The murder of biggie smalls in 1997 had a huge impact on the music industry however, not all of this disaster was bad. The Notorious B.I.G, better known as Biggie or Biggie Smalls, had a fantastic influence on the hip hop community. He released his first single “Juicy” under Bad Boy Records. Many hip hop artists we know today have been immensely influenced by Biggie, such as Jay-Z, P Diddy, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Nicki Minaj, and many more.
Biggie first started rapping with his friends Sam Hubert and Mike Bynum when they were about 11 years old. He learned how to dictate and phrase his lyrics from a jazz saxophonist, Donald Harrison, when he was a teenager in Brooklyn rapping under his actual name,Chris Wallace.
Biggie’s song ‘Juicy’ “is the hip hop Cinderella tale.” Within the song, he rapped about how he rose from rock bottom to the highest. The way he went from “When birthdays was the worst days” to “Now we sip champagne when we thirsty” is such an excellent use of lyrics to show his success. ‘Juicy’ has become such a staple in the Hip Hop world, that each hip hop fanatic is expected to know the first verse by memory, at least.
What makes Biggie’s music so compelling is the combination of great stories, with amazing lyrical innovation. He had a singular flow with a variable tempo that dances around the beats he raps over, which increased the dramatic tension and drew in the listener. Consider ‘Gimme The Loot,’ where the rap genius gives 2 totally different voices to 2 separate characters.
Drake sampled Biggie’s song “Mo Money More Problems” on his own song “Worst Behavior”, and put Biggie’s album Life and Death on his all-time top albums list for The Source. But Biggie’s biggest influence on Drake could be to easily share his feelings he may be keeping deep down every now and then. Although the song doesn’t have the same tempo and beat, the way Drake’s rap flows and the way he worded it is very similar to “Mo Money More Problems”
Biggie’s 1994 album Ready To Die has been hailed because it was a cornerstone marker for the East Coast Rap Scene and thrived while he was alive. The album went gold within 2 months of release and later ended up going double platinum by the subsequent year.
Even though Kendrick Lamar’s a more politically engaged artist, Kendrick uses similar techniques as Biggie to express his ideas and has paid tribute to Biggie many times: freestyling over one of Biggie’s many songs ‘The What’ on the 18th anniversary of his death, sampling Biggie’s Notorious Thugs on Hood Politics, and citing the Brooklyn raised rapper in his list of all-time favorites. In 2013, he told a US station he wants to “leave a mark as great as Biggie”
Jay-Z is one of the first to acknowledge the debt he owes Biggie, as their friendly rivalry during the nineties pushed him to greater heights. In 2013, he told a Los Angeles radio station, “I take him everywhere I’m going. I’ve taken him on every step, every accomplishment.”
Even though Biggie’s life was tragically cut short at a mere 24 years old, his music has influenced many people around the world. After his death skyrocketed both albums, it proved that Biggie’s life was glorified far more after death, but like many other creative geniuses, Biggie had battled demons, sometimes ones that people didn’t see. This man is the voice of a generation, and it’s incredible how many people he has influenced into becoming musicians or even just influenced into fulfilling their dreams as he did. Rapping is about bringing people into your world, and that’s precisely what Biggie used his voice for.