In one of the many great lines from Canibus’ “Second Round K.O.,” the lyrics, “the greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th” in honor of the late Biggie Smalls AKA The Notorious B.I.G. still stirs the soul. On Twitter, fans are gathering in remembering the great Brooklyn rapper on the anniversary of his death.
The great East vs. West Coast rap war drew serious lines in the sand that were crossed mostly via songs and lyrical digs between the coastal rivals. With Tupac “2Pac” Shakur and Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace as the biggest names involved in the rift, their violent deaths just months apart has long been seen as the result of the barbs and jabs thrown.
Biggie Smalls was just 24 years old and at the peak of his fame when drive-by shooters in Los Angeles, Calif. fired down on his vehicle with one of the bullets fatally wounding him. Prior to the shooting, Biggie, who was on a promotional tour for his album Life After Death, mentioned in an interview that he feared for his safety in the wake of 2Pac’s September 1996 death, hiring security detail to accompany him on his visits out west.
The losses of Biggie and Pac are still felt by many of their contemporaries and the younger generation who have heard this familiar tale told time and again via documentaries, films, and barbershop chatter. And even in the 21st Century, talented rappers are still victims of senseless killings in the name of jealousy, gang rivalry, and sadly for the sheer violence of it all.
The Notorious B.I.G. and his musical contributions will live on as evidenced by the outpouring of love he’s receiving online today. We’ve got some of those reactions below.