TODAY MARKS 20 years since Notorious B.I.G. was shot and killed.
He was just 24 at the time of his death, but the Brooklyn-born rapper left an indelible mark on the music industry.
When he released his debut album Ready to Die in 1994, he became a central figure in the East Coast hip hop sceneand increased New York’s visibility in the genre at a time when West Coast hip hop was dominant in the mainstream.
The following year, he led his childhood friends to chart success through his protégé group, Junior M.A.F.I.A. While recording his second album, Biggie was heavily involved in the growing East Coast–West Coast hip hop feud.
His double-disc album Life After Death, released 16 days after his death, rose to No. 1 on the U.S. album charts and was certified Diamond in 2000, one of the few hip hop albums to receive this certification.
Considered one of the best artists in hip hop music, Wallace was described by AllMusic as “the savior of East Coast hip-hop”.
In 2003, when XXL magazine asked several hip hop artists to list their five favorite MCs, Wallace’s name appeared on more rappers’ lists than anyone else.
Rolling Stone has referred to him as the “greatest rapper that ever lived” and in 2015, Billboard named Wallace as the greatest rapper of all time.