Thursday, March, 9 marks the 20th anniversary of The Notorious B.I.G.’s death and, as expected, fans have gathered online to remember one of the greatest rappers of all time.
Born Christopher Wallace in Brooklyn, New York, Biggie Smalls launched his career with the 1994 semi-autobiographical debut “Ready to Die,” which saw commercial success from the singles “Juicy,” “Big Poppa,” “Warning” and “Once More Chance.” It was his only studio album that was released during his lifetime as he was murdered days before his sophomore release, “Life After Death,” dropped three years later.
During an appearance at the 1997 Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles, Biggie presented an award to Toni Braxton in what would become his last public appearance. On March 9, 1997, the 24-year-old rapper was gunned down in a drive-by shooting after leaving an afterparty for the ceremony and the murder is still unsolved.
Online, fans remembered B.I.G. and his music, which proved successful even after his death and influenced rappers like Jay Z, Nas, 50 Cent, Fabolous, Big Sean and Rick Ross.
the only christopher we acknowledge is wallace#RIPBiggieSmalls #RIPBIG
— Ai… (@A_iwantyou) March 9, 2017
To fully appreciate The Notorious BIG's run you had to be there. It was something magical in the air. From freestyles to his albums.
— No Relation, Esq. (@TheCosby) March 9, 2017
🎶In mansions and benzes givin ends to my friends and it feels stupendous 🎶 #RIPBIG
— Shea Butta Baby (@Cheekie_B) March 9, 2017
Several tweeted about what the state of hip-hop and rap would be like if Biggie, who has several posthumous releases — including an upcoming one with widow Faith Evans — was still alive.
#RIPBIG 20 years ….rap would have more quality if he was alive #TruePoet
— LP the Wave (@loco_pitelli) March 9, 2017
Damn, can't believe it's been 20 years. The rap game would be far different today if Biggie were still alive. #RIPBIG #BiggieSmalls pic.twitter.com/CDLH7qRyUe
— Alexandra Capotorto (@itsmealexandra) March 9, 2017
Others dove into theories about the MC’s murder.
It's been 20 years since LAPD fake investigated his murder #RIPBIG
— Sam Zee (@SamZComedy) March 9, 2017
20 years ago today
Puff & Biggie leave Vibe party in separate cars
Puff's car is in front
Puff's car runs red light
Seconds later.. pic.twitter.com/h0zto92iGv
— Steven James (@TheLaunchMag) March 9, 2017
Celebrities, including the late performer’s friends and family, also memorialized him.
— Diddy (@Diddy) March 9, 2017
Still missing you 20 years later 😪😢♥️😘💋 #ripBIG #BIGWeekend pic.twitter.com/YuhSlD2tzx
— Lil' Kim (@LilKim) March 10, 2017
The illest… It's been 20 years, wow. #NotoriousBIG #RIPBIG pic.twitter.com/IYf9D05tXR
— Anthony Hamilton Official (@HamiltonAnthony) March 9, 2017
Biggie, the Notorious B.I.G., was killed 20 years ago today. Here in Hip Hop Brooklyn, this is always a day of mourning… #biggie20years pic.twitter.com/eL5stL8xcF
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) March 9, 2017