By Maurice Bobb
The Lox said it best: we’ll always love Big Poppa. Today (May 21) would have been the Notorious B.I.G.’s 41st birthday and even though he was taken from us all too soon in a fatal 1997 shooting at the age of 24, Biggie made an indelible mark in hip-hop history and bred countless acolytes who mimicked his lyrically and stylistically superior flow.
Even now, some 16 years later, fans still remember and appreciate the intricate wordplay and thematic rhymes the iconic Brooklyn rapper brought to the game. Industry peers and fans alike took to Twitter to pay homage to Christopher Wallace and pay their respects with playlists, well wishes and, of course, a litany of hip-hop quotables from his incredibly memorable and recitable discography.
Happy birthday BIG! instagram.com/p/ZlNjLfpl3i/— Diddy (@iamdiddy) May 21, 2013
Happy Born Day To My Man, BROOKLYN's Own Christopher George Latore Wallace, The Greatest Rapper EVER The Notorious B.I.G. (I Miss You C-Dub)— DJ CLARK KENT (@DJClarkKent) May 21, 2013
Happy born day to the best that ever did it. The Notorious Glorious Christopher "B.I.G" Wallace… instagram.com/p/ZkyxfVDv-3/— Torae (@Torae) May 21, 2013
Happy Birthday to the greatest to ever do it, The Notorious B.I.G.! We'll always love you BIG! #happybirthdayBIG— Bad Boy Records (@badboyrecords) May 21, 2013
song of the day: HYPNOTIZE - THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G.— Rob Thomas (@ThisIsRobThomas) May 21, 2013
We celebrate the life of The NOTORIOUS B.I.G. today. Christopher Wallace 1972-1997. A true talent who… instagram.com/p/ZlCIe2k_ag/— Jonathan Mannion (@JonathanMannion) May 21, 2013
Today is Biggies Smalls birthday....Nowplaying-Big Poppa-Notorious B.I.G— Iyke Az Morgan (@iykemorgan01) May 21, 2013
I'm living 3 dreams Biggies Smalls Dr Kings and Rodney Kings #newgodflow— Jeremy (@JermHamlet) May 16, 2013
While May 21st is a celebration of Wallace's life, it's also a glaring reminder that his murder remains unsolved. In retrospect, the rap Frank White’s B-Side track,“Who Shot Ya?,” was both menacing and eerily ominous as Tupac was later gunned down in Las Vegas and, not a year later, so was Wallace. On a recent episode of “Street Soldiers with Lisa Evers,” a weekly Sunday morning roundtable dialogue about the most critical and hottest issues affecting the hip hop community on New York’s Hot 97, NYPD's infamous "Hip-Hop Cop," Derrick Parker talked about the Christopher Wallace case and why no suspects have been brought to justice.
MTV News’ own Rob Markman asked Parker if it was true that if Tupac’s murder had been solved, Biggie’s murder could have been prevented. Parker reluctantly agreed with the premise, but went on to give startling details about the feuding between the Los Angeles Police Department and the Las Vegas Police Department that stymied the investigation.
“There’s a lot of things that you didn’t know as listeners that I know about this case that didn’t come out,” Parker said. “The first thing was Las Vegas (police) didn’t trust Los Angeles (police). A group of cops were working for the gangs. The bodyguard that was guarding Suge (Knight) at the time, his father was the commanding officer of the elite squad of Los Angeles, so they didn’t want to pass information from one city to another because they felt it would be leaks. And this case centered around a little bit of corruption. When you have cases like that, it makes it very difficult because a lot of different agencies are involved.”
Parker's account gives credence to the widespread belief by the hip-hop community at large that the case was mishandled by the LAPD, who not only botched the investigation, but also leaked the gruesome details of the slain rapper's autopsy without warning or merit.
Listen to the entire podcast after the jump: