By Medea Giordano
It’s March 9, 1997. Rapper Notorious B.I.G was leaving a music industry party in Los Angeles. The 24-year-old was seated in the passenger side of a Suburban when a car pulled up alongside of it and shot several times. It was the second drive-by murder of a rapper in six months, the first being Tupac, who was a known rival of Biggie. It has been speculated that both their deaths were a result of their bicoastal feud.
Two weeks later, Biggie’s second album, “Life After Death,” was released.
Most of the students at Hofstra were aged three to six or seven at the time of his death and probably had never heard his music at that point. But ask almost any student today who he is, and they’ll know. His music has continued to entertain fans and inspire musicians throughout the 17 years that he has been gone.
Sean “Diddy” Combs, who worked with Biggie in the ’90s, reflected on his friend’s passing back in December: “Words can’t really describe it,” Diddy said. “You know? He’s really the foundation of like almost everything I’ve done musically. He made me believe in the impossible. Cause hearing him rap it was just — I was hearing something that I couldn’t believe I was hearing. So, it made me push the limits of what I was doing musically and as a producer. You know, he’s constantly a muse of what I strive to be and he’s the definition of greatness.”
Biggie may have rapped the words, “You're nobody 'til somebody kills you,” but he was somebody before his untimely murder and will remain one of the biggest names in hip hop for years to come. Forever notorious.