The Notorious B.I.G.
Can’t Forget About You

Ten years. Ten years since March 9, 1997, when 24-year-old Christopher Wallace (a.k.a. the Notorious B.I.G., a.k.a. Biggie Smalls) was shot to death in Los Angeles. Like his close friend turned enemy Tupac Shakur, who met the same fate six months before, the 6-foot-3-inch, 280-pound Biggie hasn’t gotten any smaller in the eyes of the rap world since his passing. His presence is still gargantuan. A lot of people will tell you he is the single greatest MC rap music has produced, the limited amount of material he recorded in his four-year career being perhaps the best argument against him.

His story isn’t over. His murder remains a mystery. (Though, in 2005, revelations unearthed through a wrongful-death suit that his mother, Voletta Wallace, brought against the Los Angeles Police Department suggest that the dark truth might come out eventually.) And, of course, his music still rocks every block with a radio on it.

In tribute, as a memorial to the great artistry Biggie displayed in his far-too-brief time on the planet and to mark the sad anniversary, XXL has compiled 10 lists, 10 entries each, that speak to his ever lasting impact.

10 BEST BIGGIE SONGS

1. “Hypnotize”

2. “Juicy”

3. “What’s Beef”

4. “Warning”

5. “Kick In the Door”

6. “Who Shot Ya”


7. “I Got a Story to Tell”


8. “Party and Bullshit”

9. “Unbelievable”

10. “Ten Crack Commandments”

10 BEST BIGGIE COLLABOS

1. “The What”—Biggie featuring Method Man

2. “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems” —Biggie featuring Puff Daddy and Ma$e

3. “Brooklyn’s Finest” —Jay-Z featuring Biggie


4. “Player’s Anthem” —Junior M.A.F.I.A. featuring Biggie


5. “Can’t You See (Remix)” —Total featuring Biggie


6. “Flava in Ya Ear (Remix)” —Craig Mack featuring Biggie, Rampage, Busta Rhymes and LL Cool J


7. “Notorious Thugs” —Biggie featuring Bone Thugs-N-Harmony


8. “Victory” —Puff Daddy featuring Biggie and Busta Rhymes


9. “Fucking You Tonight” —Biggie featuring R. Kelly


10. “Da B Side” —Da Brat featuring Biggie and Jermaine Dupri

10 BEST BIGGIE RHYMES

1. “B-I-G P-O P-P-A/No info for the DEA/Federal agents mad ’cause I’m flagrant/Tapped my cell and the phone in the basement.” (“Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems,” third verse)

2. “Your girl fucked my man Jacob/Heard in three weeks she sniffed a whole half a cake up/Heard she suck a good dick and could hook a steak up.” (“Ten Crack Commandments,” coda)

3. “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 slingin’ crack rocks or you got a wicked jump shot.” (“Things Done Changed,” third verse)

4. “Fuck all that bickerin’ beef/I can hear sweat tricklin’ down your cheek/Your heartbeat sounds like Sasquatch feet/Thunderin’/Shaking the concrete.” (“Who Shot Ya,” first verse)

5. “This goes out to those who choose to use/Disrespectful views/On the King of N.Y.” (“Kick In the Door,” fourth verse)

6. “Excuse me/Flows just grow through me/Like trees to branches/Cliffs to avalanches/It’s the praying mantis/Deep like the mind of Farrakhan/A muthafuckin’ rap phenomenon.” (“The What,” second verse)

7. “And I’m robbing bitches, too/Of their herringbones and bamboos/I wouldn’t give a fuck if you’re pregnant/Give me the baby rings and the ‘No. 1 Mom’ pendant.” (“Gimme the Loot,” first verse)

8. “I know you’re sick of this/Name-brand nigga with/Flows, girls say he’s sweet like licorice.” (“Hypnotize,” third verse)

9. “I got the cleanest meanest penis/Ya never seen this stroke of genius.” (“One More Chance,” second verse)

