It’s been two decades since Christopher George Latore Wallace was gunned down on the streets of Los Angeles, and frankly, hip-hop has never been the same.
But there was Life After Death, and in the ensuing years Biggie’s legacy has transcended music, making him a true pop-culture icon.
In an era where everyone with a decent single and a couple thousand Instagram followers is considered a “legend,” The Notorious B.I.G. rises above all of them. His pair of classic albums, matchless delivery, endless array of punchlines and larger-than-life presence – Big Poppa essentially fathered modern rap.
It’s almost unfathomable that an entire generation of rap fans have no direct connection to the true rap G.O.A.T. So, let’s put them up on game.
We all know Big’s trademark tracks. “Juicy,” “Hypnotize,” “Big Poppa,” “One More Chance Remix” – their lyrics are embedded in rap lexicon. But let’s look at Biggie’s most overlooked verses from songs that even the most knowledgeable hip-hop fans may have missed.
Tracey Lee featuring The Notorious B.I.G., “Keep Your Hands High” (1997)
BIG bars: “I got a new mouth to feed, I’m due south with keys/Y’all pick seeds out y’all weed, I watch cowards bleed/Motherf***er please, it’s my block with my rocks/F*** the hip-hop, them one-two’s and it don’t stop”
Da Brat featuring Jermaine Dupri and The Notorious B.I.G., “Da B Side Remix” (1996)
BIG bars: “Yeah, you on my s*** list, Biggie burns spliffs/When I’m pissed, release the Rolex from your wrist/N****, no human being, Korean or European/Be seein’ what Big be seein’, I leave ’em peein’”
Shaquille O’Neal featuring The Notorious B.I.G., “Can’t Stop the Reign” (1996)
BIG bars: “Any place I visit, I got land there/How can players stand there and say I sound like them? Hello!/Push wigs back and push 6 coupes that’s yellow/Bust clips that expand from hand to elbow/Spray up your Day’s Inn, any telly you’re in/Crack bagging to sick of bragging of how my mink be dragging/Desert E’s street sweepers inside the Beamer wagon”
Junior M.A.F.I.A. featuring The Notorious B.I.G. and Jamal, “Realms of Junior M.A.F.I.A.” (1995)
BIG bars: “I got that venom rhyme like Sprite got lemon lime/Donna Karen dime, keep her hair done all the time/My rhymes, somewhat Shakespearean, blood I’m smearin’ in/Tongue-kissin’ my lawyer, at my hearin’”
Heavy D featuring Tru Kula and The Notorious B.I.G., “Jam Session” (1993)
BIG bars: “I’m stripping like Scottie Pippen giving the serious butt kicking/Breaking bones like Karl Malone, yeah I’m flippin’/Or Isaiah, say ya prayer when I step into your lair”
The Notorious B.I.G., “The Wickedest” (freestyle)
BIG bars: “Got it locked like the penitentiary/N****s mention me for MC execution/Who ya choosin, the wack MC/Or the Black Fat MC/Jack Dempsey will start shaking/All it’s taking, is some marijuana and I’m making/MCs break fast, like flap-jacks and bacon”
Neneh Cherry featuring The Notorious B.I.G., “Buddy X Remix” (1993)
BIG bars: “Some honeys says I’m lovely but Neneh says I’m wicked/Look at you you ain’t no better/Walking around in your tight sweater, your long leather/You and your friends always together/No time for the B-I-G, so I’m O-U-T/The sex was great but the headaches I can’t take/I think I made a very big mistake”
Super Cat featuring Third Eye, Puff Daddy and The Notorious B.I.G., “Dolly My Baby Remix” (1993)
BIG bars: “Super Cat pass the Glock, uh, I see you shivering/Check the flavor Biggie Smalls is delivering/Lyrical lyricist flowing lyrics out my larynx/Chubby competitor, quick to kick a chump in the chest/Yes, it’s Bad Boy, hard to the core/LAWWD! Me can’t take it no more”
The L.O.X. featuring The Notorious B.I.G., “You’ll See” (1996)
BIG bars: “Jet skiing in the Caribbean, white sands/Discussing plans with my mans/Dark blue land, smoke tint chrome rims and system/That leaves my rear views tremblin’/What you gonna do when poppa catch an attitude?/Drop to your knees and show gratitude”
What are you favorite underrated Biggie verses? Share them below.