The Notorious B.I.G. would have turned 43 today. Gone so soon but continuing to live on in the heart of so many hip hop fans. When Christopher Wallace was discovered by Sean “Puffy” Combs in 1992 he quickly reached success and before any one knew it. He was the biggest name in hip hop and has gone down in history as one of the greatest rappers of all-time after leaving us at just 24 years old.

His debut album Ready to Die reached gold certification in just two months and hit double platinum just a year after its release. It is ranked number 133 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time and an argument can be made that it should be higher. The album’s second single “Big Poppa” was nominated for a Grammy in 1996.

Biggie Smalls was the premier East Coast hip hop artist and is regarded as its “savior.” He is truly one of the first East Coast rappers to have such major mainstream success. His lyrical and rhyming skills were second to none and his ability to make complex and fast rhymes sound so smooth makes it hard to find a song of his that you don’t like. Biggie was one of the first solo rappers to prove that you can make it out of a dangerous and troubled upbringing and find success by making music.

The Source Magazine has named Biggie the greatest rapper of all time and MTV ranked him number 3 on their list of The Greatest MCs of All Time. He is most definitely at the top of my list and I know he’s at the top of the list for any logical hip hop fan. Though Biggie has been gone for eighteen years now, you can be sure that his legacy will continue to live on as long as hip hop is prevalent.

Author: Thomas.Z ~ Contributing editor