Episode 255: Biggie Smalls: Legend to Rivalry

This episode is brought to you by El Yucateco

On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we look at another musical figure who was key in the West Coast/East Coast feud, the Notorious B.I.G. Biggie Smalls was born as Christopher Wallace in 1972 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the child of two immigrant parents from Jamaica. When his mom was abandoned by his father, she worked overtime shifts at two jobs to provide for Biggie and send him to great private schools. One of them was a who’s who of East Side rappers, including DMX, Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes.

He dropped out early and turned to street life, selling drugs and getting arrested several times. Eventually, he experimented with rapping and made a demo album just to listen to himself over some beats. However, this demo was discovered by a young Sean Puffy Combs who was just about to start his own label. Puffy signed him, and the two were fast friends. Another of his early friends was actually West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur. However, this friendship turned to enmity, and it launched the entire rap war of the 1990s.

Biggie Smalls ended up reaching the highest heights of musical stardom. He won multiple Emmy awards, sold millions of albums, and was the only rap artists to ever record a track with Michael Jackson. He had a tumultuous love life including Lil’ Kim and Faith Evans, which only added to the beef he had with Shakur (who publicly claimed to have slept with Biggie’s wife). All this lead to the shooting death of Tupac (See Episode Here), and eventually Biggie’s own death.

But that’s not all of the story. Who was behind his killing? The LAPD wrote it off as a gang killing, but detectives claimed it was someone from the Nation of Islam with ties to Death Row’s Suge Knight. In fact, the investigation uncovered a secret organization inside the police department who worked for Knight and did drug deals on the side. Listen, laugh, learn.

 

Teens React to Biggie Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZkZKK721OE

Rolling Stone article on Biggie’s Death Conspiracy: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-unsolved-mystery-of-the-notorious-b-i-g-20110107

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