One of the most tragic moments in hip-hop history was the 1997 murder of Notorious B.I.G., whose young life and promising career was ended at the tender age of 24 in a hail of gunfire. VH1’s Behind The Music: Notorious B.I.G. looks back at the humble beginnings of Brooklyn bred rapper whose two album catalog— Ready to Die and Life After Death— led to his worldwide acclaim. Due to the lyricism present on these LPs, he has earned a place among the greatest rappers of all time.
In this special sneak peek at the latest episode of Behind The Music, which airs tomorrow night at 9 p.m. ET/PT, the Notorious B.I.G.’s mother, Voletta Wallace, is shown holding on to the fond memories of her only child. In rare footage, a young Biggie raps on his block to a swelling crowd of admirers. Big may have found his gift in rhyming, but it wasn’t enough to keep him away from toting guns and selling cocaine in his poverty stricken Bed-Stuy neighborhood. Fortunately, the streets never deterred him from making music.
At 17, Big started making demo tapes with his DJ friend 50 Gran. Mister Cee, an acclaimed DJ from New York’s influential Hot 97 radio station, heard the demo and passed it along to Matty C from The Source magazine. Thanks to a profile they ran shortly thereafter, Sean “Puffy” Combs took an interest in the young kid, and the rest is, well, history. Friends, family and those influential in shaping Biggie’s career tell the hilarious, good, bad and sad stories of their friend gone too soon.
You can watch Behind the Music: Notorious B.I.G tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.