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Cheo Hodari Coker Talks About Biggie’s Last Interview, His Legacy and the Man Behind the Music [PG.3]

Man, he had so many different sides to him.
Yeah. It was always interesting for me. The few times that I’ve been around CJ and Tionna I was constantly reminded of the last conversation that he and I had. It was actually before I became a father myself and when BIG talked how he wanted to take them to school and he wanted  to be there at their graduations, he wanted to give a his daughter away at a wedding. That was what that the last conversation we had.

That’s crazy, that’s so far from how people want to remember BIG.
Yeah. The last conversation we had was around the Soul Train Awards in ’95. We talked Friday night and he was staying at the Westwood Marquis, which is now the W Hotel in Westwood. I’m laughing cause we had a great conversation. He was sitting there… he had a really big bear belly and he had a plate with pizza on it, and it was balanced perfectly on his belly, he didn’t even have to balance it ,he could use the top of his belly as a table. So he was just eating and we were just talking. What was funny at the time was that they were so paranoid about Life after Death leaking that they wouldn’t let me hear any music. So the only thing I ever heard from Life after Death was “Hypnotize,” which I got to admit I liked it but I didn’t love it.

We kept talking about his early years. Talking about his childhood, we ended up talking about his nonexistent relationship with his father. We ended up talking about fatherhood, his beliefs in God, his relationship with his mother,and how he got started in the crack game, all these things. Virtually every single thing that you would ask somebody before you wrote a book I ended up talking to him for about 5 hours in separate conversations.

Wow, so you were really trying to get to know who he was as a person on the inside.
Going back to that last conversation, we were just talking about so many things and it was funny because he was going to the studio that night and the one thing you have to be as a journalist is you have to have a little more tenacity than I had cause he was going to the studio that night and I always wanted to see him record and I really wished that I had insisted on going to the studio that night cause that was the night that he recorded his verses for “All About The Benjamins” and “Victory.”

We talked for a while and then he had to go to the studio but before the studio he actually went to go see Donnie Brasco that night. So that’s why there’s a reference of Donnie Brasco on the “Benjamin’s” verse.

To Be Continued on May 21, 2012!