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Ghostface Killah Remembers His Only Encounter With The Notorious B.I.G.

Michael Loccisano/Ron Galella, Ltd., Getty Images (2)
Michael Loccisano/Ron Galella, Ltd., Getty Images (2)

This Thursday, March 9, marks the 20th anniversary of The Notorious B.I.G.‘s tragic death. Killed in a drive-by shooting on March 9, 1997, Biggie has a legacy that continues to thrive in today’s hip-hop culture, with many artists paying tribute to the late, great Frank White through musical compositions or even on their personal social media pages. XXL recently caught up with Ghostface Killah to get his thoughts on The Notorious B.I.G.’s legacy and impact in hip-hop.

As noted in the past, the relationship between B.I.G. and members of the Wu-Tang Clan was a bit rocky in the 1990s, with rap fans claiming the Brooklyn rapper and Staten Island crew took subliminal shots at one another on records.

Opening up about their relationship at the time, Ghostface said, “You know we had our little words. Our little tension back in the days, but it wasn’t really nothing. I was 25 when I was popping that shit. You know, you’re young and just ready to do whatever, especially where I come from.” Revealing to XXL that he met Biggie just days before the Brooklyn MC’s demise, Ghost broke down his brief encounter with the “One More Chance” rapper.

“I bumped into him. I believe it was at L.A. Live and I think Brandy might’ve had a show that night and we came in there late,” recalls the Wu-Tang rapper. “The whole clan was late—me, Rae, Cap, U-God and some other members—and I seen B.I.G. and his man standing against the bar. I just slid to him because I had thought about doing so a while ago. My intention was just to clear the air and make some music, you know what I mean? That was my intention, so when I seen him I went over and said peace to him and gave him a pound.”

Reminiscing on the rest of the encounter with B.I.G. at the club, Ghost recalls, “Up close he was taller than what I thought. [Laughs] It was awkward ’cause we never spoke, but to be right there at that moment was crazy. He just stood above me. We both said peace to each other and things got quiet.”

Unfortunately that was the first and last time Ghostface Killah got a chance to meet the late Notorious B.I.G., as days after their meeting, Biggie was tragically killed in Los Angeles. “That shit broke my heart, it really broke my heart,” says Ghost. “I think I might’ve felt his death more than 2Pac’s death. Maybe because he was so much closer to us, being from New York and all that. I don’t know what it was, but it was something about his passing that affected me. He was great.

“I wish he was still here because I don’t have no more inspiration. I’m not inspired by today’s music, you know what I mean? I fuck with it just because, but I’m not inspired by it. Back in those days, when Nas came with something, I had to write something that was crazy. When Biggie came in with it, I had to go in. It was a bunch of cats inspiring others,” recalls Ghost of the days when B.I.G. was alive and on top of the rap world.

When asked about the legacy and impact B.I.G. left in hip-hop, Ghost complimented Christopher Wallace for creating such a strong presence in the rap game in a short amount of time, “You know even though he had two albums when he passed away, and to be labeled as one of the greatest of all time, it’s crazy! Imagine if he would’ve still been here. That would’ve been dangerous.”

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