It’s been close to 20 years since hip hop lost one of its best representatives. Biggie Smalls died in 1997, but Puff Daddy’s Notorious B.I.G. tribute will momentarily bring the spirit of the rapper back to life. The Associated Press reported that Puff has announced a tribute concert for Notorious B.I.G. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn featuring Mary J Blige, Faith Evans, and the legendary Jay Z.
Puff Daddy’s Brooklyn concert will be held on May 20, the day before what would have been Biggie’s 44th birthday. Puff is promoting the event as a Bad Boy reunion, so expect to see more of the original Bad Boy label mates hit the stage in celebration of one of the greats.
Our way of celebrating Biggie is through his music, and so here are our picks for the top five most memorable songs he gave us while still making music.
“Once More Chance”
What made Biggie special was his ability to switch between gangster rap to rhyming on smooth R&B type beats like “One More Chance.” This is one of Biggie’s more understated classics.
“Biggie Biggie Biggie can’t you see, sometimes your words just hypnotize me.” That’s the beginning of one of the most famous Notorious B.I.G. choruses from one of the most popular Notorious B.I.G. songs. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and it puts you in a good mood every time.
“Who Shot Ya?”
Probably one of Biggie’s most polarizing songs, “Who Shot Ya?” played into the whole East Coast/West Coast beef as many people thought this song was aimed at friend turned rival Tupac Shakur. Both rappers would end up being murdered by gunshots.
“Ten Crack Commandments”
Before anything, Biggie was a gangster rapper, and no song demonstrated that more clearly than this one. But “Ten Crack Commandments” is also a nod to Biggie’s unique ability to make these hard tracks cross over into mainstream success.
This is when the world first heard Biggie on a mainstream level. “It was all a dream” is how Biggie starts off this track before going on to spit some of the hottest lyrics of any song before or since. This was the start of his legend—and what a start it was!
We can only remember Biggie through his music now, and for one night at Puff Daddy’s Notorious B.I.G. tribute on May 20, Biggie will live again.