Image via Up North Trips

Abe Beame would like to pay his respects….

The following is a list of Knicks who could’ve served as the possible victim in the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Story to tell”: Doug Christie, Hubert Davis, Ron Grandison, Derek Harper, Doc Rivers, Anthony Mason, Allan Houston, Chris Jent and Larry Johnson.

Why does the last song on the first disc of Biggie’s final album — a crime story about robbing a professional athlete after fucking his girlfriend in said athlete’s crib — come off with such warmth? Ostensibly, it’s a dark, sad story about abandon and recklessness, delivered in a way that makes the asshole protagonist come off as a loveable trickster. And yet it comes off as irreverent parable.

“A Story to Tell”  is a fairly straightforward, Too Short-like tale of a player on the creep. His eye for detail is characteristically immaculate and we’re along for every nearly incredulous moment of self congratulation — as Biggie basks in the accomplishment of fucking and getting high with a basketball wife. The coup de gras comes at the end, when after relating the tale in verse, he retells it almost verbatim at the table, while his boys cheer him on appreciatively.

Tupac Shakur once urged we picture him rolling in the afterlife. For Pac this took the form of driving around in a convertible, his middle finger raised towards authority. When I picture Christopher Wallace “rolling,” it’s in this manner. I like to imagine him in a room at a small table surrounded by friends, the congenial smartest guy in the room basking in the ancient and immediate joy of a tale well told.

MP3: The Notorious B.I.G. – “I Got a Story to Tell”