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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."

Photos of Big with Diddy, Lil' Kim and more

 Notorious B.I.G.: Still The Illest

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Biggie: Excerpts From The Life
Biggie: Excerpts From The Life

Brooklyn's Finest

Mark Pitts: During Junior M.A.F.I.A. and making the Lil' Kim album, going into Life After Death, that was a new Big. In the beginning he was trying to figure [the rap game] out. Even making his records on Ready to Die, it's a lot of joints he didn't want to do, like "Juicy." During the Junior M.A.F.I.A. phase, he got more of taste of [the rap game], and he was hands-on, doing it on his own. His confidence level was up. He couldn't wait to get in there. He took control, he knew what he wanted to do. He was focused.

  Frank White Meets the King of New York?

Notorious B.I.G.'s most popular alias will always be "Big" or "Biggie," but another one he popularized was "Frank White." White, of course, was the name of the character Christopher Walken bought to life in the film "King of New York." In real life, hip-hop fans in the Big Apple gave Biggie the keys and crown to the city, so it was only fitting he'd have a regal nickname. In the film which recently received tribute in Fat Joe's "So Much More" clip Walken played a drug kingpin seeking redemption after being released from several years of incarceration in Sing-Sing Prison. Along the way, he gets back into the streets with his crew (Laurence Fishburne plays his right-hand man) and tangles with rival dealers as well as police (one of the officers was played by a young Wesley Snipes).

While "The Black Frank White" and the original Frank White never met, they almost did.

"We were in L.A.," remembers Big's longtime friend and former Junior M.A.F.I.A. member Damien "D-Roc" Butler. "Christopher Walken called Big's hotel room and left a message on our answering machine. Big was trying to reach out to him to get him in his 'Hypnotized' video. Walken left a message like, 'This is the real King of New York call me.' He left his number and everything. Walken was real cool."
He always felt the Junior M.A.F.I.A. album could have been even bigger. He was proud of what went on. That was just the beginning. He was on top of the Junior M.A.F.I.A., he was focused on Kim, Cease and all the individuals. Every part of that group represented a different part of his personality. Kim represented one side, then you had the Snakes and so forth. It was just the beginning. Kim's album, I think he enjoyed that the most because he put his heart and soul in there with Kim, but he showed his vision from a different standpoint. Making his records is one thing, making records with the Junior M.A.F.I.A. is one thing, but focusing on Kim and tapping into that side from the eyes of a woman, that was bigtime for him.

Notorious B.I.G.: [I'm] pumpin' up Bad Boy. We want that label to stand tall forever. As long as I'm with the label, I'm gonna keep it hard, for real. Anything else that come outta here could come outta here. But on my corner: hardcore lyrics, dope deliveries and raw stories.

The new stories we coming up with now are crazy. Recently, I'm just trying to rip the hardest, hardest rhymes; I wanna be the hardest MC. That's my goal: When somebody hear a new B.I.G. joint, they gonna be like, "That joint is sooo hard, yo." I did the story thing before and it came across, [so for] the next album, I'm gonna do it again. But for real, I just want to focus the attention on the lyrics the hardcore flows and delivery, you know, just trying to keep that notch. My album is Life After Death, it's a double CD.

Mark Pitts: I think it was Puff's idea to make it a double CD. When you go in and start working and get into a zone and get to a point of where you don't know what to take off the album, that's where that comes about. Big would get into his zone. It was effortless. That's why he kept on flowing. We know during the process, he was feeling real good about it. I know he loved "Kick in the Door." "You're Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You)." Those were joints he definitely loved. He felt it was a better piece of work than Ready to Die.

Notorious B.I.G.: It's to another level, it's some of the best work I've ever done, in my opinion. I just try to do my thing. We got songs like "Notorious Thugs" with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. "I'm Loving You Tonight" with R. Kelly. "Long Kiss Goodnight," produced by the RZA. "You're Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You)." "I'm Coming Out" ["Mo Money Mo Problems"] with Mase and Puff. It's a beautiful thing. We're just gonna keep trying to feed our families, yo. I found something I was good at and I'm just trying to flip it, keep it going. I ain't trying to slack at all. Just represent for my peoples, my borough and my family, and I'm a'ight. I just want to let everybody know: I'm here, I ain't going nowhere, Bad Boy ain't going nowhere. I'm going to continue to make those songs, though. Make you dance and make you groove and have kids. I'm here, me and my man Cease. We gonna do our thing forever and ever.

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Photo: Bad Boy/ MTV News

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