The Notorious B.I.G.’s MTV Interviews: A Look Back

Thirteen years after B.I.G.'s death, we look back on his life as hip-hop's brightest star.

Tuesday (March 9) is a day not to mourn, but to celebrate the life and legacy of one of music’s most gifted artists: the Notorious B.I.G.

His voice, his flow, his rhymes, his swag — whatever you wanted, B.I.G. had it to offer. He could tell stories, battle it out, ignite the party or kick game to the ladies. Christopher Wallace was made for rap.

We didn’t get much time with Biggie. He put out his first album in 1994, and he died in early 1997 before the release of his second LP (Life After Death). Due to his work ethic, however, we have a catalog of timeless music that is often imitated, never duplicated. As mesmerizing as a Biggie song was, part of his allure as an artist was his charming personality. He’s a rare breed that could capture the wit and magnetism in his offstage persona and bring it to his music.

Here, we are taking you back into our vaults to relive Biggie’s best MTV interviews. He was candid and thoughtful as he spoke about the inspiration for his music, his stage performance and much more.

On Tuesday night, Diddy is going to celebrate the life of his friend and marquee artist at Brooklyn club the Lab.

“We’re trying to make March 9th a national hip-hop holiday,” Diddy told MTV News last week. “It already is, on the low. MTV is going to have a big special. We’re doing a party. I’m going to Brooklyn. It’s gonna be the first time I’m throwing a party in Brooklyn. I’m from Harlem. Everybody in Harlem knows you don’t usually go over the bridge to Brooklyn. It’s a big, big deal. Me being such a Harlemite, I’m going over there to pay respect to my man. It’s gonna be a big party in Brooklyn with Mister Cee. It’s a big day. It’s a day to celebrate his life. It’s a day to celebrate the life of the man. We done did the movie, the records. It’s something that, I guess, as a label we’re obsessed with: making sure people don’t forget about this man in a positive way. March 9 is Biggie Day. … Bump Biggie all day, feel good and positive.”

On Tuesday, MTV Jams will be playing videos by B.I.G. and a slew of other fallen musical soldiers, such as Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Aaliyah, Big Pun, the Lost Boyz and their deceased member Freaky Tah and Camoflauge. This week’s “Sucker Free Sunday” on MTV2 is running a special tribute to Biggie, hosted by Diddy.