#TBT: The World Remembers The Notorious B.I.G. on The 20th Anniversary of His Death
Sameer Rao/ Colorlines | 3/16/2017, midnight
Hip-hop fans took to social media to commemorate the late rapper, and the Tribeca Film Festival announced the April premiere of a new documentary on his former label, "Can't Stop, Won't Stop: The Bad Boy Story."
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:
20 years ago today we lost a hip hop legend. Gone but never forgotten. #RIPBIG #Biggie pic.twitter.com/B0iTfPbwUw
— Chianya (@iam_chianya) March 9, 2017
20 years ago today, a legend's life was taken away. We love you for life, Big Poppa #RIPBIG pic.twitter.com/pfLi2lxqiD
— Khalil (@kbyrd2) March 9, 2017
20 years ago today we lost Brooklyn's finest #RIPBIG pic.twitter.com/2mZ59VFLzk
— Genius (@Genius) March 9, 2017
And If You Don't Know, Now You Know #biggiesmalls #NotoriousBIG #bigpoppa #RIPBIG pic.twitter.com/iKW78k5bNP
— SK (@S4LM4K) March 9, 2017
The only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace!
20 years ago today we lost one of the greatest to ever touch a mic. #WeMissYouBIG #RIPBIG pic.twitter.com/hu3UVUCPVS
— Okayplayer (@okayplayer) March 9, 2017
The Notorious B.I.G. - Big Poppa #Classic #Throwbacks #HipHop #Rap #Music #RIPBIG pic.twitter.com/qQb1FuEaKr
— Classic Throwbacks (@OldSchoolSoul__) March 9, 2017
20 years ago today we lost the greatest rapper of all time, The Notorious B.I.G. #WeMissYouBIG pic.twitter.com/00ZEnOe8Vq
— Sean Diddy Combs (@diddy) March 9, 2017
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.