Memory Lane: Remember when we hated B.I.G?

Biggie

When B.I.G and Pac died it seem all the beef they had with rappers have died with them. That’s not a bad thing by the way, it’s just that if Biggie was here the Hip Hop world would have been crazy. Most radio heads from back then have no idea how the streets were getting a bit tired of the watered down stuff Biggie was being linked to. You have to understand no one had any idea Life After Death was gonna be so gangsta. So the streets were hearing the watered down beats and not as rugged bars.

Every shot taken at Biggie wasn’t as up front as what Ghostface did on the purple tape or Jeru on “One Day” and the fact that Jeru used the same sample as “Players Anthem” for his song “Playin Ya Self” made his issue with Biggie more obvious. Many weren’t really touched on at all like what De La Soul were saying all over the States Is High album or the shot those in the BCC (Boot Camp Clik) were takin shots at Biggie. And it was only a rumor back then about Nas throwing jabs at Biggie. Truth is many rappers were going at Biggie not just the ones I named. Some out of jealously because he was making that transition from underground to mainstream with ease and still keeping a nice grip on what the streets loved about him. Some just didn’t think he deserved all the praise he was getting back then. Some thought he was tearing the culture apart and making Hip Hop look bad with Big Willie movement that as I’ve said was more in his videos because Ready To Die wasn’t about that at all. That became Big during the remix to “One More Chance” and the Junior M.A.F.I.A album. I like to think that group of people were somewhat fusing Biggie with Diddy and the more pop sound Diddy was going for before Biggie passed. I mean would the “Mo Money Mo Problems” video had looked like it did if Biggie was alive? Could you picture Biggie in a shiny suit?

As good as say the “One More Chance remix” was it still was aimed at the females. The singles off of the Junior M.A.F.I.A album were watered down. Those radio heads have no idea about the songs Biggie did with Tracy Lee or the now classic first time connection with Jay – Z. So when we saw Biggie on BET, MTV and heard him on the radio the songs were not bad but just soft. Mixtapes were huge then and BET and radio was still playing good Hip Hop so people were dismissing what Biggie was doing back then to a degree. I mean an unknown to the public Mase almost outshined Biggie on the 112 remix for “Only You”, and Mase verse wasn’t that dope at all plus the Biggie verse was the same verse from the original. Even on “Mo Money Mo Problems” Biggie verse wasn’t the highlight it should have been. Yeah it looked like Biggie was falling off to anyone on the hood level. Add that to the fact Jay – Z was getting love, Nas and The Firm was all over mixtapes ( Clue mxtapes most of the time), The Wu Tang Clan was still the shit hood wise, Smooth Da Hustler was making a nice run in the game then too. Biggie was barely making the mixtapes rounds back then and back then a mixtape was an underground thing and if a rapper doesn’t get his songs on there or even shows up to set the tape off with a freestyle then that rapper is no longer part of the “real Hip Hop” world.

What Life After Death did give us was Biggie acknowledging those who threw shots his way. Nas claims “Kick In the Door” was about him and listening back I can hear that because Nas was grimy in the early 90’s and became successful out the blue with It Was Written. DJ Premier and Lil Cease confirmed that that same song was also used to address Jeru. Biggie had lines weaved in for the Wu Tang Clan too. Even as he addressed his beef with Pac it really was playful with exception of “Long Kiss Goodnight”. So imagine if Biggie was still here and he started going on Clue and or Kay Slay mixtapes during the late 90’s and early 2000’s? An added feud with anyone during the time Jay and Nas were beefing Ja Rule and 50, KRS and Nelly, Jermaine Dupri and Dre, Ludachris and T.I. Could the third album have had a “Takeover” “Ether” type track on it? That could truly put the beef out there and possibly ruined a career or the rapper he was aiming at would have done damage to his career. I remember how Life After Death made me a fan of Biggie again because I for one did think he was losing his grip on the hood. The Difference between me and many other people who do remember those years between 95’ through 97’ is I will admit Biggie was off and on for me. I am so glad that Biggie dropped a solid second/last album and it had more bangers than those radio attempts on it. It showed Biggie was still about Hip Hop. Still before that album dropped it wasn’t just MC’s beefing with Biggie, we as fans had an issue with him too. If you say you didn’t back then you might be fromBrooklyn or a radio head.

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