Go Brooklyn, go Brooklyn….
I remember the ‘Biggie Era’ clearly, arriving home after school, bopping into my big cousins room, anxious to hear him recite every single lyric to “Juicy” and “Get Money”. Everybody wanted to be like Puff Daddy, Mase had all the chicks, Lil-Kim was everybody’s ‘girlfriend’, and Biggie was just(excuse my french) the shit! I was thrilled at the fact that homeboy not only held it down for the big fella’s but also never ever failed to live up to his dapper lifestyle. He carried himself like a Godfather, one to always take care of his people. Most unforgettably is Biggie Smalls cruising backwards in Bentley’s with Puff Daddy while smoothly spitting the lyrics to songs like “Hypnotize”, trimming us all with the spirit of admiration. “How he do that? Was he and Puffy really riding backwards like that?” Some of us sat around on stoops and disputed the reality’s of his “Hypnotize” music video for hours. While his rap skills remain unquestionable he can never seem to shy himself away from an obvious comparison. Pac’ or Big? Big or Pac’? I was in Elementary school at the time so I figured all the hoop-lah surrounding the beef was just a bunch of child’s play. Without a doubt, I had guessed wrong. Gifted artisans with untouchable Shakespearean flows were truly out to kill one another, or were they? It had only been months since the legendary Tupac had been gunned down, despite the ongoing mystery that he could have still been(or still is) alive. Now the whole world would have to sit and watch those jam packed streets of Brooklyn, NY wave farewell to an unbelievably successful talent. Fighting for an understanding as I sat on momma’s floor and peered up at a TV in our Baltimore home I asked, “but I don’t get it ma, how did he die?”. “He’s gone Tony, they got em’.”She said.
Notoriously murdered 14 years ago from today, his influence will always be sharp enough to keep him in a legendary lane. We can’t seem to forget his name, which is why I call him the Michael Jordan of the rap game. Boy I tell ya’, Hip-Hop just ain’t been the same.