Christopher George Latore Wallace, aka The Notorious B.I.G, aka Biggie Smalls or Biggie was a revered American hip-hop artist. His nickname, Biggie Smalls, relates to his large stature, as Biggie was over 6 feet tall and weighed over 300 pounds. Unfortunately, Biggie was 24 years old when he was murdered in 1997 in Los Angeles after leaving a party, and a gunman pulled up alongside Biggie’s vehicle, opening fire. Biggie’s death displayed the senseless violence that inner-city America suffered in the 20th century.
A fortnight after Biggie’s death, a double album was released which included collaborations with artists including big names such as Puff Daddy, Jay-Z, 112, Lil’Kim, Mase and R Kelly. This album sold more than 10 million copies. There is little doubt that Biggie influenced the RAP industry today in a colossal way. But even Biggie had legal issues.
Biggie’s Trouble with the Law
Biggie’s father left when Biggie was two, but Biggie’s mother, a pre-school teacher, worked multiple jobs in order to send her son to private school. However, Biggie dropped out at the age of 17. Biggie began selling drugs at 12. Not long after, Biggie received a probationary sentence with a five-year duration after his arrest for possession of weapons. The next year, Biggie violated that probation and was arrested. Soon after, Biggie was charged with drug dealing and spent more time in jail.
After his release from goal, Biggie made a tape as Biggie Smalls. From this tape, Biggie was discovered by a popular magazine that resulted in Biggie being invited to record his music and work with other rappers. During stardom, Biggie still had run-ins with the law. In 1996, Biggie was arrested after chasing two autograph hunters with a bat and threatening to kill them. For this Biggie was sentenced to 100 hours of community service. Shortly afterwards, police discovered drugs and automatic weapons in Biggie’s house, and Biggie was charged with assaulting and robbing a friend in a New Jersey nightclub. Subsequently, Biggie had another run in with the justice system over drug use.
Biggie and Tupac
Over the course of his musical career, Biggie met and befriended RAP titan Tupac, portrayed in the painting above in the image above. Unfortunately, their relationship deteriorated as Tupac suspected Biggie was responsible for a robbery that resulted in Tupac being shot multiple times. Tupac released a track, “Hit ‘Em Up”, in which he claims to have slept with Biggie’s wife. Within two years of the release of this song, Tupac was shot dead in Las Vegas. Nobody was ever charged with Tupac’s murder. These stories display the disappointing potential for RAP titans to find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
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