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XXL Asks, What Would The Notorious B.I.G Look Like At 42?

Artist Tim O’Brien imagines Biggie Smalls at 40 years old in XXL‘s forthcoming September 2011 issue…

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Dr Dre billionaire
It may have taken 40 years, but hip-hop may have its first billionaire—Dr. Dre. Following the sale of Beats Electronics to Apple last week for $3.2 billion—and the subsequent hilarious video uploaded by Tyrese—Dre is very nearly—though maybe not quite—the first billionaire in hip-hop's ever-expanding realm. Many may have thought it'd be Jay Z or Diddy—and they may have thought that, too—but the West Coast O.G. beat them all to the punch, and he'll be laying in a bed of money for a long time to come.

Even before Dre's potential billion, hip-hop's luxurious lifestyle has been reaching towards the stratosphere for two decades now, dating back to the days of Biggie and Puff reppin' Bad Boy and Coogi in the 1990s. With all this in mind, XXL compiled a list of 63 hip-hop songs where rappers are reppin' their billions—or at least their ambitions to achieve them along the way. It'll still be Dre Day until the money dries up. —Dan Rys
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63 Hip-Hop Songs About Rappers Making Billions

Lil Cease
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Lil’ Cease Says Biggie Would Have Been Accepting Of Mister Cee’s Sexuality

Hot 97's DJ Mister Cee made national headlines last year when his sexuality was brought into question due to numerous incidents that involved the solicitation of male prostitutes...

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Lloyd Lake, a former business associate of infamous Death Row Records founder Suge Knight, is accusing Knight of being a conniving government informant being used by the United States to regulate hip-hop, and he's attempting to pull out all the stops to prove his case. Lake is campaigning to raise funds for a tell-all documentary titled Justice For Tupac & Biggie, uncovering the truth behind Suge Knight, his involvement with the government and the many legal cases which Knight has been involved with, most notably the murder cases of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.

The documentary is essentially seeking to identify Knight as a snitch, though the film may never actually be made. The documentary purports to feature interviews with Tupac’s former bodyguard and a suspect in his killing, Reggie Wright, as well as lawyers who reveal the U.S. Justice System’s unwillingness to prosecute those involved in the crime. Lake put the project first on Kickstarter, then on Indiegogo in an attempt to meet a $150,000 goal, after which the documentary will be released to the public. The campaign isn't going so well, however.

Lake, who’s known Knight since 1994, has a bone to pick with him, particular after being indicted after an incident with NFL star Reggie Bush, and wants to address the question of why Suge Knight has never served serious time in the U.S. prison system outside of the four years he spent locked up following a probation violation in 1997. It's an interesting proposition—one which whets many a conspiracy theorist's appetite—but one that hasn't held much weight despite Knight's repeated arrests in the past decade.

So why push for this documentary now? It all stems from the incident with Bush in 2008, when Lake spoke about giving the former Heisman Trophy-winning running back and his family $300,000 in cash, living arrangements and other benefits between Nov. 2004 and Jan. 2006. The deal was a verbal agreement in exchange for Lake’s management agency, New Era Sports and Entertainment, representing Bush. Bush and Lake would eventually reach a settlement in a civil case regarding the dissolution of the matter, but Lake has contended that Knight's involvement caused Bush to go to the FBI, getting Lake indicted and somehow still getting off without major criminal investigation.

Alongside Wright, Lake's film is looking to dismantle a perceived injustice dating back nearly two decades and make the hip-hop community aware of Suge’s "snitching" activities, often bringing up the name of infamous Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, who was protected throughout a decades-long criminal enterprise by funneling information to the FBI on his enemies, as a comparison. Conspiracy theorists or not, Lake and Wright’s accusations still contain some element of plausibility.

"The fact that 17 years has gone by without anyone being prosecuted, and there are 17 deaths connected with Tupac’s murder for which no one has been charged, this forces us to look at the glaring fact that the legal system failed," Lake said during an interview with XXL. "It’s my goal with this documentary to put not only those involved on trial, but to reveal the shameful cover up and reveal the truth and facts in the case."

