Lil Kim, Lil Cease, Mister Cee, DJ Premier and More Describe The Notorious B.I.G. [PG.6]
Biggie went to Los Angeles in February 1997 to film the video for his single “Hypnotize,” to promote his new album, and to attend the March 7 Soul Train Music Awards.
Lil’ Cease: Filming the video for “Hpnotize” [in Los Angeles in February] is my favorite memory. Just seein’ that nigga smile. That was the first time I could say he was, like, happy happy. He was happy before to be livin’ and doin’ his thing, but this was the first time he let people see that side of him.
Damion Butler: We were shooting “Hypnotize” and [actor] Christopher Walken called Big’s room and said, “This is Frank White.” Big was like, “Yeah, right,” and hung up the phone. Big thought he was playin’ since Frank White was also his little nickname. And then [Walken] called back like, “No, I’m serious. I’m Christopher Walken and I”d like to come meet you.” Big was so happy, but they never met.
Mark Mahoney: I did a Bible Psalm on his right forearm [that read: The Lord is my light and salvation, who shall I fear? The Lord is the truth of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even my enemies and foes came upon me to bite my flesh, they stumbled and fell.] It was one week before his murder, his first and only tattoo, and it was a whole lotta work. It was probably as much writing as I ever did.
Lil’ Cease: There was always so much shit goin’ on. There was always a problem. We could be havin’ fun, enjoyin’ something and then bang, something would happen.
The night after the Soul Train Music Awards, Biggie attended a party at the Peterson Automotive Museum that was sponsored by Quest Records, Tanqueray, and VIBE. He left the party sometime around 12:30 a.m. and he got into the passenger’s seat of a GMC Suburban. As the truck pulled away from the museum, a dark sedan pulled up alongside and a gunman fired six to 10 shots through the passenger’s side door. Big was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m. He was 24.
March 9, 1997-1999 “We’ll always love Big Poppa…”
Mark Pitts: He was supposed to leave to go overseas the day before. He didn’t want to go at the last minute, and I remember him going back and forth about that, me trying to convince him and Puff trying to convince him. He didn’t want to go.
Sybil Pennix: I sat on his lap for, lie, an hour and half at the [VIBE] party. He was telling me he was a little afraid about the new album and wasn’t sure how things were gonna turn out. We hadn’t talked for so long, but we caught up on everything. Last thing he said was, “We’ll see you at the next party.”
Puffy: We were on our way to Steve Stoute’s party. Big said, “I can’t wait to get this album out. I never get a chance to hang out with you. Let’s go to this party.” And then he…he was killed.
Damion Butler: Me and Cease were in the backseat when Biggie was shot. He didn’t say one word. He was just lookin’ at me with this real shocked look on his face, like he couldn’t believe it. He didn’t even say “Ouch.” He didn’t say “Oh shit,” nothin’. All he was doin’ was breathing hard. The situation at the hospital was crazy. Tons of people were there crying and not helping the situation. The phone got passed around [to call Ms. Wallace]. They gave the phone to Puff, Puff gave the phone to Mark [Pitts, Biggie’s manager], and Mark gave the phone to me. I was like, “How am I gonna call this man’s mom? I grew up with this kid.” But I didn’t even have to say anything. Once Ms. Wallace heard me crying, she dropped the phone. So that as it, I didn’t even have to tell her. She caught the next flight out there.
Faith Evans: I was inside the hospital with Puffy and the doctors. I couldn’t really tell what had happened, and Puffy was like, “I’m going to let the doctor talk to you.” Then the doctor came and told me they couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t even see him.
Charli Baltimore: Around four in the morning, my phone rang, and I was asleep. But I saw the number on my caller ID and was like, Shit, I better call back, ‘cause Big always got mad if I didn’t pickup the phone. But Damion answered. He was crying and I could hear Cease in the background. All I heard was sobbing. It hurt so much. I just didn’t believe it.
Lil’ Kim: I loved him with all my heart, like I had ever loved anyone in my life. I still feel his spirit with me, like right now he’s sittin’ right here. I could be on the toilet and I feel his spirit. I talk to him every night and I feel like he’s telling me a lot more of the truth. I just feel blessed because Biggie has been with me every step of the way.
Lil’ Cease: He never said, “Take this bag and go hustle it.” He never said, “Go, around the corner and shoot this nigga.” Instead, it was always, “Get in this room, write these rhymes, get that pen and paper. I’m gonna make moves and when you come back you better have a rhyme.” That’s what Big did. There are nine niggas in Junior M.A.F.I.A. and there’s Undeas—Big started everything. Big created a reason for the Charli’s and the Lil’ Kims to be here. It was all set off from Big. I’m gonna keep that shit with me for life. He did shit for me no one else would have.
Arty-B: What’s so ironic is that the word “big” really goes a long way, because everything he did was big. His personality was big, his dreams were big, his caring was big—everything. He was a big-hearted person…is appetite was big too!
Lance “Un” Rivera: Right now, he’s in heaven, with big-ass white angel wings, eating something and surrounded by honies. Big might be gone, but in so many ways he’s still here.