Thursday, March 10, 2011
Fourteen years ago yesterday, I was at Alexis Maule's house on the South Side of Chicago in her downstairs TV room, and MTV had the breaking news that Christopher Wallace, better known to us as The Notorious B.I.G., had been killed. This was only a handful of months after Tupac Shakur's murder, and two years after Selena's, and to date, those had been the only musicians whose deaths had shook my young self up. I remember the news about Biggie being the most shocking to me, however. Mostly because I had just started really listening to hip-hop seriously and Ready to Die in particular. Childhood me liked Pac alright, but not the way I liked Big. Not at all. As a 25 year-old, I could give you a concise and complex reasoning as to why I prefer him over Shakur, and some of those reasons would be lyrical prowess, cadence in his flow, overall production quality, growth as an artist over time (albeit short, for both) and contributions to the soundtrack of my life. But as a kid, who just knew she loved music that she loved, and had only the tiniest, babiest inkling of why, it was all about resonance. Not resonance as in, I understand, I too have Everyday Struggles, but more like, this music makes me feel something that I have never felt before. Simple and pure. Naturally, emotional response plays the largest part in my draw to any music to this day, as I believe it should for all, but when I was young, that was all there was. And that was all that mattered.
Anyways. Here's a fantastic piece from ego trip's "Chairman" Jeff(erson) Mao, written for The Source for their April 1997 issue. A few weeks after it hit the stands, Biggie was gone. Really great article. Makes me wish I had been born several years earlier.
The Notorious B.I.G. RIP: Final Source Magazine Interview [egotripland.com]