Whether or not the documentary ever sees the light of day, XXL spoke with Lake and Wright to try and get to the bottom of their claims, fantastical or otherwise. The story remains far from over. —Emmanuel C.M. (@ECM_LP)
Lloyd Lake, a former business associate of infamous Death Row Records founder Suge Knight, is accusing Knight of being a conniving government informant being used by the United States to regulate hip-hop, and he's attempting to pull out all the stops to prove his case. Lake is campaigning to raise funds for a tell-all documentary titled Justice For Tupac & Biggie, uncovering the truth behind Suge Knight, his involvement with the government and the many legal cases which Knight has been involved with, most notably the murder cases of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.

The documentary is essentially seeking to identify Knight as a snitch, though the film may never actually be made. The documentary purports to feature interviews with Tupac’s former bodyguard and a suspect in his killing, Reggie Wright, as well as lawyers who reveal the U.S. Justice System’s unwillingness to prosecute those involved in the crime. Lake put the project first on Kickstarter, then on Indiegogo in an attempt to meet a $150,000 goal, after which the documentary will be released to the public. The campaign isn't going so well, however.

Lake, who’s known Knight since 1994, has a bone to pick with him, particular after being indicted after an incident with NFL star Reggie Bush, and wants to address the question of why Suge Knight has never served serious time in the U.S. prison system outside of the four years he spent locked up following a probation violation in 1997. It's an interesting proposition—one which whets many a conspiracy theorist's appetite—but one that hasn't held much weight despite Knight's repeated arrests in the past decade.

So why push for this documentary now? It all stems from the incident with Bush in 2008, when Lake spoke about giving the former Heisman Trophy-winning running back and his family $300,000 in cash, living arrangements and other benefits between Nov. 2004 and Jan. 2006. The deal was a verbal agreement in exchange for Lake’s management agency, New Era Sports and Entertainment, representing Bush. Bush and Lake would eventually reach a settlement in a civil case regarding the dissolution of the matter, but Lake has contended that Knight's involvement caused Bush to go to the FBI, getting Lake indicted and somehow still getting off without major criminal investigation.

Alongside Wright, Lake's film is looking to dismantle a perceived injustice dating back nearly two decades and make the hip-hop community aware of Suge’s "snitching" activities, often bringing up the name of infamous Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, who was protected throughout a decades-long criminal enterprise by funneling information to the FBI on his enemies, as a comparison. Conspiracy theorists or not, Lake and Wright’s accusations still contain some element of plausibility.

"The fact that 17 years has gone by without anyone being prosecuted, and there are 17 deaths connected with Tupac’s murder for which no one has been charged, this forces us to look at the glaring fact that the legal system failed," Lake said during an interview with XXL. "It’s my goal with this documentary to put not only those involved on trial, but to reveal the shameful cover up and reveal the truth and facts in the case."

Whether or not the documentary ever sees the light of day, XXL spoke with Lake and Wright to try and get to the bottom of their claims, fantastical or otherwise. The story remains far from over. —Emmanuel C.M. (@ECM_LP)
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Is The Government Using Suge Knight To Control The Rap Industry?

Today, April 2, would have been the 75th birthday of the late legendary Marvin Gaye, one of the most influential and talented artists of his generation. His death 30 years ago yesterday was one of the biggest losses in American music history, but luckily for us, he left behind a legacy that has continued to be the gift that keeps giving. One of the most sampled men in hip-hop—alongside James Brown and George Clinton—Marvin's legacy has been filtered through the rap ranks for decades, with artists as diverse in content and time as Kool G Rap and Lil B flipping his songs to make beats. To commemorate what would have his 75th birthday, XXL pulled together a list of 75 of the greatest hip-hop songs that sample Marvin Gaye. —Dan Rys, Michael Carlos, Kyle Kramer, Tim Larew and Eric Thurm
Today, April 2, would have been the 75th birthday of the late legendary Marvin Gaye, one of the most influential and talented artists of his generation. His death 30 years ago yesterday was one of the biggest losses in American music history, but luckily for us, he left behind a legacy that has continued to be the gift that keeps giving. One of the most sampled men in hip-hop—alongside James Brown and George Clinton—Marvin's legacy has been filtered through the rap ranks for decades, with artists as diverse in content and time as Kool G Rap and Lil B flipping his songs to make beats. To commemorate what would have his 75th birthday, XXL pulled together a list of 75 of the greatest hip-hop songs that sample Marvin Gaye. Dan Rys, Michael Carlos, Kyle Kramer, Tim Larew and Eric Thurm
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75 Of The Best Hip-Hop Songs That Sample Marvin Gaye

