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 Bands A-Z: Notorious B.I.G.
 News Archive: Notorious B.I.G.

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 "I was a hustla and then boom! I was a rapper." ...

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 "What makes my flow so ill is that I just don't care: I will say anything." ...

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 "Once you achieve the success you want, that's when the playa hating starts." ...

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 "I found something I was good at and I'm just trying to keep it going."

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Biggie: Excerpts From The Life
Biggie: Excerpts From The Life
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Get Money

Busta Rhymes: My favorite memory of the Notorious B.I.G. ... when Big married Faith [Evans], he bought a crib in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, not too far from his mother's crib where he lived at. It was an old firehouse, [with a hole firemen used to] slide down when there was a fire. It was a crib like that. That crib was so big and massive, I ain't never seen nothing like that before in Brookyn. I saw the plush leather sofas, I don't think Big and Faith had a child yet.

"I guess the only low point is not being able to take care of everybody, because everybody ain't really doing all that good. Everybody's broke in the 'hood." — Biggie
Notorious B.I.G.: I guess the only low point is not being able to take care of everybody, because everybody ain't really doing all that good. Everybody's broke in the 'hood. I'mma style regardless, 'cause if I don't got it, I'mma get it. Everybody else can't do it, so that's just a low point, seeing other people that ain't doing as good as you. A high point is being able to travel. When you sittin' on the corner hustling, all you know is that corner and the areas around that corner. Going to different spots, you know, London and all over the United States, that was a high point.

DJ Clark Kent: Big's manager, Mark Pitts, and Puff was like, "C'mon Clark, you have to DJ for Big." I was like, "For him, I'll do whatever," 'cause I liked him. On tour with Big was one of the best touring experiences I had because all we did was laugh and do shows, and Big talked to me like I was his big brother. I was "Uncle Clark" on the road 'cause I was so much older than them. When I became the DJ for Big, there wasn't a real presence to it. I had already been on 10 different tours when I became his DJ. I had show-making experience people were like, "Oh sh--, he has a real DJ! He has joints!" And we put together perfect shows. We went hard at capitalizing off of how great he was.

Notorious B.I.G.: To me, I like the live stuff better than the stuff on the album 'cause stuff on the album seems more relaxed. You gotta have a certain tone, you know, Puff may be like, "Don't get too excited. Just chill, let it flow." But when you onstage, sweat pouring down I'm a big one too, sweat be drenching I be representing. I just be doing my thing. It's a lot for a big person to get on that stage and rip. You don't understand, man, 'cause we get tired quick. For real, man, we be breathing hard, it's real up there, man! Ask [Heavy D] and Chubb Rock and all them, it's real up there. So to see another big person get up there and burn it down, burn it down just as good as a skinny n---a, that's where you get the lucci from. Them shows, for real, that's the money. You got a hype show, everybody gonna wanna come see your joint and you get more money.

"He didn't really love 'Juicy' — the song a lot of people knew him for." — DJ Clark Kent
DJ Clark Kent: Before we went on tour, he would go to my studio and we would figure out what the show was gonna be like. There wasn't a real opening; Big would start a record, then maybe cut it off. He'd start "Juicy" and because he didn't really love "Juicy," he'll be like, "Cut that sh-- off" at the top of the song! You'd be like, "Wait a minute!" But that was because he really didn't love it. It's funny because I had to really get him to understand that people love that record he just had to do it. It took him getting booed a couple of times to make him understand that people love that record. You don't skip that to do "Warning" when they really love you for that. It was the first record a lot of them knew him for. His favorite song to perform on the road was probably the "One More Chance" remix oh, and "Me and My B---h." I used to change the music up and bring in the beat for [Zapp's] "Computer Love." It was fun, we would do a DJ routine. Who would imagine Big with a DJ routine?

Notorious B.I.G.: How do you learn? Rehearsals, I guess. You get your stuff planned, you know exactly what your DJ's gonna do, you know exactly where you gonna drop it, you know what to say, your partner knows what to say. You get your little lines ready for the crowd, your different ideas. You know, it's all a part of the game.

