The Smoking Section (Masthead) Respect Our Fresh!


It's been 9 years.

9 friggin' years.

No witnesses.

No leads.

No nothin'.

The Notorious BIG was gunned down in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997. Nearly six months to the day that Tupac Shakur was shot, and would eventually die in a Las Vegas hospital.

Rap hasn't been the same since.

Yeah that was one of the saddest days. But it hurt even more in retrospect, as I got older and listened to the man, It blew my mind about how brilliant he really was. Don't get me wrong, Tupac was and always will be a great writer and musician, but it was something about the way that Biggie rhymed, the fact that you would have to listen to his songs two or three times to get all the little innuendo, he was truly a genius when it came to making rhymes.

I remember listening to Life After... one night before I went to bed, and just puttin the fist over my mouth and just nodding, and he's one of the only MC's that has ever had me just "Hypnotized".

Its funny because, my mom bought me the tape of Ready to Die when I was 11 and I still have it, she was like "This is that Big guy that you like.." and then discovering the &$@! me! Interlude . And I remember having to bring my Grandmother to Sam Goody (pre-Best Buy days) to get Life After Death because I was under 18 and it was explicit...I bought it the first day it came out...and the guy behind the counter was like, "make sure he doesn't listen to number six on the first disc" can almost guess which track I went to first when I opened the CD.

For those that didn't know. Christopher Wallace was an auditory genius.

What is that you ask? That means the he had the ability to listen to something once and remember everything played in front of him. This gave him the ability to, in the latter half of his career, use no rhyme books. B.I.G. would sit in the corner and mumble to himself for twenty minutes and then step in the vocal booth and then make magic.

Also consider this, B.I.G. only made two albums while he was living. He didn't like to work, so he didn't create the type of catalog that Tupac had been known for. Would he have been considered one of the greatest had he not been killed? I honestly think that he would be considered in a higher regard if he was still walking..surely Sean "P.Diddy" Combs would not be at the level of stardom that he currently stands in if Biggie was still living (don't worry, no conspiracy talk here)

So just think of it this way, even if you like Tupac, give BIG a listen with open ears. He brought back the "East Coast" style of rap almost single handedly, and influenced your favorite rapper (yes, anybody you can think of), and cats are still trying to follow the formula in which he created in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

RIP Christopher Wallace, the Sky is the Limit.

Stay Black


TSS Contributor

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DJ Jamad - Afromentals 24-2006

Bill Withers - The Ultimate Bill Withers Collection (Two Discs)

Slim Thug & Killa Kyleon - Having Thangs

Phil Collins - The Hits

P.O.D ~ Satellite [Retail][2001]

Dabrye - Two/Three (2006)

Portishead - Glory Times [1998]


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Mike Patton - Peeping Tom (2006)

Dr. Octagon - The Return Of D. Octagon

Aphrodite - Aftershock

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Maceo - US

Charles Tolliver - Live at Slugs Vol. 1

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