We’ll always love ya Big…
The Notorious B.I.G. 40th Birthday Is Today
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.
Says Big’s mother, Voletta Wallace, about her son’s life and his impact on the world:
“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.”
It’s a cotdamn shame that we have to say “Happy Birthday” AND “R.I.P.” in the same breath today. Prayers continue to go out to Ms. Wallace, his daughter T’yanna and son Christopher Wallace Jr. “C.J.”, his ex-wife Faith, and his many close friends and relatives that were affected by his loss.
“Biggie Smalls is the illest, ya style is played out like Arnold and that ‘What you talkin’ bout Willis’”
Hit the next page to peep some of Biggie’s most iconic photos from magazines.