10. “So I freaked ’em/The telly manager was Puerto Rican/Gloria/From Astoria/I went to war with her/Peeps in ’91/Stole a gun from my workers/And they took drugs/They tried to jerk us.” (“Niggas Bleed,” third verse)

10 BIGGEST CAREER MOVES

1. Getting his demo tape to Mister Cee, Big Daddy Kane’s DJ, in 1991

2. Hooking up with budding music mogul Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs in 1992

3. Helping his man, Lance “Un” Rivera, set up a label, Undeas Records, in 1994

4. Putting on his crew, Junior M.A.F.I.A.

5. Bringing the raunchy female lyricist Lil’ Kim to hip-hop

6. Befriending and recording with a young Jay-Z

7. Using collabos with R&B artists, like Total, to cross over into different markets

8. Recording with artists from various regions (like Cleveland’s Bone Thugs-N-Harmony or Oakland’s Too $hort), to the same effect

9. Changing image from ashy street pawn (“just trying to make some money to feed my daughter”) to classy kingpin (the “Black Frank White”)

10. Dying too young to have made any bad music

10 MOST MEMORABLE BIGGIE MOMENTS

1. Oct. 1993: Biggie joins his friend Tupac Shakur onstage at the Budweiser Superfest at Madison Square Garden and freestyles: “I got seven Mac 11s…”

2. Aug. 4, 1994: Biggie elopes with Bad Boy singer Faith. They’re wed by a justice of the peace in Rosslyn, N.Y.

3. Aug. 3, 1995: Biggie wins four awards, including Best Lyricist and Album of the Year, at the 1995 Source Awards. “We did it, Brooklyn!” he says from the podium.

4. April 1995: In an interview with Vibe magazine, Tupac accuses Biggie of setting him up to be shot at New York’s Quad Studios.

5. Sept. 17, 1996: Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s Lil’ Cease crashes a Dodge Astrovan in New Jersey—Biggie suffers a broken leg.

6. March 7, 1997: Six months after Tupac’s murder, Biggie appears at the Soul Train Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. “What up, Cali?” he says over boos.

7. March 9, 1997: Biggie’s shot after leaving a Soul Train Awards party at L.A.’s Peterson Automotive Museum.

8. March 18, 1997: A 20-car caravan takes Biggie’s casket on a funeral procession through Brooklyn.

9. Sept. 4, 1997: Puffy performs the Biggie tribute “I’ll Be Missing You” with Faith, 112 and Sting at the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

10. Jan. 6, 2000: Life After Death becomes the second rap album (after MC Hammer’s Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ’Em) ever to be awarded the RIAA’s diamond certification for 10 million units sold.

——- Read the rest of our tribute to Biggie in XXL’s April 2007 issue (#90)

  • jai sunatra

    tha best ever….handz down…. r.i.p.

  • EReal

    Too bad you put that faggot on the cover.
    XXL lost.

    R.I.P.
    The Notorious One.

    “Its the ones that smoke blunts witcha, see ya picture, now they wanna come and getcha”

    “all it was was two hits, her hittin the floor, me hittin the clits, had the hooker beggin for the shit, and your moms aint ugly love, my dick got rock quick”

    So many sick verses that everyone bites on STILL. 10 years later. Thats some greatest of all time, when the supposed greatest rapper alive bites your shit on the regular. Str8^.

    Man how much the game would be different if we still had true MC’s like this. Maybe these 90′s babies would understand what this rap shit is really about. Read the editorial at allhiphop.com for an excellent point of view.

    1 hunned.

  • joe joe united kingdom

    BIG

    Rest In Peace

    UK misses you

    Ps. Fuck ‘first’

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    Roffle @ not even putting up the whole feature.

    (I’d complain futher, but I’ve got checks to cash…)

  • Combat Jack

    Best Collabos:

    No “Love The Dough” feat. Jay Z? I’d take that over the Brat jernt any day!

