It’s been 20 years since hip-hop lost one of the greatest rappers to pick up a microphone. The Notorious B.I.G.’s impact on the culture transcended all traditional elements within hip-hop. Not only was he a potent MC, but Biggie re-shaped the way we viewed rap stars.
During the early ’90s The Bad Boy label burst onto the scene with a new sound that brought an element of fun and excitement to the genre that was relatively missing from East Coast rap at the time. And with Biggie at the forefront of that movement, Brooklyn had its crown jewel setting the standard for what a rap giant looked and sounded like. Draped in Versace sweaters and Gucci shades, Big merged the worlds of fashion, flare and style with the grimy grit that hip-hop culture was founded on.
Bed Stuy’s own showed the world that you could not only be highly skilled at crushing an instrumental with a vivid story of surviving in a world filled with drugs and violence, but you could look good doing it as well. So in celebration of this late, great MC, VH1 rounded up some of fashion’s most trusted tastemakers to weigh in on Big’s impact on hip-hop culture from a style perspective. Along for the ride is one of music’s most stylish and fashion-forward artists, Jidenna, who also gave us an expert opinion from the other side of the spectrum.