#TBT: World Remembers The Notorious B.I.G. on 20th Anniversary of His Death

By Sameer Rao Mar 09, 2017

Today (March 9) marks a full two decades since Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace, one of history’s most famous rap superstars, was killed by a still-unknown drive-by assailant in Los Angeles. 

As The Undefeated chronicles, Biggie died at the height of a much-publicized lyrical feud between East Coast rappers, like himself and others on the Bad Boy Records roster, and West Coast ones. Death Row Records star Tupac "2Pac" Shakur, with whom Biggie sparred on "Who Shot Ya?" and "Hit ‘Em Up," was similarly killed only six months prior. The lack of details surrounding Biggie’s death still fuel conspiracy theories that variously implicate the Los Angeles Police Department, Death Row founder Suge Knight, the Bloods and others in the shooting.

Biggie built his legacy on the strength of hit singles like "Hypnotize," "One More Chance," "Big Poppa" and "Juicy." Rap fans throughout the world pay homage to him today, elevating his name and #RIPBIG into Twitter trending topics. Here’s a sample of tribute tweets featuring that hashtag and others, including one from his longtime friend, Bad Boy founder and music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs: 

Combs also invited rappers to perform their own favorite Biggie verses and tweet them with the hashtag #WeMissYouBIG. Participating MCs so far include Belly and Fabolous.

Several music and arts publications commemorated this anniversary with their own tributes to his legacy, including: 

  • Vibe‘s compilation of 50 shout-outs to friends and foes in Biggie’s songs
  • Billboard‘s collection of ex-wife Faith Hill, Jadakiss and other artists’ musical tributes to the late MC 
  • Mass Appeal‘s assembly of 20 visual art pieces depicting Biggie

The anniversary coincides with the Tribeca Film Festival’s March 8 announcement that Combs will premiere a new documentary about Bad Boy Records’ history and present, "Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: The Bad Boy Story," at the festival. According to an email program guide, the documentary chronicles Combs’ development of the label and coordination of a reunion tour last year. The festival has not yet released the premiere date.

What are your favorite Biggie memories? Let us know in the comments.