Fans all over the world remembered Biggie Smalls, also known in the music world as The Notorious B.I.G., on the 17th anniversary of his death on Sunday. The rapper had just left a Vibe magazine-hosted event on March 9, 1997 in a GMC Suburban SUV with his crew. They were waiting for the red light to turn when a black sedan, a Chevrolet Impala SS, drove up next to them. The Impala’s driver fired repeatedly at the SUV. According to the autopsy released in December 2012, Biggie was hit four times; one hit his vital organs and became the cause of death. The assailant is unknown.
Fans of the hip-hop artist took to Twitter to offer their tributes. One fan posted, “Exactly 17 years ago the world lost a genius.” Another tweeted, “R.I.P. Biggie Smalls. You’ll always be one of the greatest!”
— ·R.A.P· (@LucasDiazBmx) March 9, 2014
The rapper was born Christopher George Latore Wallace on May 21, 1972 in St. Mary’s Hospital in New York and was raised in Brooklyn. His parents were Jamaican; his mother Voletta taught preschool and his father George worked as a welder. He was their only child. When Wallace was two years old his father left the family, and his mother struggled through two jobs. Wallace attended the Queen of All Saint Middle School where he excelled, especially in his English subjects. When he was 10 he was nicknamed “Big” because of his size.
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During his teenage years he dabbled in rapping but also got himself involved in crime, getting arrested twice on various charges, including dealing crack cocaine. A year after his release, he made a demo tape, which was consequently promoted by DJ Mister Cee. The demos were heard by the editor of The Source magazine’s editor, and Wallace, as Biggie Smalls, was featured in the magazine’s Unsigned Hype column. One thing led to another, and soon enough, Biggie Smalls and later on, The Notorious B.I.G., rose to fame. His album Ready to Die sold millions and achieved Platinum status four times. He was 24 when he died.
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Image via YouTube