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Biggie Smalls & A Bottle Of St. Ides

Source: Adger Cowans / Getty

Boom Moment In Hip-Hop (May 21st, 1972)

Today we honor the legacy of one of the greatest emcee’s to ever bless the mic, Notorious B.I.G. After releasing his debut album Ready to Die in 1994, he instantaneously became a central figure in the rise of the East Coast hip-hop scene and brought New York culture on the forefront at a time when West Coast hip-hop was dominant.

Tragedy struck on March 9, 1997, when Biggie was shot in LA from a drive-by shooting. 16 days later, his double-disc set Life After Death was released and rose to the top of the charts.

Biggie’s impact on hip-hop was one of the greatest ever felt, and even to this day, is still missed. His loose, easy flow, combined with his story telling abilities are what stood Biggie out from the rest. Even though he was in the rap game for about 5 years, he has totaled over 17 million units in total sales.

From his early life and child hood triumphs, to his love life between Lil Kim and Faith Evans, his beef with 2pac, to his musical style, the story of Biggie Smalls is one of the most intriguing lives in hip-hop that we have ever encountered, and is deeply missed. RIP Big, your impact will never be forgotten!