who's Da Man soundtrack "Party And Bullshit".

He was Sean Combs first signed artist on Bad Boy Records and his most successful. The duo took the game by storm.

He jumpstarted the careers of Lil' Kim, P-Diddy, the rapper, Total, Mase, The Lox and many others including Jay Z. It just seemed like he was what a lot of MC's want to be now: able to remain in the middle when it comes to hard lyrics and the ability to play it hard or flashy.

Both of his albums made while he was living Ready To Die and Life After Death were classic and opened the doors for exciting music and deadly collaborations.
Biggie came on the rap scene when it was gaining roots in the West and only a few people were doing things in the East.

Remember Snoop Doggy Dogg's Doggystyle?

Dr. Dre's The Chronic?

Ice Cube's The Predator?

These were the sounds that were dominating the rap scene especially with the growing popularity of MTV, BET and The Box. Rap was being brought to the forefront but it was more about riding in the Caddies with the highs and lows and getting high. And while nothing was wrong about it you knew something was missing in the game.

The music of rap was missing people like Rakim, KRS One, Run DMC and Public Enemy who were coming to the end of their initial hype. People were looking for someone else and B.I.G. along with others (like Nas) came and filled the bill bringing respectability worldwide commercially and in the streets back to the east in 1994.

Biggie was a great personality because he went against trends and created others. He told people: "heartthrob never black and ugly as ever1" showing he knew his limits but wouldn't stop doing him.

How many artists tried to rhyme fast after B.I.G. did it with bone Thugs N Harmony?

How many started talking about the ice and designer clothes?

Who had Too Short on a cut first!

In fact Big could be blamed for the materialistic rush of Hip Hop but give him credit for being the first if not the most popular! He also knew that the great equalizer to looks is good game and gear.

He was a great combo of skills and versatility. He did party songs but they weren't syrupy like today's cuts for the radio and he still kept it street on his albums. He talked about the guns and drugs but also thought about his life on songs like Ready To Die and Sky's The Limit. You can hear his lines in a lot of today's hottest rappers.

I think because of his looks it would be hard to get to flashy and that's what made Biggie stay closer to the ground. He was confident yet insecure in some areas and that endeared him to many.

While he wasn't a freestyle fanatic he did more with a little of time than most do with a whole book of rhymes.
He wrongly (though unintentionally) along with Tupac Shakur had people beefing over which coast was the best. But yet that's what type of influence both had!
Many may choose to forget but the big boy did his thing and when you think of what is going on in the current game think of B.I.G. and how much people should thank him for paving the way. And if you are too young to remember his lyrics watch out because they are coming out you favorites mouth.

He died on March 9th 1997 (my senior year of high school) and this is just a little tribute. He may not be the greatest but he is one of the games most influential because of when and how he came out. Be sure to check out the Best Of Big for some cuts to check out!

Any questions, comments, email me at clayton@geoclan.com. One!

 
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