  • Rizzop

    Ya’ll forgot his verse from “victory’ in his top 10. Any night i perform like mike anyone tyson, jordan, jackson, action, pack guns, ridiculous and im quick to bust if my ends you touch.

    R.I.P BIG nobody is rippin shit like that to this day

  • STARTING BIDS AT A G

    REST IN PEACE to the GREATEST ONE EVER,long live his timeless music BIGGIE SMALLS is still the ILLEST

  • Bo Piff

    RIP BIG

  • Were Read 2 Def

    Victory is way better than credited for.

  • Equanimity

    I rmr when I first heard “Victory” and saw the video I flipped a shit

  • these posts are racist

    It is so wack that you did not put Biggie on the cover. The man was 24 years old when he died, 10 years ago and he is still considered to have had the best delievery of flows in hip hop…think about that. The thousands of rappers that come out of the woodworks, every day! And this 24 yr old brother is still considered the G.O.A.T by most…and even those who say he isn’t the best, say he has the best delievery. That’s powerful, and you don’t even put him on the cover?

    XXL, that’s disrespectful.

    RIP, Biggie.

  • illy

    yo shot out to..the greatest of all time, king of new york, brookyln Dons.

    Yo shot out to brroklyn, he brought all dat fly shit to the game…he brought nice lyrics and gangsta pimpn rap to the game pioneer for real. Biigie u r and was and will be the man untill you get up from the grave and die again…dats never..so take the crown to heaven.

    i luv u nigga….

    “when im fucken these hoes im invinceible dont luv no hoe thats my principle, cause a bitches come bitches go thats y i get my nut and ill be out the fucen doe” u know they might be the 1 2 set me up, get there little brother to wet me up thats y t tote tech n stuff just in case the lilttle fucker ends up misplace, i dont giva bitch enuff to catch the bus and when i see the seaman im leaven’ 1 ya self…yall dont knoe nuffn bout biggie name dat song bitch.

  • Atl’s own

    Man victory is my fuckin favorite biggie song by far!

    and the beat is prolific!

    even diddy killed the song!

    biggie one of the g.O.A.T’s

    niggaz ain’t buit like this no more

    man i’m finna be playin victory for the next week strait!

    thanx for the reminder!

  • Sam

    It’s dissrespecting Biggie by putting Puffy’s (you know why I say Puffy’s…)Hypnotize as his #1 song…

  • Davinche

    Biggie is the G.O.A.T

    Any other opinions are bullshit.

  • Rodjilius

    RIP dats enough said

  • S on my chest

    RIP

    I’m glad they took off that comment some disrespectful cunt had posted on here off. I have love for Pac but today is BIG’s day, don’t come disrespecting on here!

    Again RIP Frank aka the GOAT

  • The Notorious Corey

    The Black Frank white is,was, and will always be the BEST M C!! R.I.P

  • Optimus Prime

    GOAT

  • Chima

    We remember a genius today. I cannot help but think about what the game would have been like if he had stayed just a little long. The range of possibilities displayed between “ready to die” and “life after death” is unprecedented in hip-hop history and unsurpassed.

  • Doo Doo Man

    Who shot ya? Mob ties like Sinatra
    Peruvians tried to do me in, I ain’t paid them yet
    Tryin to push 700′s, they ain’t made them yet
    Rolex and bracelets is frostbit
    Rings too, niggas round the way call me Igloo Stick – who? (motherfuckers)

    RIP

  • BABAGANOUCH

    10 best rhymes section is wack…

    check his verse on puffy’s “young g’s”, one of his dopest. “damn it feel good to see people up on it, flipped 2 keys in 2 weeks and didnt flaunt it, my brain is haunted…”

