Thursday, March 9, 2017

Remembering the LIFE & TIMES of #TheNotoriousBIG! #BiggieSmalls! #RIPBIG [videos]


Today, we take time out to remember arguably the Greatest Lyricist in Hip-Hop, Notorious B.I.G.  'Biggie Smalls', 'The Black Frank White', 'Big Poppa', or just simply, Christopher Wallace left this Earth on March 9, 1997 after being shot by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles.  His double-disc set Life After Death, released 15 days later, hit #1 on the U.S. album charts and was certified Diamond in 2000 (one of the few hip hop albums to receive this certification). Wallace was noted for his "loose, easy flow", dark semi-autobiographical lyrics and storytelling abilities. Since his death, a further two albums have been released. MTV ranked him at #3 on their list of The Greatest MCs (Rappers) of All Time. He has certified sales of 17 million units in the United States.

The legacy of Notorious lives on today. 

Wallace mostly rapped on his songs in a deep tone described by Rolling Stone as a "thick, jaunty grumble", which went deeper on Life After Death. He was often accompanied on songs with ad libs from Sean "Puffy" Combs. On The Source's Unsigned Hype, they described his style as "cool, nasal, and filtered, to bless his own material".



Allmusic describe Wallace as having "a loose, easy flow" with "a talent for piling multiple rhymes on top of one another in quick succession". Time magazine wrote Wallace rapped with an ability to "make multi-syllabic rhymes sound... smooth", while Krims describes Wallace's rhythmic style as "effusive". Before starting a verse, Wallace sometimes used onomatopoeic vocables to "warm up" (for example "uhhh" at the beginning of "Hypnotize" and "Big Poppa" and "what" after certain rhymes in songs such as "My Downfall").

On Life After Death, Wallace's lyrics went "deeper". Krims explains how upbeat, dance-oriented tracks (which featured less heavily on his debut) alternate with "reality rap" songs on the record and suggests that he was "going pimp" through some of the lyrical topics of the former. XXL magazine wrote that Wallace "revamped his image" through the portrayal of himself between the albums, going from "midlevel hustler" on his debut to "drug lord".


Allmusic wrote that the success of Ready to Die is "mostly due to Wallace's skill as a storyteller"; In 1994, Rolling Stone described Wallace's ability in this technique as painting "a sonic picture so vibrant that you're transported right to the scene". On Life After Death Wallace notably demonstrated this skill on "I Got a Story to Tell" telling a story as a rap for the first half of the song and then as a story "for his boys" in conversation form.



BIGGIE HITS after the JUMP!













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