Fourteen years ago today, the rapper Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace--also known as Biggie Smalls--was killed in Los Angeles in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, only months after his rival Tupac Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas. The fourteen-year-old case has yet to be solved, though CBS Los Angeles recently reported that questions linger about whether LAPD officers had a hand in Biggie's murder and connections to Shakur's label, Death Row Records.
Shaquille O'Neal: The basketball star recently appeared on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" to discuss his relationship with Biggie, which began when the rapper mentioned Shaq in a rap and led to collaboration on the song "Can't Stop the Rain." (Remember Shaq the rapper?). AOL's Torie Bosch reminds us that Shaq had actually planned to meet up with Biggie the night he was killed, but fell asleep instead. In his autobiography, Shaq wrote, "if I would have been standing by his truck, would the killer still have shot? I've always asked that question."
Diddy: In an appearance on a New York City radio station, the rap mogul, who was Biggie's close friend and producer, called March 9 "a day of celebration" rather than a day of mourning. "It’s really great when you wake up on March 9 and you just hear all his records and how up to date they sound," he said. Diddy's been tweeting Biggie lyrics all day and has even made a picture of Biggie his Twitter background.
Raekwon: The rapper deemed Biggie "the social studies book of rap" on Twitter. "Your legacy is greatly Appreciated!" he added.
Jadakiss: The rapper remembers how Biggie attended one of his birthday parties when Jadakiss was just starting out in the business, pulling up to the event with rapper Lil' Cease in a Lexus truck. "He chilled with me all night, popping bottles," Jada tells MTV. "I said, 'I'm the man right now. I got Big at my party.' "
The BoomBox: The site chronicles some of Biggie's best lyrics, including "Because the streets is a short stop/ Either you're slingin' crack rock or you got a wicked jumpshot" from "Things Done Changed."
#BIGGIEDAY: The hashtag has become a trending topic on Twitter and a rich repository of Biggie lyrics, music videos, tributes, and memories. Zachary Gorelick marvels at the web's response to the anniversary: "Funny story. Man raps about shooting people. Gets shot by other people. Years later, man trends on Twitter." Daryl Viljoen, meanwhile, connects the anniversary to current events: "Managing money in this tough economic climate is really hard, as detailed in Biggie Smalls song Mo Money Mo Problems."
We'll leave you with a video of a 17-year-old Biggie, rapping in his native Brooklyn: