With all respect due to J Dilla, Biggie may very well be the only musician whose death truly hit me on an emotional level. Maybe it’s junior high nostalgia or East coast bias but year after year, I rock all black on March 9th and pay my respects to an artist taken in the prime of his life who had so much left to give to the world. How can you not wonder what Hip-Hop would have been like had he never gone to L.A? Forget wild speculation about Jay-Z’s rise (woulda happened) or Hip-Hop’s direction (woulda been the same) but imagine for a second how much iller your favorite songs would have been with Big Poppa spitting a 16. Big Pimpin. Made You look. Hate it or Love It. Touch the Sky. The possibilities are ridiculous.
You’ve already got the man’s discography and I abhor the “Weekend at Bernie’s” shit that Puff’s been on since 97 so no useless links, but here’s the pseudo-rarity “Modern Day Gangstas” over a vintage Jay Dee beat just for the hell of it. Too often, rapper death anniversaries feel like an excuse to say something trite and reminisce (yes the irony is delicious, thank you) but this is the one such occasion where the sentiment feels genuine rather than forced, so I’ll shut up and get back to bumping my copy of Life After Death.