  • POINTGOD KG14

    B.I.G is without a doubt the best to ever done did it……..and my fav song of all time is NIGGAZ BLEED….he was the best storyteller and this proved it……..We agreed to go on shootin is silly
    Because niggas could be hidin in showers with mac-milli’s
    So I freaked ‘em, the telly manager was Puerto Rican
    Gloria, from Astoria, I went to war with her
    peeps in ninety-one, stole a gun from my workers
    And they took drugs, they tried to jerk us
    We blazed they place, long story, Glo’ seent my face
    Got shook, thought a nigga was comin for the safe
    Now she breakin, shut up, 112, what’s shakin?
    A Jamaican, some bitches I swear, they look gay
    in a black Range Rover, been outside all day
    If it’s trouble let me know, I’ll be on my way
    Please, I got kids to feed, I done seen you make niggas bleed
    Nightmare, this bitch don’t need it
    Ron, get the gasoline, this spot, we bout to blow this
    Get the cash before the cops and Range Rover cats notice
    Room 112, right by the staircase, perfect place
    When they evacuate, they meet they fate
    Ron pass the gasoline, the nigga passed me kerosene (uhh)
    Fuck it, it’s flame-able, my hunger is unexplainable
    Strike the match, just what I expected
    The dread kid ejected in seconds
    And here come two, opposite sexes, one black, one Malaysian
    We in the hallway waitin patient
    As soon as she hit the door we start blastin
    I saw her brains hit the floor, Ron laughin, I swear to God
    I hit Maxi Priest at least twelve times in the chest
    Spint around, shot the chink in the breast
    She cryin, headshots put her to rest
    Pop open the briefcases, nothin but Franklin faces
    The spot’s hot, sprinklers, alarm systems
    That’s when other guests start to slip in
    It’s time for us to get to dippin
    I know them niggas in the Range is on they way up
    Flippin, pistol grippin, I load the clip in
    The hallway, got real loud and crowded
    They walked right past us, I don’t know how they allowed it
    The funny thing about it, through all the excitement
    They Range got towed, they double parked by a hydrant

  • agee

    She knows I treat my bitches like Ivana..
    Dolce and Gabbanna dripping…..Big Poppa never slipping…..
    I never know what the fuck he talking about till I got a bit older.

  • http://www.snicka.com SNICKA

    Check out Biggie Blendz 2007 at http://www.biggieblendz.com

    Mr. Cee just played them on his Biggie tribute mixshow

  • The Don

    BIGGIE RIP. Frank was one of the best comin out NY and the BEST one out of BK. Dude ripped every verse with brutality and no mercy

  • babyboy

    Rest in Peace real GOAT

  • TJules

    bangin ready to die n life after death all week n i will 4 another 10 years

  • ishue

    nigga made two albums and is considered the greatest of all-time, that juss tells u how sick he was. Tell me another rapper that could go DIAMOND today?

  • southsown

    YA’LL FORGOT “MACHINE GUN FUNK”
    THAT’S MY FAVORITE B.I.G. SONG.
    IT WOULD’VE BEEN THE SHIT IF BIGGIE AND PAC HAD WORKED OUT THEIR DIFFERENCES AND DID AN ALBUM TOGETHER!
    I BELIEVED THAT HAD OTHER PEOPLE STAYED OUT OF THEIR “SO CALLED BEEF”, THEY WOULD’VE SQUASHED IT!
    I’VE SAID THIS BEFORE AND I’LL SAY IT AGAIN; B.I.G. AND PAC WAS KILLED BY STREET NIGGAZ, NOT INDUSTRY PEOPLE.
    SOME FOOLS DECIDED TO KILL THE BEEF IN THEIR OWN WAY!
    I WOULD’VE LOVE TO KNEWN THE TRUTH ABOUT THEIR MURDERS, BUT THE TRUTH IS WE’LL PROBABLY NEVER KNOW!
    T.I.P. TO NOTORIOUS B.I.G.
    (THUG IN PEACE)

