March 11 [10:00 EST] -- While Sunday's fatal shooting of The Notorious B.I.G. sent shockwaves through the rap community, the loss of the rapper (a.k.a. Biggie Smalls) was felt especially hard in his old stomping grounds of Brooklyn, New York. We took to the streets of Brooklyn, as well as the Internet, to find out how fans were dealing with the rapper's tragic and untimely death.
Fan 1: It's sad that something like that has to happen to someone with so much talent, so much potential.
Fan 2: It makes me real mad. I don't know him personally, but I know him enough from reading about him, and I feel that it's really sad that he had to go.
Fan 3: You can't be good and evil at the same time. You've got be one or the other. A lot of the artists are out here, kickin' the gangsta stuff, trying to be a gangsta, and then a church going person. You know, whatever. You know, you can't be both.
Adario Strange, Online Producer: I've heard many comments early this morning about Biggie and Tupac... the positivity that they represented, the good things that they did. Those things we should remember... but I think it's important to also understand that what we do at this point as far as our younger people, people twenty something or younger... we are living in a culture of violence and those of us who don't speak up and don't acknowledge that in some way, we contribute to that.
Bill Stephney, CEO, Stepson Entertainment: I don't think the question is how does it affect us, I think the question is, does it push us to action? Does it push us to realize that especially young black male life is incredibly disposable in this society? Will we stop partying? Will we stop listening to the records? Will we stop playing the videos? Will we stop buying the coats and the cars and figure out whether or not life means anything over the very materialistic lifestyle that we've portrayed to them?
And from fans online...Kgreenel: Hello, I'm a 15-year-old girl from the East coast. I was in a hip-hop chat room and everyone was fighting about which coast is better. It seemed like the room should of been called Eastside VS. Westside, not hip- hop. Now when people think of hip-hop they think of violence, and the rap violence is getting worse. It bothers me and scares me. It needs to be stopped. I'm close to turning my back on hip-hop because if that's what it's going to be like I don't want any part of it at ALL. The East and the West have to unite. LV2558: Is this East coast/West coast controversy a little more serious than what the public is led to believe? I hope not, because if so, such talented artists will be falling victim to such a trivial war. I would really hate to loose artists like Nas, WSCG, Dogg Pound, Kool G Rap, and every other artists who are able to touch young urban America and shape a new generation of players. RHUNTER776: The death of Smalls was tragedy to the rap community . I hope the LAPD finds the killers, and my heart goes out to the Wallace family.
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