Diddy says Biggie Smalls is the greatest rapper of all-time.
Yesterday marks the 25th anniversary of one of the legends in the hip-hop genre. It was on, March 9, 25 years ago, that the world was rocked by the news that the Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down at the age of 24 in Los Angeles. He was shot four times, and even though, over the years, many conspiracy theories have popped up, his murder remains unsolved.
One of the more popular theories has come from retired Los Angeles Police Department Officer Greg Kading, who firmly believes that former Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight orchestrated the murder as revenge for the September 1996 killing of Tupac Shakur.
At the time of the shooting, Biggie Smalls was promoting his sophomore album Life After Death. His rise to fame has been well documented, and many still admire his top-tier storytelling abilities. The Brooklyn native never forgot his roots, and his music has continued to resonate with fans all around the world.
Biggie was signed to Diddy’s Bad Boy Records at the time, and his former manager did not forget about the impact that the “Hypnotize” rapper had on him as well as the industry. He shared a video on Instagram of Biggie doing what he loved most and used it to encourage other young people to follow their dreams no matter what.
“There will NEVER be another. The GREATEST RAPPER OF ALL TIME. Today we celebrate and honor you king. Love and miss you!!” he captioned the video.
To understand Biggie’s irreversible impact, one has to remember that while he was alive, he only released one album. That album, Ready To Die, debuted in 1994. Some of his raps have been immortalized and recognized as Hip Hop classics from that one project. Some of those monster tracks include “Juicy,” “Big Poppa,” and “Unbelievable.”
About two weeks after his death, Life After Death arrived, and that just cemented his lyrical genius to hip-hop fans. That album had a plethora of 90s stars, including 112, JAY-Z, Lil’ Kim, Mase, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Too $hort, and D.M.C. of Run D.M.C., to name a few.
His work and effort would also be recognized at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards, as the project was nominated for Best Rap Album. “Hypnotize” was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance, and “Mo Money Mo Problems” got the nod for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
He also left a body of work that would eventually make it on to posthumous albums. They include Born Again, which was released in 1999, Duets: The Final Chapter in 2005, and The King & I with his widow Faith Evans in 2017.
His indelible mark on the world of music was also recognized in November 2020 when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
His influence has never ebbed, and the Christopher Wallace Estate has been responsible for that. They recently announced that they would soon launch the first official Biggie NFT (non-fungible token) collection in partnership with OneOf, a Web3 company backed by Quincy Jones.
No details have been officially released as to what the NFT collection will cover. Still, his estate has confirmed that a portion of the proceeds from the collection will be donated to The Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation.
“We are excited about our partnership with OneOf and their expertise to memorialize my son Christopher with this first official NFT drop to give his fans an opportunity to participate in and honor their love of him and his music,” Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, said via a statement.
The COO and Co-Founder of OneOf, Josh Jame, said that the company was honored to work with The Christopher Wallace Estate to celebrate the incredible legacy of Biggie Smalls. He added that through using NFT technology, Biggie’s legacy would be forever cemented on blockchain, meaning that it would be honored and shared with fans around the world and for generations to come.
OneOf is very experienced in the NFT space for musicians now and has already partnered with the likes of Doja Cat, The Game, and The Cool Kids on NFT collections.
This year not only marks the 25th anniversary of Life After Death (March 25), but it also would have been The Notorious B.I.G.’s 50th birthday on May 21. In honor of this, his estate has also embarked on a year-long campaign honoring Biggie’s legacy.
It will be called Sky’s the Limit: A Year Celebrating the Legacy of The Notorious B.I.G. and gets going on March 25. Some of the focus will be on online events, 4K upgrades of the late rapper’s video catalog, and an enhanced digital version of Life After Death.
As they remember the hip-hop legend, his second and final album is also set for an upgrade as they intend to release a special edition 25th anniversary box set which will include 8 LPs, a commemorative booklet with rare photos, new liner notes, and commentary from those, who worked on the blockbuster album.