  • southsown

    YA’LL FORGOT “MACHINE GUN FUNK”
    HE WAS SPITTING WITH ALL HIS STRENGTH AND HE RODE THE BEAT.
    I BELIEVED, HAD OTHERS STAYED OUT OF THE “SO CALLED BEEF”, THEY WOULD STILL BE ALIVE AND I BELIEVED THEY WOULD’VE SQUASHED IT AND WORKED WITH EACH OTHER.
    JUST THINK IF THEY DID AN ALBUM TOGETHER….A CLASSIC!
    I BELIEVE STREET NIGGAZ HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH BOTH OF THEIR MURDERS.
    INDUSTRY PEOPLE DIDN’T DO IT!
    BUT,I BELIEVE SOMEONE PAID THEM STREET NIGGAZ TO DO IT.
    IT WAS TO PERFECT AND PLANNED!
    BUT WHAT IS IN THE DARK WILL COME TO THE LIGHT, BELIEVE THAT!
    T.I.P. TO NOTORIOUS B.I.G.
    (THUG IN PEACE)

  • jovan

    r.i.p to the greatest biggie

  • jovan

    where’s one more chance

  • E-Dub

    I think BIG was addressing a lot of today’s rappers in one of my favorite line’s from Player’s Anthem:

    “My mind my 9, my pen my mac 10. My target? All you wack mc’s that started rappin’.”

    R.I.P. Christopher Wallace

  • BRANE

    “why you gonna send a bad boy to play a grown man’s game?” 2pac

  • da_realting

    peace b.i.g.

  • Stax On Deck

    R.I.P. BIGGIE. You will always be missed even down here in The South. They fucked not puttin B.I.G. on the cover. Why would XXL do that when they gave Pac the cover not to long ago. I don’t agree with that BS. And I love ‘Pac too *no Damon From Friday After Next*

  • Ronnie townsend jr

    TO the best rapper of all time.Biggie was a friend of mine.I want to send a big shout out to Piddy for giving Biggie a chance,and also getting biggie out of selling drugs.Biggie said it right when he said the sky is the limit.A nigger never been as broke as me when i was young i had to clear leaves,from dide steps.The pinstripes and the grays the one,s i wore mondays and wensdays,my nigger flirt,i soeing tigers on my shirts and aligators,you want to the insides i,ll see you later,there drama oh there that nigger with the fake,why you punch me in my face?stay in your place play your position become my intoutition go in this niggers pockets grab him why his watching his crew is your crew.I know all of biggies songs word by word and line by line as if every body in the class was a friend of mine.Remember he went from ashy to classy.Rip biggie i love you my man.

  • Stax On Deck

    any1 wanna toss my salad???

  • http://uSaHater.getalife.com Me

    dis magazine is terrible…please cancel your subscriptions

  • http://uSaHater.getalife.com Me

    ^^^damn yall erase my message above….why you let it stay up for so long

  • Patrick

    I loved the article, on B.I.G I really, I just don’t think he’s the best ever, he’s one of the best. Nas is lyrically better than he is, and I hate that y’all say he out rhymed Bone Thugs on Notorious Thugs using their style…No he didn’t, nobody can and won’t never out rhyme Bone Thugs using their style period.

  • Robin

    Being Caucasian and from Dublin, Ireland, one would think that I have very little in common with a 280lb black rapper from Brooklyn, yet I feel like I knew the late, great, Christopher Wallace. Through his vivid, honest lyrics, millions of hip hop fans across the globe got an insight into Biggie’s life. From the imagery of “Somebody Gotta Die” to the exquisite ability to flow over a beat in “Big Poppa” it can’t be argued that on March 9th 1997, hip hop, as a community, lost one of it’s most talented representatives. RIP

  • http://www.deepwatersbahamas.com/ RagaLover

    To compare Biggie’s sales to MC Hammer is hilarious. Biggie sold just over $5 million copies of a double album (24 tracks)which contained many collaborations (songs with popular artist like R.Kelly, Jay-Z, Ma$e and Lil Kim). MC Hammer sold over $10 million copies of a single album (13 tracks) with no help and a much smaller distribution network. Hammer was the Michael Jackson of Hip hop and his sales record will remain unmatched. Biggie also died 2 weeks before his record was released which motivated sales due to air play in reference to the Tupac vs. Biggie beef. Of course Biggie was a better lyricist but Hammer was the greatest rap entertainer otf this era due to his stage presence, clean image and catchy hooks which eventually negatively impacted him when musical taste changed. Biggie is definitely one of the greatest rappers ever.

