Christopher George Latore Wallace AKA The Notorious B.I.G. AKA Biggie Smalls was born today in 1972.
Brooklyn-born Biggie became an important member of the East Coast hip hop scene with the release of his debut album Ready to Die in 1994. The album’s single “Juicy/Unbelievable” reached No. 27 the Billboard Hot 100 and “Big Poppa” hit No. 1 on the U.S. rap chart, immediately shifting focus from the well-established West Coast rap scene. Biggie was a key player in the coastal battles that ensued, all the while married to rapper Faith Evans and engaging in an affair with his rapper Lil’ Kim.
Although the word “Notorious” was in his name—well, one of his names—his notoriety only increased after his mysterious and shocking murder at the age of 24 by an unknown assailant. Sixteen days after his death, his second album Life After Death (“Hypnotize,” “Mo Money Mo Problems”) was posthumously released and hit No. 1.
As if his story weren’t memorable enough, Biggie’s “look” was unparalleled. His 6’3″ and 300 pound frame was often outfitted in a tailored suit.
Donatella Versace is quoted as saying, “I think Biggie was amazing.” Not bad.
Turns out Mr. Smalls rocked a pressed suit well before he hit the scene. Check out Lil’ Biggie:
Well, we’re hypnotized. Happy Birthday, Biggie. R.I.P.