the notorious b.i.g. biggie xxl magazine
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Check Out How Biggie’s ‘Life After Death’ Was Made

It takes a lot of heads coming together to create a classic LP. Life After Death is B.I.G.’s crowning achievement and XXL tracked down everyone who helped make the damn thing. That’s what’s up!

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The Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘Life After Death’ By The Numbers

XXL steps back and takes a look at The Notorious B.I.G.'s Life After Death by the numbers...

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Ed. Note: This article originally ran in the March 2012 issue of XXL, where XXL collected 100 tracks that directly bit The Notorious B.I.G.'s lyrics on 10th anniversary of his death. We are re-running the story as part of a week of throwback stories to commemorate the 17th anniversary of The Notorious B.I.G.'s death Sunday, March 9, 1997. Check out our other stories right here.

As much as hip-hop is marked by constant innovation, it's heavily reliant on borrowing. From samples to styles, the culture is entrenched in reinvention. So, too, are certain rappers’ lyrics, which are regularly regurgitated by other MCs. And no street scribe’s words have been bitten more frequently than The Notorious B.I.G.’s.

B.I.G.-biting doesn’t discriminate. Artists from all walks of life and levels of success have done it: MCs from Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and 50 Cent to Nicki Minaj, Wiz Khalifa and Beanie Sigel have mimicked Biggie’s verbal blueprint in their own rhymes.
In honor of the 15 years since The Notorious B.I.G.’s passing, XXL put together a list of the 100 most-bitten Biggie lyrics of all time. Some lines are exact replicas deliberately paying homage, and some are slick tweaks and subtle acknowledgements of a job well done. But one thing they all share is the ability to keep Biggie Smalls’ memory and legacy alive. —ADAM FLEISCHER
Ed. Note: This article originally ran in the March 2012 issue of XXL, where XXL collected 100 tracks that directly bit The Notorious B.I.G.'s lyrics on 10th anniversary of his death. We are re-running the story as part of a week of throwback stories to commemorate the 17th anniversary of The Notorious B.I.G.'s death Sunday, March 9, 1997. Check out our other stories right here.

As much as hip-hop is marked by constant innovation, it's heavily reliant on borrowing. From samples to styles, the culture is entrenched in reinvention. So, too, are certain rappers’ lyrics, which are regularly regurgitated by other MCs. And no street scribe’s words have been bitten more frequently than The Notorious B.I.G.’s.

B.I.G.-biting doesn’t discriminate. Artists from all walks of life and levels of success have done it: MCs from Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and 50 Cent to Nicki Minaj, Wiz Khalifa and Beanie Sigel have mimicked Biggie’s verbal blueprint in their own rhymes. In honor of the 15 years since The Notorious B.I.G.’s passing, XXL put together a list of the 100 most-bitten Biggie lyrics of all time. Some lines are exact replicas deliberately paying homage, and some are slick tweaks and subtle acknowledgements of a job well done. But one thing they all share is the ability to keep Biggie Smalls’ memory and legacy alive. —ADAM FLEISCHER
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100 Songs That Bite The Notorious B.I.G.’s Lyrics

the notorious b.i.g. biggie xxl magazine
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The Notorious B.I.G.’s Ten Best Songs, Collabs, Lyrics And More

illmind-picasso-baby-main
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Check Out !llmind’s Remix of Jay Z’s “Picasso Baby” Featuring Biggie

Oh, what could have been. Today marks the 17th anniversary since the death of one of hip-hop's most revered artists, The Notorious B.I.G...

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