The Biggie Cure

Writer’s block is a bitch. She comes and goes as she pleases. Distracts. Bothers. Nags. And you can’t hit her either. She’s invisible. The only way to get her out is through slow, methodical, and calming appeasement. Then she will relent. She will even stop being a bitch. She will go from writer’s block to writer’s inspiration.

As y’all could probably guess, I have writer’s block. Not the typical and boring writer’s block. I mean, sure I could write about Nicki Minaj and Lil Kim, or that Detox is finally coming, or I could review Dark Twisted Fantasy or Hunger For More 2. But what am I going to tell you guys that you don’t already know? I have writer’s block on some high level, transformative shit. Wait, why is there a red line under the word “transformative”? That’s not even a word? Are you kidding me? I’ve used that word in conversations. I’ve got the block so bad I’m losing my English.

How do I shake this bitch of a writer’s block. Do I leave her the tab at Applebees? Nooooo. Do I delete my number from her phone and slip out of her apartment in the middle of the night? Well, actually, still no. I will tell you what I do. I turn on Ready to Die. “Things Done Changed,” “Warning,” “Juicy,” “Who Shot Ya” (which appeared on the re-issue). Let the immortal Biggie lyrics seep into the brain. Then I move on. I look for something new. I search for music from Jay Electronica’s Style Wars EP (Something To Hold Onto). I watch Soulja Boy’s “Speakers Going Hammer” video. A 50 Cent ABC interview. A Jay-Z interview on BBC. Jaz-O’s “The Originators” featuring Jigga’s first ever recorded verse. I search for some Death Row era Crooked I material. I finally look at all the Kanye album covers. And after all that, I feel good. I mean, I do like hip-hop, so that makes sense.

I think writer’s block is a good thing. For rapping, in some sense, if someone can freestyle, then maybe there’s no excuse for someone not being able to write. Think about that though. If a rapper has writer’s block, it means that he doesn’t want to write about just guns, drugs, and hoes. He’s on a higher level. It’s deeper than rap. It’s beyond the generic. It’s someone attempting to reach an area that he hasn’t yet, and is struggling. Struggling is good, because it means that one is trying to make progress. Would you rather struggle or sit on a couch with zero prospects? A person with problems has an opportunity to defeat them. He has a chance to become victorious and creative a positive out of a negative. That’s the root of hip-hop. It is an art form in which its artists all come from the same birthplace: struggle.

Struggle is what makes hip-hop so resilient. I don’t think hip hop will ever die. It might get sick here and there, maybe get the flu, but never die. It’s too strong. Its genes have such a stable foundation in jazz, and it would be impossible to remove that. When someone creates a success in a situation where the odds are so stacked against him, it becomes not only so much sweeter, but stronger as well. Although it seems that he got killed because of the success that came to him, Biggie’s lyrics will never go away. They are implanted in millions of people’s brains, forever playing.

“If I wasn’t in the rap game
I’d probably have a key knee deep in the crack game
Because the streets is a short stop
Either you’re slingin crack rock or you got a wicked jumpshot
Shiiiit, it’s hard being young from the slums
Eatin five cent gums not knowin where your meals comin from”
— The Notorious B.I.G. “Things Done Changed”

The reason these lyrics will never die is because they are real. You the listener see his struggle in black, white, red, and every color imaginable. While Biggie the person is lying in a grave, his words are immortal. They provide not only an example of exemplary and graphic lyricism, but of an immortal witness to his struggle, which in turn becomes our struggle. I don’t think that Biggie ever had writer’s block, because his lyrics were simply a description of his everyday life. That’s why we take the picture that he painted and feel it, breathe it, and live it, as long as it is playing in the stereo deck.

The question for y’all is, when the tape runs out, and as Biggie’s voice fades away and the silence of our thoughts and feelings fill the air, what are we left with?— Shlomo

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  • caino

    Kickin back with a blunt, cold beer sitting on the stoop watching my son play in the garden……that always gets me relaxed, if bob marley playing in the background its all good!

    or 90s hiphop, l need to get pumped up Strictly for my NIGGA always getting me going !!

  • E. César

    Great Article, so much for that bitch; “Writer’s Block”

  • Don mcCaine


    “In regards to the charges, he entered a “Special Plea of Mental Incompetency” to a judge and insisting he was unfit to “intelligently participate in the probation revocation hearing.”

    ^ this dude went Forrest Gump on us…

  • joe

    a yo check biggies background b4 yu say this was his struggle. check where he came from. cuhz dude left home when he didnt have to and went toa world he didnt have to. biggie had a good life set 4 him when he was a born. he was born into a well off fam n just decided to leave that 4 the streets. stupid fuck if yu ask me. but its cool tho i respect what he said cuhz it was the struggle of his people. but i respect pac more cuhz he said his raps aint always about him they about his people. at least pac didnt try to pass off a life style he didnt live

    • jonny bizness

      U ain’t done the research homie yeah his mom was a teacher but she was a single parent and 1 wage doesn’t go far plus the fact he grew up in Flatbush around the late eighties early nineties when Crack and murders was at a all time high u couldn’t be meek growing up around that.He had to come out of his door didn’t he? I know for sure I wouldn’t have wanted to have grown up around that.Listen to Things done changed my friend

      • Don mcCaine

        “plus the fact he grew up in Flatbush around the late eighties early nineties ”

        ^ ain’t you the same cat who told me u don’t need to do homework?


