“Biggie Smalls is the illiest.”
And, if he wasn’t shot and killed on March 9th 1997, he would have been 42 years-old today, probably still dropping classic albums.
So there’s really nothing more to be said about the music. So let’s talk outside of the music. Biggie was an interesting cat, and there were a lot of interesting details about his life. Some that weren’t always discussed.
To honor one of the greatest, here are 10 interesting facts you might have known about The Notorious B.I.G.
PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram
1. Biggie Attended a Great High School
Before transferring to George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School, Biggie attended the Roman Catholic Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, a very prestigious school ( Rudy Giuliani and Mark Jackson are both alumni.)
2. One of Biggie's Closest Friends Was Openly Gay
A couple of years ago, longtime Biggie friend dream hampton tweeted out a picture of Big with his friend Mann. According to dream, Mann was openly gay, even bringing his boyfriend around the block, and Biggie didn't care.
3. Biggie Couldn't Drive
Despite all the verses about driving fly whips, the rapper couldn't actually drive himself.
4. Fat Joe Booked Biggie's First Show
Fat Joe saw Biggie battle dudes at the Lyricist Lounge. The Bronx rapper was so impressed, he walked up to him after and offered Big a show opportunity. In Joe's "Tales From the Darkside" video series, Joe talked about it: "He wanted a couple of hundred dollars [and] a bottle of Moet. So I actually gave him his first professional show. Go check, see if I'm lying."
5. The Baby on Ready to Die Isn't Biggie
The baby on the cover is, in fact, a Bronx 21-year-old named Keithroy Yearwood.
6. Biggie Planned On Making Five Albums and Then Retiring
"Born Again," is the name of Biggie's first posthumous album. Biggie actually picked out that name himself. According to Lil Cease, Big planned on making five albums and quitting. The one after "Life After Death" was to be named "Born Again."
7. Questlove Tried To Apologize For The "What They Do"
One of the more popular The Roots videos was "What They Do," which pokes fun at commercial gangsta rap. Big didn't like the joke and he said he was "hurt" by the video. Questlove wrote a nine-page essay explaining his view. He was planning on sending it to The Source. Biggie died before he could.
8. E-40 Saved Biggie's Life
In the mid 90's, during an interview with a Canadian magazine, Biggie rated E-40 a "zero" on a 1 to 10 scale. North California residents were not happy, and during a visit out there, a couple of locals attempted to set the rapper up. According to the "Notorious B.I.G.: Bigger Than Life" DVD, E-40 got word of the set-up, got Biggie on the phone and then called off the goons before things got ugly.
9. Biggie and the Junior Mafia Had a Fistfight with Hurricane Starang of the O.G.C.
There was some real tension between underground Brooklyn crew The Boot Camp Click and Biggie. Things reached their peak after O.G.C. released the video for "No Fear." The video featured a fake Biggie and a fake Faith. After that, Big and his Junior Mafia click caught O.G.C. member Hurricane Starang and then proceeded to beat him.
10. The Last Movie Biggie Saw Was "Donnie Brasco"
During an interview with XXL, Biggie's cousin Lil Cease talked about seeing "Donnie Brasco" with him and then going to the studio to lay down the "All About the Benjamins" verse a couple of days before he was killed.