March 19 [8:50 EST] — Fans and rap figures flocked to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Fort Greene on Tuesday to pay their last respects to late rapper Biggie Smalls.
The body of the Notorious B.I.G. (clad in a white suit and wearing a white hat) lay in state at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home on Manhattan’s upper east side.
Then Biggie’s body traveled via hearse through the streets of Fort Greene (the rapper’s old neighborhood) in a funeral procession designed to give fans a chance to say good-bye to the performer.
The procession was generally peaceful until the end, when some onlookers got rowdy, and police began spraying mace. When the dust cleared, ten people had been arrested (including a “New York Times” reporter), and many onlookers were reportedly accusing police
of using excessive force.
Following the procession, the body of Biggie Smalls was reportedly cremated.
Meanwhile, “The Los Angeles Times” reported that Biggie’s killing on March 9 had nothing to do with any sort of East Coast-West Coast rap feud. Rather the paper reports that the murder was the result of a financial dispute between Biggie and his alleged killer, whom the “Times” identified as a member of the “Southside Crips,” a branch of the notorious street gang based in Compton, California.
Compton Police documents say that this sub-set of the Los Angeles Crips had been hired to provide security for Biggie Smalls during past West Coast visits, and the alleged killer reportedly felt he had been shortchanged by the rapper in an unspecified transaction that took place months ago.
The “Times” says that Biggie “had been warned during recent weeks that his life would be in danger if he did not pay the alleged killer.”