Friday, March 9, 2012
R.I.P. B.I.G. 15 Years Gone
It is hard to believe it has been 15 years. The Notorious B.I.G. would have been 40 years old this May. His kids, infants when he died, are all grown up now. His daughter T'yanna, the baby he kissed in his first video "Juicy", is a freshman at Penn State University ("f*** the state pen/ f*** hoes at Penn State" - It's All About the Benjamins remix). His son Christopher Wallace, Jr. is now a teenager and a spitting image of his pops.
Still the memory of the morning Christopher Wallace was gunned down remains fresh in my mind. Not only for the gaping hole it left in Hip Hop music, along with the death of Tupac Shakur six months earlier, but also because the man had just begun to come into his own. He was looking forward to living. He was ready to be a father, he was ready to be a business man with the launch of his Brooklyn M.I.N.T. clothing line (how many rappers has had one since?), he was ready to take over the world.
Heavy D (R.I.P.) was a good friend of B.I.G., and while he set the blueprint for the oversize rapper as sex symbol, Wallace was ready to take it next level. B.I.G. didn't have ten albums worth of material in the vault. As a fan you were left to wonder how he would have sounded on a song with Big Pun, how The Commission (the supergroup consisting of B.I.G, Jay-Z and Charli Baltimore) album would have sounded, how he would have followed up Life After Death?
I just wish these two icons (B.I.G. and Tupac) could have sat down and talked out their differences for the good of the culture.
Besides the fact that the crimes are still unsolved, the promise left unfulfilled hurts more.
To read B.I.G's kids talk about him and his music in the March issue of XXL Magazine gave me chills. The music is all they have of a father they never really knew, which is a testament to how timeless the material Christopher Wallace blessed us with is.
I wish he was still here. I wish I could hear more music...