  • http://myspace.com/therealtsar Philip Tsar

    Ok. Big was a great rapper. Yeah he deserved to be on the cover. That goes without saying. My real question is the same question that sits in the back of everyones mind. At which point do you guys turn the tables and start the rumour mill on the truth about his death? In other words, when do you guys wake up and start seeing “Diddy” as a man that was spoon fed his whole life, bothered by Undeas and the fact BIG was going to take most of Bad Boy with him, the fact that Diddy has what I call spoiled brat greed, the fact that he says in Victory “I’m too smart for these cats” and the fact that he had BIG set up because he was doomed had Biggie lived. Undeas was the next home for him and many others. C’mon people, start asking the real questions.

  • Mrs.Jonez’s

    I’m bout to cry R.I.P. Biggie “Where Brooklyn At?” He died to damn young…what if biggie and tupac was hurr we would neva have 50 cent! He is 1 of tha best not the best…It will alwayz be Tupac!! Anywayz…I’m lovin tha article its real good! Bz uP Dipset Eastside

  • spider

    yo biggie was the illest mc ever n tha game. he brought style, creativity and orginality to tha rap game. it’s a shame he was taken outta tha game so early b 4 he really had a chance to shine. personally i feel that pac is to blame for the death of biggie. first of all, if pac would have told tha real truth about that night he got shot in nyc back in 94, biggie would probably still be alive. it was pac goin around saying negative things about biggie and trying to say that biggie was involved in the set up shooting of pac when in reality it was a crew called “black mafia” who said it themselves that they were the ones who shot pac. secondly, pac was jealous that biggie was blowing up, making money and was now crowned the king of new york. pac on the other hand was having legal issues and was not making money like he once was, so while in jail he plotted and planned a beef to help restart his career. since biggie was a big name rap star and since biggie was there tha night he got shot, he figured if i diss biggie i’ll get paid and sell records. that’s what that so called east coast/ west coast beef that pac and death row had started was all about, a planned and plotted beef to sell records. but the sad part of it was that either side didn’t win. they lost pac, and all us biggie fans lost brooklyn’s finest, the king of new york, the greatest mc to ever touch tha mic “biggie smalls”.

  • no one that really matters

    what i think..the whole bad boy movement..this junior mafia and lil kim…biggie produced this..was at a time before this hip hop became commercial and launched hip hop into mainstream…but it still wasnt mainstream..you stil didnt see any hip hop song coming into mainstream…now it is..it hadnt go to that point yet..

  • no one that really matters

    what i think..the whole bad boy movement..this junior mafia and lil kim…biggie produced this..was at a time before this hip hop became commercial and launched hip hop into mainstream…but it still wasnt mainstream..you stil didnt see any hip hop song coming into mainstream…now it is..it hadnt go to that point yet..

  • 2face

    R.I.P. BIGGIE
    U THE BEST EVER,AND I’M FROM DA WEST COAST BUT PAC AINT BETTER THEN U!!!!
    biggie smalls is the best MC there ever wuz,he inspired us all,shit i’m only 15 n wuz a kid when he wuz in his hip hop prime,but still this dude will live 4ever,damn this dude is badass, i gotta thank em cuz he paved the way 4 hip hop,and witout him hip hop would be extinct which would mean i wouldnt have a chance at this rap game,so BIG THANKS 2 BIGGIE SMALLS!!!!
    -2face AkA Deezy Aka MC Deezaster reppin 520 AZ!!!(fuckers try n take my name u gonna get burried)

  • http://www.shaolin.no vali

    how much record did he sell?

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