"If I got to choose a coast, I've got to choose the East. I live out there, so don't...go there." Those were the last words spluttered by The Notorious B.I.G. as he lay paralysed from the arse down after being shot in the chest by one of 2Pac's henchmen in Las Vegas. He later died in hospital from gunshot wounds.

2Pac died exactly one week later when he was stabbed up by members of Junior Mafia whilst rollin' through Brooklyn looking for Puffy.

I wrote those words in 2011 and they are as relevant, if not more so (relevant), today as they were three years ago in 2011 when I originally wrote them on the Weekly Review of Dance Music, this website that you’re reading at the moment, today. The Black Frank White got clipped 30 minutes after winning $500 in a game of strip poker in the old Las Vegas casino, The Rendezous. Mystery surrounds his death, and that of his one-time friend and rap rival, Tupac Shakur. Who exactly killed them? Why were they killed? Are they actually dead or is the whole thing just a MASSIVE CONSPIRACY and a trailer for their big comeback tour in the next few years?

It's been 17 years this week since Big Poppa last laid waste to some pussy. What is his legacy, if he's actually dead? The Weekly Review of Dance Music now presents to you an article that will explain everything there is to know about Marcellus 'Christopher' Wallace, the King of Brooklyn...

Here are some facts:

FACT: The Notorious B.I.G. was murdered by West Coast Crip gangsters who worked for Tupac Shakur, aka 2Pac, aka Makavelli. FACT.

FACT: Suge Knight, the bouncer-cum-executive producer of all Death Row Records songs, drugged 2Pac with weed smoke and turned him against his old friend, Biggie, so that the West Coast/East Coast rivalry would escalate. The reasons for this are unknown. FACT.

FACT: 2Pac got off with Biggie’s wife, Foxy Brown, whilst pretending to be meeting up with Lil' Kim and ended up shagging her hard on the balcony of her apartment as they looked out over the bay, as eerily predicted towards the end of the song, Whatz Ya Phone #, a full three years before his death. FACT.

FACT: If Biggie and Tupac were to actually have had a fight, in a boxing ring or alley-way, Tupac would have won. FACT.

FACT: Biggie was jealous of Tupac’s movie-star good looks and, before his death, was working on a plan to have him disfigured in a shopping mall razor-blade attack in Miami. The Notorious B.I.G. was going to shrug his shoulders when asked about the attack on MTV before dropping subliminal hints in a number of tracks on his never-to-be-recorded third LP, Not Gonna Die Yet, suggesting that he was, in fact, behind the attack. FACT.

ALL THESE FACTS ADD UP TO ONE THING: Biggie Small's death was a premeditated attack by one or more members of the West Coast G-Funk rap gang. In the West Coast, the only record label worth rapping on was Death Row Records; home to Snoop Doggy Dogg, Dr Dre, Tupac, Nate Dogg, Warren G, The Lady of Rage and MC Hammer. Danny Boy was also on it which, to me, was a bit too much. Death Row already had the best gangster rap crooner in the world, Nate Dogg, so I always thought Danny Boy should have transferred to Bad Boy on the East Coast where he would have got more playing time.

Either way, Death Row Records exacted revenge most foul on Biggie and acted out the gruesome fantasies of their most depraved rappers by meting out a final sentence outside a Las Vegas casino in 1997, paying a young Crip henchman $70 to fire a few bullets directly into Biggie Smalls' big, barrel chest and killing him because Suge Knight brainwashed Tupac into not liking anyone on the East Coast anymore, especially The Notorious One.

Believe it or not, Big Poppa and 2Pac were once friends; 2Pac used to let Biggie sleep on the couch and beg the bitch to let him sleep in the house. However, after a while, Biggie Smalls became jealous of 2Pac and, after slagging him off with Puff Daddy in a Californian swimming pool, he tried to have Makavelli shot dead in a botched recording studio ambush. Biggie even had the balls to sing about it live on Top of the Pops on his UK top 20 hit, Who Shot Ya, whilst 2Pac paced up and down the green room waiting to sing 2 of Americaz Most Wanted with Snoop. This was the moment 2Pac's patience snapped and he decided there and then to put a call in to Suge after the show to express his disappointment in what he saw as the East Coast Bad Boy rappers making fun of him on BBC1. The rest is history.

