by Mike Ramos
on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Christopher Wallace, known to most of the world as Biggie Smalls or the Notorious B.I.G., would've been 40 years old today if it weren't for the March 1997 tragedy in Los Angeles that shook the hiphop world and furthered the end of its golden era. No need to get into that too deep, as I'm a firm supporter of cutting out the rampant celebration of death embedded in the cultural psyche for way too long. This is not the kind of message we want to pass on to younger generations. Instead, try to squeeze some time in today to appreciate the man's Biggie-sized (no Wendy's) contributions to hiphop, starting with the above famous footage of a 17-year-old Wallace at a curbside cypher in Bed Stuy, serving some poor sucka so badly that he hangs his head and walks away in defeat.
I'm always saying this kind of stuff, but seriously, imagine if the Internet had existed back then. Shit would've gone viral overnight. It didn't then, but since it does now, go 'head and listen to a few more of my favorite tracks that B.I.G. laced with that legendary vocal presence after the jump.