Friend Of Mine

Lil' Cease and B.I.G.
Lil' Cease: When Big started blowing up real large, you would always hear this and that about him. A lot of rumors were spread, but he was just a good, chill n---a! He was getting money, making music and he wanted to take care of his family. He wasn't really about all those rumors.

Notorious B.I.G.: You see things differently when you read magazines and you seeing everybody having fun you think, "OK, that's where I want to be." But once you get in it and you achieve the success that you want, it seems like that's when the playa hating starts. That's when everybody's like, "Well, it's not all that. He's not all that." I guess they just want it, you know what I'm saying? Sometimes when you stagnated and you can't really move to another level, that's the only thing you can do: complain or be jealous. I just want to get it myself. I was in a situation where I would see somebody with certain things that I want and I would just make moves to get it myself. I would never try to take somebody else's, because then it really wouldn't be mine if I took it from somebody else.

It's not just with rappers, people are gonna attack anybody that's a large figure. They did it to [Michael] Jordan, they did it to [Mike] Tyson, they did it to Bill Cosby they're gonna attack you if you're on top, and it's your job to bob and weave. I need the security: I can't beat everybody up, I'll go to jail. They'll sue me! There's certain things you do when you get to a certain level, you know what I'm saying? I'm just a real person: If you cool with me, I'm cool with you. I'm not the person with the attitudes or the grudges, or I'm not the person who judges somebody when I just meet 'em. If you cool with me, I'm cool with you. I just like to stay to myself and stay in my immediate family because I know those are the people I can trust and those are the people that know me inside and out, and I know them inside and out. I'm not really too accustomed to making too many new friends, but we can kick it.

"Big would have his daughter with him all the time." — Keith Murray
Keith Murray: I met Big on the set of Erick Sermon's "Hittin' Switches" video 'cause Puff directed it. Me and Big would kick it, I would go to Brooklyn and check him, me and my cousin would hop out of the Acuras on Gates Avenue, Flatbush Avenue. Big would have his daughter with him all the time. She was real little. He would always stay close to his daughter. Sometimes me and Big would jump in the AC [Acura], go the club in Manhattan, chill. We would figure out our similarities. We realized we both was Geminis. Him and Cease was always together. We'd just click. Big was an official n---a, yo. We'd sit there and talk about the business and the concerns of us reaping the benefits. He'd always look out for people. He was a real giving, humble, loving guy. He'd give his last, make sure everybody was right. He took care of people.

Notorious B.I.G.: I got a group called Junior M.A.F.I.A. signed to Big Beat/ Atlantic. Me and my man Un [executive Lance "Un" Rivera] got our people together and we making music. They about to drop this summer [1995]. That's my little golden eggs right there. I'm trying to blow that up.

DJ Clark Kent: We made the Junior M.A.F.I.A. [album] on a tour bus. I gave Big a CD of beats. He kept one for himself, that was "Sky's the Limit." It was a year-and-a-half, two-year wait for him to make that song. And it was so many rappers coming up to me saying, "I want that beat! I want that beat!" We had "Player's Anthem" and "Get Money" coming out. We was on the road and "Player's Anthem" Big kept listening to the beat, listening to the beat, and finally he was like, "Come on, let's go home." We went home and went right to the studio off the road and to the studio. He called Un, said, "Book some studio time, we doing this record tonight." We did it and went right to the club with it. The next morning, we finished everybody's vocals. We test-pressed it up at a mastering lab and took it to the Tunnel [night club in New York] that night. Big Kapp played it, and that was it. He played it 10 times 'cause it was Big and nobody'd heard it. The Tunnel was nasty that night! A couple of weeks later, Jay-Z was like, "You never gave me that beat." I was like, "You had that first!" Every beat I had, Jay got it first. LL Cool J passed on it. LL saw me another time in the Tunnel and he was like, "Why you ain't never give me nothing like that?!" I was like, "I did but that proves you don't listen to beats."

NEXT: 'I found something I was good at and I'm just trying to keep it going.' ...
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Photo: Bad Boy/ MTV News

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