March 9th has become a hip-hop holiday of sorts. As sad as the passing of one of our all-time greats has been, over the past 12 years hip-hop has learned to cope with the tragic death of the Notorious B.I.G. through celebration. I’m not sure how it goes down outside of New York, but every year DJ Mister Cee shuts down local radio station Hot 97 and plays a Biggie mega mix.
Just last week I was listening to last year’s mix on my iPod and was reminded of Biggie’s genius. And as much as he gave to us in his short time here, there was so much potential left undone. So here is my list of amazing shit that B.I.G. just didn’t get to do. What are yours? – Rob the Music Ed
Biggie and the Roots
I remember in an old interview where Big was talking about his appreciation for the Roots. If I’m not mistaken the interviewer was asking him something along the lines of, “Was his commercial sound ruining hip-hop?” The Brooklyn Don responded by saying how much he loved the culture and was actually a fan of groups like the Roots. There is no doubt in my mind that he would’ve eventually rocked with ?uestlove and company. Never do what they do indeed!
Hooking up with Just Blaze
Out of all the AB (After B.I.G.) producers Just Blaze makes the most fitting music for a futuristic Big Poppa. No disrespect to Kanye and Pharrell, but JB’s knocking drums and aggressive-yet-melodic tracks are like updated versions of the EZ Mo Bee joints that Big used to rock over in his heyday. You don’t believe me? Just listen to Jay-Z’s “PSA” and tell me you couldn’t hear the Notorious One rockin’ over that? All him to reintroduce himself, someone please make a dope remix.
A Very B.I.G. Mixtape
While mixtapes are nothing new, the mixtape explosion circa 2002 absolutely changed the game. Thanks to 50 Cent and his G-Unit clique, the idea of having an artist-driven mixtape went from being a rap novelty to a promotional necessity. With everything that Biggie accomplished, we never got that pure, uncut dope street mixtape. You can pretty much bet the farm that Puff would’ve been banned from the studio.
I’d like to think that eventually cooler heads would’ve prevailed and the East Coast/West Coast (actually the Bad Boy/Death Row) beef could’ve been squashed with Biggie still alive. It would’ve been crazy if Snoop and Big collaborated on a Dr.Dre, Puff Daddy co-produced banger.
Life After Diamond
After creating such an amazing album it would’ve been great to see Big carry out his vision. How different would the “Mo Money, Mo Problems” video be if Frank White was actually in it? Would “Sky’s the Limit” have even been a single? Maybe him and Kellz would’ve rocked “Fuckin’ you Tonight” on some best of both worlds shit or better yet maybe we would’ve got a “Kick in the Door” video. The possibilities are endless.
How fucking crazy would Diddy’s “No Way Out” tour would have been if Big Poppa would’ve been on it? Lil Kim, Junior Mafia, The Lox, Ma$e, Puff and B.I.G?!? Oh yeah, don’t forget Jay was originally slated as an opening act for that too.
When you think about it, it’s kinda crazy that Cam’Ron was originally Big’s artist. How much different would Cam’s career had turned out if Biggie was at the helm? For sure he would’ve aided Cam in branding Dip-Set, ‘cause spreading love was the Brooklyn way; but would Killa have ever ended up on the Roc? Doubt it.
Frank and Marshall
I’m not afraid to admit that I wasn’t a fan of B.I.G.’s posthumous “Dead Wrong” with Eminem. It’s just really hard to put two greats like that on a track that wasn’t even meant to be heard in the first place. Instead I wish we could’ve seen Big and Em on a track they created together ala Jay-Z’s “Brooklyn’s Finest.”
Jay-Z versus Nas was EPIC, but that would have been nothing compared to an Esco/Frank White battle. Nas proclaimed, “There’s one life, one love and there can only be one king.” Big responded with, “Ain’t no other kings in this rap things they siblings/Nothin’ but my chirren, one shot they disappearin’.” Man someone may have gotten their career ended.
Before he passed, Big spoke of a rap super group named the Commission that would rival (and most likely eclipse) Nas’s Firm clique. Consisting of Diddy, Lil Cease, Charli Baltimore, Jay-Z and Biggie himself, fans go ape shit at the mere thought. It could’ve been the greatest hip-hop moment, EVER!