“Notorious,” the highly anticipated Biggie biopic, hits screens this Friday – and from what I’ve heard can already be found at your friendly neighborhood bootlegger. Just this once, I’m asking everyone to forgo buying a scratched-up disc from Junebug n’ Dem and to actually go to the theater. That way, Biggie’s family can get a portion of the proceeds – that is, whatever proceeds Diddy won’t gobble up.
If nothing else, it’ll give me a chance to reminisce on the greatest of all time – word to the 4 foot Biggie poster in my office.
It’s amazing when you realize that although he might be the most influential rapper of all time, he was in the spotlight for less than 5 years. Most rappers today are lucky if they’re remembered longer than 5 months. Whatever happened to the “Party Like A Rockstar” guys? Not that I care.
I firmly believe that had the Notorious One stuck around longer, the world of hip hop would be quite different. Join me as I look in my magic 8 ball:
If the Notorious B.I.G. were still alive:
He and Puffy would have had a falling out
I think as Biggie’s presence grew in the industry, he would have tried to distance himself from the glory hound that is Diddy. Think Jay-Z and Damon Dash circa 2004. Biggie would form his own label – B.I.G. and Tall Records or something – and Bad Boy’s musical division would fall apart. Which is kinda what happened anyway.
He and Faith would have had a messy divorce
According to her autobiography, R&B star Faith Evans was already sorta dating her current husband by the time Biggie was gunned down. I predict that she would have gotten fed up with Big’s creeping and tried to break away, but she would have encountered much resistance. You gotta believe Big loved having a wife and two or three mistresses on the side. The divorce would have been NASTY – and probably as ridiculous as that R. Kelly trial – and Faith’s musical career likely would have been destroyed in the process.
The Commission still wouldn’t have done anything
Biggie’s ill-fated supergroup – which would have included Jay-Z, Charli Baltimore, Puffy and Lil Cease, among others – never saw the light of day. But to think this group would have made an impact even if Biggie was still around would be foolish. Why not? Too many egos and different agendas. Plus, when has a supergroup EVER worked out? Remember The Firm? The Ja Rule, DMX and Jay-Z trio? Lil Kim and Foxy Brown’s Thelma and Louise thing? The Jay-Z and R. Kelly partnership? The Commission may have released an album, but even that’s doubtful.
Lil Kim would be even more crazy than she is now
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Kim fan, but the woman is the world’s biggest Biggie groupie. It’s embarrassing. They had a well-documented love-hate relationship and I think over time, Big would have gotten tired of Kim bugging him. In turn, she would become even more eccentric in an attempt to garner attention. You think Kim looks funny now? Imagine a world where Kim looks like this:
Jay-Z? More like AZ
This one’s a no-brainer. Jay-Z leaped into the gigantic shoes left by Biggie to become the top rapper in the game, and later parlayed that into an extremely successful business career. If Biggie was around, Jay would be nowhere near the force he is now. For you young’ns out there, let me keep it real for you – hardly anyone paid attention to Jay’s classic debut Reasonable Doubt until like 1998 or ’99, years after it was released. Poor Jay would be what AZ is to Nas – a respected rapper who never got out of the shadow of his superstar friend.
The Notorious S.L.I.M.
If Biggie made it to 2009, I’m willing to bet he’d be MUCH slimmer than when he left us. Last I heard, Big was close to 400 pounds when he died! I’m not saying he would look like LL Cool J but I think he’d trim down a bit, if for no other reason than to be able to, you know, MOVE. It’s hard to rock a crowd when you’re sitting on a bench in the middle of Madison Square Garden.
Music would still suck
I like to dream that if a rapper as skilled as Biggie was still making music, the so-called “greats” of today like Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne would be exposed as mediocre and the “Party Like A Rockstar” guys would be nonexistent. Unfortunately, that probably wouldn’t happen. Even with Biggie here, hip hop would still become commercialized, and therefore watered down. When the big-wig executives crown Soulja Boy as their golden goose it’s not much even Biggie could do, except jump on a track with him. And thank the Lord that Biggie isn’t around to have to deal with that.
What do you think the world would be like if Biggie was still around?