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Lil Kim, Lil Cease, Mister Cee, DJ Premier and More Describe The Notorious B.I.G. [PG.4]

Damion Butler: Tupac was in the New York filming Above the Rim, and we would make sure that he was alright. We’d get on the train and go meet him at whatever hotel he was staying in. Tupac would let Biggie open up for him at shows and everything. This was while we were recording Ready to Die. Thinking back, you’d never imagine that the two of them would end up on such a sour note.

DJ Premiere: [In the studio] he was very quick. When we did “Unbelievable,” we had been in the studio for the longest time doing nothing but listening to the track. I was getting worried. We still smoking and rinking and he ain’t writing nothing. Then he just said, “Okay, I’m ready.” He went into the booth and just did it.

Damion Butler: Big never wrote a rhyme down in his life. That used to be my fun. Every time he had to do a song with a different artist, I would know that they were thinking Big was bullshitting. They’d give him a pen and a pad and Big would move the pen, pull out his weed and crush it up on the pad. He’d say, “Keep rewinding the beat and turn it up.” When he died he had six songs done in his head. That’s why I don’t believe weed messes up your brain cells, ‘cause that due had a photographic memory like a motherfucker.

Puffy: He would talk about concepts and that was it. It was all in his head. I said [he should] do a song about a chick setting you up, and that became [1997’s] “Niggas Bleed.”

DJ Premier: We did a show in Virginia when Biggie just had “Party and Bullshit” out. It was me, Jeru [the Damaja]—who only had “Com Clean”—Damion, Cease, and Biggie. We were real hungry, and Big was sitting in his hotel with no cltohes on and a bucket of chicken, clipping his toenails. Jeru said, “You need to stop eating that.” Big said, “My name is Biggie, not Rakim.”

Lance “Un” Rivera: Big was that nigga who wouldn’t wear no drawers, no socks. He loved showin’ his naked ass. He’d pull his ass out in a second, and his ass crack would be three feet long! He was that nigga who had food growing underneath his bed. This nigga had sweat rings in his mink coat.

And don’t think that changed when he got rich. He stayed exactly the same.

DJ Mister Cee: Before [Ready to Die] came out, he was traveling with me to do a party in Raleigh, N.C. We’re driving down and [Big] starts to get real hungry. This boy literally damn near cried a boo-hoo cry because I wouldn’t make a stop to get something to eat [because we were running late]. I finally stopped so he could chow down on some chicken, and I don’t know, I guess it was like spinach to him. Everything just changed and he was happy again.

dream hampton: Big was hilarious. He used to pay girls a Snapple to do the butterfly. Girls would walk by and he’d be like, “Yo, I got a dollar for anybody that can bogle.” He was so excited when his daughter T’Yanna was born that he’d pay cats to clean his room so that he could wheel the bassinet next to his bed so she could sleep in there. His room was disgusting. It was this little, hot-ass yellow room in the back of his mother’s railroad apartment. Everybody’s been in there, like all of Junior M.A.F.I.A. would be tight in there listening to music and playing videos.  

Faith Evans: (Faith and Biggie were married August 4, 1994, nine days after they met.) [Big] could walk into a room-ful of people and get their attention. Nobody ever said that he ws he GQ Man of the Year as far as appearance, but he had a sense of humor. He would just smile like, Hey, ma what’s up? I don’t know, [he was] magnetic.

Damion Butler: I remember one time we were going to the Billboard Awards or something and we were gonna meet Michael Jackson. On the ride over Big kept sayin’, “What can I do to Michael Jackson that’s not bad, but will make him remember me?” So we got to the meeting and Mike stuck out his hand. Big grabbed his hand, pulled him into a close hug and then flung him back out, like Wassup? He roughed Mike up with a real, old-fashioned, ghetto love hug. Mike was fucked up by that one.

Lil’ Cease: The first show we did was in L.A. at Glam Slam. It was our first promo stop, and just as we were about to go on stage Big was like, “Here, take this mike.” I go, “What’s up” He says, “Just hold me down.” He told me not to say the whole verse, just to rock. I was scared, but they was lovin’  Big so much that they was lovin’ me [too]. That’s how [Biggie] made me feel.

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