This week in 1997, rapper the Notorious B.I.G. was paid final respects by Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Lil' Kim and other hip-hop stars at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home on New York City's upper east side. Biggie's body, clad in a white suit and hat, was then driven from Manhattan through his old Brooklyn neighborhood of Fort Greene, a journey that went smoothly until some Brooklyn onlookers began jumping on top of cars. Police used pepper spray and arrested six for disorderly conduct.
There seemed to be a potential breakthrough in the investigation into the murder of Tupac Shakur that same week. MTV News obtained a 29-page document provided by police in Compton, California, which was attached to a motion filed in court by attorneys for Death Row Records chief Suge Knight. The document revealed that only days after the shooting of Shakur in Las Vegas in September 1996, cops already had the name of a man gang informants said pulled the trigger, a man by the name of Orlando Anderson.
(While Anderson remained the prime suspect for some time, no hard evidence ever materialized and formal charges were never brought against him. In May 1998, Anderson was shot to death in Compton. Shakur's killer has never been found.)
Life can be pretty glamorous when you're the U.K.'s pop ambassadors to the world. It's all Concorde trips across the Atlantic, first-class accommodations and champagne-toasted #1 hits. And then there's spring break. This week in 1997, the Spice Girls invaded Panama City, Florida, to check out the debauched action.
"Sand, sun, sea perfect," Mel B. said.
"Sex," Mel C. added.
The Spice Girls talked a lot about girl power back in the day ...
"Female power's number one!" a male reveler declared.
"Girls are awesome," a young woman added.
"It's just about being confident in yourself and deciding what you want and going for it," Mel B. said of the group's motto.
MTV News' John Norris proceeded to ask some spring breakers if they had a favorite Spice Girl.
"I love them all," one guy said. "I wanna be all their lovers."
"The Spice Girls is crazy," said rapper Warren G, who was hanging with the Spicy Ones at spring break. "They cool but they crazy."
At a time when pure pop was making a big resurgence, many wondered where wrinkling rockers Aerosmith could fit in on the music scene. At a special Nine Lives listening party in New York for their biggest fans, the group's Steven Tyler and Tom Hamilton talked about just that.
"What I like about this record is that we got closer to what we started out with," Hamilton said. "We'll just have to see what people think, if they wish it was techno or whatever the latest, cool thing is to be."
"I think a band gets in trouble when they start seeing doctors of thinkology and overthinking things," Tyler added. "Dare we do that or we'll get a bad name, let's stay true to our roots. So we just did what we did."
Aerosmith's first video from Nine Lives, for the single "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)," was the first in a while lacking the pure teen touches once provided by Alicia Silverstone and Tyler's daughter Liv. So where were they?
"They want too much money now," Tyler said. "Liv is way out, you know she wants a million dollars. That's what a video costs. I asked her and she said, 'Fuggedaboudit.' "
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