Remembering Biggie 15 years later
David Goodson | 3/15/2012, 1:28 p.m.
The great KRS-One somberly recited on a single from his Marly Marl-collaborated 2007 CD, "Hip Hop Lives": "You wanna get away with murder? Kill a rapper. The investigation won't get any further...Kill a rapper."
March 9, 1997, was the day the proverbial second shoe dropped that perhaps inspired the sentiments of the song, as a then-24-year-old Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace was murdered outside the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles at a densely populated after-party during the weekend of a huge music award ceremony.
Fifteen long years have passed and the case is no closer to being closed than it was when the investigation began. Rather than look at that aspect of his passing--a fact that is decreasing as the years advance--his life and music are celebrated each year around this time. This past Friday, Down Lo Music Inc & NYC Compton, in conjunction with Allhiphop.com, presented "A Celebration of the Legacy of the Notorious B.I.G.," hosted by Lil' Cease and Faith at the nightclub Rebel NYC in Midtown Manhattan. The line stretched almost a city block for a chance to witness the tribute from artists who were directly inspired by the charismatic, storytelling emcee. This year's lineup included Fred the Godson, Black Rob, Peedi Crack and Beanie Sigel, with music selections provided by Big's friend, DJ Mister Cee.
When Voletta Wallace lost her only beloved son to gun violence in 1997, she started the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation to help ensure the well-being and education of inner-city youth. A portion of the proceeds from the Notorious B.I.G. tribute directly benefit the foundation and its unwavering efforts.
Conspicuously absent from public celebrations was the most renowned artist associated with the musical legacy of Biggie, one Kimberley "Lil' Kim" Jones. Jones was quoted by TMZ as saying, "I will celebrate him every single day of my life...I have endless love for him and I'll be grateful and thankful to him until my last day. I love him...and will never stop loving him."
After many rumors and stalled attempts at making a full-blown comeback to the realm of being a recording artist, Jones recently released a single, "If You Love Me." The song was part of the set list that she performed in shutting down BET's 2012 Rip the Runway. The show, which melds the hottest fashion trends and designers on the rise with the music that is driving the present culture, is still one of the most anticipated shows on the network after eight years.
This year's theme of "Fun, Freedom, Fashion!" showcased such designers as LaQuan Smith, Monif C, Samantha Black and Tannielle White, as well as SASS BY SELITA, the debut swimwear line from Selita Ebanks, supermodel and co-host of the show for the second consecutive year.
Also making a return in the capacity of host was Pooch Hall of "The Game," with segments by Emily B of the show "Love and Hip Hop" and Cynthia Bailey of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta." Accompanying the runway aspect were electrifying performances by musicians Estelle, Wale, Robin Thicke, Meek Mill, B.o.B., Jeremih and Diggy Simmons, along with dubstep DJ Araab Musik, who will be making his world television premiere. The show airs on BET Wednesday, March 21 at 10 p.m.
Gonna try something different this week. A great co-headlining show featuring Toni Braxton and Babyface is about to hit the area the weekend of March 23 and 24 at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Casino and Caesars Atlantic City, respectively. Thanks to the good folks at the MGM, I can give away TWO pairs of tickets. Mind you, it's only tickets for the show. Travel and accommodations are NOT included.
All you gotta do is be the first one to answer the following question: The Grammy Awards are hailed as one of the highest honors a recording artist can receive, with the most coveted awards being Song of the Year, Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Babyface has won a Grammy in the category of Record of the Year, as this award goes to the performing artist, the producer, recording engineer and mixer of the song, not the song writer). What was the name of the song and artist for which Babyface won this Grammy? First two people to respond to firstname.lastname@example.org with the correct answer will get the tix, cool? Holla at me.
I'm out. See you next week. 'Til then, enjoy the nightlife.