Christopher Wallace, better known as Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls, is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential rappers of all time. He was born on May 21, 1972, in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.
Biggie's music career began in the early 1990s when he was discovered by Sean "Puffy" Combs, who signed him to his record label, Bad Boy Records. In 1994, Biggie released his debut album, "Ready to Die," which was a critical and commercial success. The album's gritty lyrics and vivid storytelling, combined with Biggie's distinctive flow and deep voice, made it an instant classic.
The album's lead single, "Juicy," became a crossover hit and helped to establish Biggie as a mainstream rap artist. Other popular tracks from the album included "Big Poppa," "One More Chance," and "Warning." "Ready to Die" was certified platinum and earned Biggie a nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 1995 Grammy Awards.
Despite his success, Biggie's personal life was plagued by legal troubles and violence. He was arrested multiple times on drug and weapons charges and involved in several altercations with rival rappers and other members of the hip-hop community.
In 1995, Biggie released a collaboration album with Junior M.A.F.I.A., a group of rappers from Brooklyn who were mentored by Biggie. The album, titled "Conspiracy," featured the hit single "Get Money" and helped to further solidify Biggie's status as a rap superstar.
In 1997, Biggie released his second album, "Life After Death." The album was released just weeks after his untimely death and was a massive commercial success. It featured the hit singles "Hypnotize" and "Mo Money Mo Problems," as well as collaborations with a number of other prominent rap artists, including Jay-Z and Lil' Kim.
Biggie's tragic death on March 9, 1997, at the age of just 24, was a shock to the hip-hop community and the music world at large. He was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles just months after the murder of his rival, Tupac Shakur.
Despite his brief career, Biggie's impact on rap music was immense. He was known for his unique storytelling ability, his vivid descriptions of life in the inner city, and his ability to effortlessly switch between different flows and cadences. He was also a master of the "double entendre," using clever wordplay to deliver his rhymes.
Biggie's influence can be heard in the work of countless other rappers who have followed in his footsteps, and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of rap music. His legacy has been celebrated in numerous documentaries, books, and films, and his music continues to be played and enjoyed by fans around the world.
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