        • jonny bizness

          My bad 1 2 many blunts when i wrote that shit but how far is Flatbush from bedstuy pal ?and while u bringing up old shit regarding Lil kim relevence U said i didn’t know what was on about i go over 2 rap Radar and c YN put her in the Blackout section basically saying she isn’t relevant.Who has more clout YN or DON McCaine erm ill wait but don’t worry you will get there 1 day Ps I hope u ain’t still handing out flyers in ur mid thirties

          • Don mcCaine

            “but how far is Flatbush from bedstuy pal ?”

            ^ lol…let me see you walk that…thru bed stuy & crown heights to get to the ‘bush…now if you would have said FLATBUSH AVENUE, i would have understood your weed excuse…you actually thought it was flatbush, it wasn’t no weed. I’m from Brooklyn, pal.

            “Who has more clout YN or DON McCaine”

            ^ because some blogger said something at rapradar they have clout? k

            u made a “mistake”, & wanna throw personal shots to hide it. I’ma leave you alone though…deuces

  • EL

    joe u full of bullcrap man! and yes pac was a real brother
    but biggie was sicker with the flow period!

  • dj

    i agree wit el joe talk crap
    but i respect pac more cuhz he said his raps aint always about him they about his people. at least pac didnt try to pass off a life style he didnt live

    yeah but pac repped the west hard as hell how u guna grow up on the east n then move west at 17-18 n claim westside til i die that aint real rep ur own hood

  • mdi

    how could any one of you not know that Biggie was from Bed Stuy? Not Flatbush, Bed-Stuy. Also, 2pac went to a prestigious performing arts school in baltimore and then became a Blood at age 25 or something wtf. M.O.B. and blood shout outs on Makavelli, maybe you never noticed that either. a lifestyle he didn’t live? i’m that ridah, coming right beside ya, shoulda never fucked with me (that was him all the way, GTFOH). both could have had different lives, as could have many. people are complex and can’t be painted into one corner. Biggie and Pac both represented for the people around them, expressed their emotions in different ways (a violent story is a way of letting out anger), took some liberties with language and their story telling (and told some truth too), each rapped their asses off in different ways, and people weren’t fact checking their lyrics–they were too busy FEELING those songs, those lyrics, those PERSONALITIES, those real people as well as their fly, great personas. cartoon characters like rick ross and mr. autobiography curtis jackson ruined hip-hop for you young folks. the Me Against the World album–can’t you feel the sun coming up when you’re sitting on the porch after being up all night going living all the thoughts portrayed on that album? Life After Death–can’t you see every song in your mind’s eye and get right into B.I.G.’s imagination, and feel like you’re on top of the world but the brought down by the ultimate stress and emptiness he conveys on You’re Nobody Till? f all yall

    • I feel ya

      Word i feel ya bro, young ones preach from this brother, he posses the art of speaking .

  • http://facebook.comsearchLilRail LIL RAIL


  • jonny bizness

    Yo syk i’m man enough to apologise that was childish but u do come across like u run this shit u know what i live across the pond and couldn’t be bothered to check google earth to c how far everything is in Brooklyn i don’t think commentators like you understand how you put people off this site it doesn’t matter what what people prefences are it’s all rap right?This site was the reason i copped a computer in the first place so i could connect with fellow like minded people I love this Rap shit it’s up there with soccer and boxing .i do know my shit i seen J cole on fri and the fans liked him more than Drake.When Bol trashed the rap from abroad i could give YOU insight to whats poppin over here but I thought fuck it this guy is a know all I’m jus being honest No shots

    • Don mcCaine

      my bad if I do come off that way, i don’t and can’t know all, but i do know some stuff…but regardless, drop that across the pond movement so dudes can read it, like i will…let’s press the restart button

  • Cesar August

    listening to some Nas, Kweli, Mos Def. Would listen to pac but i rather his poetry. Or just kick it back, play some video games, watch some movies, get my mind off & outta no where start writing.

  • Niggerguy

    BIG was straight trash dawg, let’s be real. Niggas only dick ride him because he is dead. You hip hop niggas dick ride too much


    • a.n.i

      LOL gassed.

  • thirstin more

    Ay, Shlomo – nice drop. You should drop in here at XXL more often, teach these cats a thing or two about syntax.

    “Struggling is good, because it means that one is trying to make progress. Would you rather struggle or sit on a couch with zero prospects? A person with problems has an opportunity to defeat them. He has a chance to become victorious and creative a positive out of a negative. That’s the root of hip-hop.”

    ^ shit is the TRUTH, mayne. Real talk.

  • d-1c3


  • sonya

    check out what power 106 in LA