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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Remembering Biggie, Who Died 14 Years Ago Today

Posted By on Wed, Mar 9, 2011 at 10:54 AM

click to enlarge Happier times for the whole country
  • Happier times for the whole country

Christopher Wallace, better known to posterity as the Notorious B.I.G., died fourteen years ago today in Los Angeles. (Obligatory S.F. cameo: a few days before, he did a radio interview here on WiLD 107 where he said he'd hired a security detail because he feared for his life.) The case is still open, and new information has come to light as recently as this January -- see this report for a good précis of Wallace's murder and that of Tupac Shakur -- but hopes are few and far between that the truth will come to light.

Biggie was 24 when he died, which means he'd be 38 today, a year younger than Snoop Dogg. This in turn means that by now his career would have had plenty of time to dry up, go off the rails a little bit, maybe catch a second or third wind but eventually get leveraged into reality TV deals and various products spokesmanships (suggestion: "touch my cheddar, feel my Beretta" in a 30-second Tillamook spot) and embarrassing awards-show performances with, like, Gwyneth Paltrow.

As it turned out, though, he left a pretty slender legacy -- those posthumous duet and remix albums definitely don't count -- and for the most part it's phenomenal. Life After Death, which came out two weeks after Wallace died, probably didn't need to be a double album, but Ready To Die, his 1994 debut, is freaking indispensable. Take some time today and allow Biggie to lace his lyrical douches in your, um, bushes. We'll give you a head start.




and 1989:

If you're feeling particularly stoked on the story, you can also watch Nick Broomfield's documentary Biggie and Tupac for free on Hulu. It's pretty terrible, but it does involve some prisonyard footage with possible hit-orderer and proto-Rick Ross thug kingpin Suge Knight. So that's something.

Anyway, here's to Biggie. May he continue to smile on us from heaven, where hopefully God is letting him wear all the black Tims and black hoodies he wants.

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