Three weeks later, the Glock went 'pop' and Biggie lay dying in Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center wishing that he hadn't made fun of Makavelli and, by extension, the entire West Coast.

Some people have accused me of either rambling or not having a coherent argument and theory with regard to the death of Christopher Wallace, the King of New York, but I have. Read this article again and you'll know what it is.

Anyway, enough of the doom and gloom, eh? Let’s celebrate the music. What a rapper! Check out my top three Notorious B.I.G. songs and try and argue with them. You can’t.

Number 3

The backing music to this track is the sole reason it makes my Top 3. I haven’t got a clue what he’s rapping about on Unbelievable or why, but the music is proto-minimal East Coast G-tech stutter at its best. I don’t know what instrument is used on the melody so I’ll describe it: it sounds like a 40oz ball-pein hammer hitting an anvil toned down to about -18 but with the pitch up to about +12 with an alternating pattern depending on whether he’s rapping verses, spitting the chorus or prepping the bridge. Even today, it’s an astonishingly fresh cut.

Ch-ch-check out the vocal scratching at the end.

Number 2

Best bass line in rap history. No dizout. Hypnotize is Biggie’s ode to splashing out on fancy goods in order to ‘hypnotize’, or have sex with, women. I like the bit when he lists all the different clothing brands and associates them with the locations of the women who like those brands.

Number 1

Juicy is the only Notorious B.I.G. song I know all the words to and would be confident performing at Hip Hop Karaoke down The Social every Thursday night (7pm – 1am, price: £5 entry. Upstairs is still FREE entry before 9pm.). This is the ultimate rags-to-riches song. He brags about owning a Super Nintendo AND a Sega Genesis, he boasts about owning a green leather sofa and shows off about his $2000 phone bill! The music on its own is something you’d probably hear as filler in the middle of a Johnno Burgess yacht rock set at Bestival, which is no bad thing.

I love Juicy because it makes me feel sorry for him. Biggie’s life pre-rap sounds fucking shit, and if only he’d kept his mouth shut about 2Pac and the West Coast he’d still be alive today, no doubt sipping champagne every time he’s thirsty! Winking smiley face.


Honourable mentions, or ‘shout outs’ as Biggie would no doubt have referred to them as, should also go to the following songs:

Going Back To Cali

If I ever get the chance to go to California twice, I’m hoping to remember to play this song whilst getting ready to go the second time.

Big Poppa

This track plays in my head every time I’m in the VIP area of a club with the Ran$om Note team. I’m Biggie to Ran$om Note’s Junior Mafia. Kristan J Caryl is probably Puff Daddy and the woman at Maouris who sends me the Soul Clap promos is Lil’ Kim. Everyone else in the club are you, the readers, looking on with an equal amount of jealousy and admiration at how much Tanqueray, power, style and influence I have.

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

Not for me. The more money I make, the easier my life becomes. Saying that, I make zero pence from writing this so I don’t fully understand where he’s coming from. Nevertheless, this was the first Notorious B.I.G. song I ever heard. I was sixteen years old and skulking around Virgin Records in Walsall, gazing at the gorgeous Gothic girl behind the counter who was about nineteen and wondering if she’d go out with me if I asked her. I was stood in the long queue to her till with the CD single Jungle Brother by the Jungle Brothers and a Sam Kinison video when I heard a couple of smooth, childlike verses get disturbed by an impatient, almost aggressive spit over a shiny, scratch flavoured 70s disco beat. I looked at the big screen in the shop and saw Puff Daddy playing golf with Ma$e whilst Biggie popped up occasionally on a space-age telly. From that moment on I was a big fan of The Notorious B.I.G.

R.I.P. Christopher Wallace, you big fat bastard, you. God bless. I'm pouring some Alizé all over my laptop for you.

I’ll be back next Tuesday with Ian M answering my MASSIVE QUESTIONS and some unbelievable dance music reviews.

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