5. THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G.
By: Bonsu Thompson
The easiest qualification for Big’s genius is noting that he penned the greatest rap album of the VIBE era, the double disc on which his masterful devil-in-the-details storytelling became today’s unreachable bar. But deeper analysis finds Biggie’s brilliance residing between the worlds of psychology and sorcery. His inner-visions convinced brains to change eyesight—with an impeccable flow of clever observation, creative violence, and delicious humor (i.e. the Knicks game got rained out), Christopher Wallace eclipsed everyone’s original image of fat, nasty motherfucker with Big Poppa (for the ladies) and King of New York (for them niggas).
Rap’s version of Quentin Tarantino had so many styles that he was a group (Junior M.A.F.I.A.), and a lady MC (Lil' Kim). So in the interest of accuracy, the easiest qualification for Big’s genius is highlighting that he authored both the illest rap album by a male and female (since '93). Consider us corrected.
Jadakiss, rapper and former Bad Boy label mate says:
“Big’s work ethic was crazy but he never made it look like work. Ninety percent of his studio sessions were like parties, and after the party’s over, when everybody’s wasted, he would go in and lay some magical, historical shit at like 6-7 in the morning. That was incredible to me. What’s even crazier is he did most of Life After Death sitting down, cause his leg was broke. I never even came up with a whole verse sitting down, 'cause you want to keep a certain energy when recording. Can you imagine coming up with those kinds of bars, those types of flows sitting in a chair?”