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kottke.org posts about The Notorious B.I.G.

Notorious B.I.G.: Life After Death Star

posted by Jason Kottke   May 04, 2017

Otaku Gang took more than a dozen tracks by Notorious B.I.G. and remixed them with music and sounds from Star Wars. The cantina band version of Party N’ Bullshit is kinda delightful. You can download the entire album (or just the instrumentals) here.

See also the Star Wars / Beatles mashup and Gnarls Biggie. (via @naveen)

We Work Remotely

FKA Biggie

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 16, 2015

Terry Urban’s 8-song mashup album of FKA Twigs and Notorious B.I.G.

Why not FKA Biggs? Or Notorious T.W.I.G.S.? Twiggie Smalls? (via @frank_chimero)

17-year-old Biggie Smalls freestyling

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 19, 2013

From Freestyle: The Art of the Rhyme, a short clip of a 17-year-old Christopher Wallace (aka Biggie Smalls, aka The Notorious B.I.G.) freestyle rapping on a street corner in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn in 1989.

It’s all there…the talent, the confidence, the skills. Compare with a 17-year-old LL Cool J rapping in a Maine gymnasium in 1985. (via ★interesting)

Update: Biggie was rapping on Bedford Ave between Quincy St and Lexington Ave in Bed-Stuy. Check it out on Google Maps. (thx, debbie)

And if you don’t know, now you know

posted by Tim Carmody   Aug 30, 2013

Dan Lewis is the director of new media communications at Sesame Street, which I’m sure is hard work but sounds like the best job in the world.

For years, he’s also run a daily email newsletter called “Now I Know,” featuring little science and history vignettes. For example, did you know… Abraham Lincoln signed the legislation creating the US Secret Service the day he was fatally shot… in order to investigate counterfeit money schemes. (Which is why the Secret Service was part of the Treasury department before being absorbed into Homeland Security.)

Now Dan has put those stories in a book, also called Now I Know, available for preorder for October 18. It’s like a newer, less snarky iteration of Cecil Adams’ The Straight Dope. Or, even better, Cliff Clavin’s CliffsNotes.

PS: Tell me on Twitter: did Notorious B.I.G. really coin (and not just popularize) “and if you don’t know, now you know” with “Juicy”? I swear, as a younger teenager pretty much immersed in hip-hop, I remember that that specific phrase being in the air or even in a song or by a comic or DJ well before 1994. But it’s in that weird window of 1990s history where Google gets all tangled and useless. You know, this is the sort of question I should probably be asking Dan Lewis.

How Ya Livin’ Biggie Smalls?

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 12, 2012

Friday was the 15th anniversary of the death of The Notorious B.I.G. The Fader has a look back at the life of Biggie, as told through pictures of the places he went and the people he knew.

I started working with Big in ‘91. I was 21, he was 15. I met him through a friend of mine. They hustled together on Bedford and Quincy. People in the neighborhood knew him as the hottest rapper around. Everybody that stepped in his path, he ate ‘em up. He earned that stripe from that one battle he had on Bedford and Quincy. I was the one that was playing the music. This man used to live right upstairs from the pool room. Every day in the summer we’d play the music out. It just so happened that Big came around, so we brought the grill out, we brought the music out. They got on the mic and went at it. It went on from there. Cars stopped, it got real crowded out there. We rocked it ‘til 12, one o’clock that night. It was a good look. Everybody that came at his back, he took out.

Biggie would have turned 40 this year.

Brother Mouzone implicated in Notorious B.I.G.’s killing?

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 22, 2009

When The Notorious B.I.G. was shot dead in Los Angeles, a composite sketch of the shooter done shortly after the killing depicts a clean-cut black man in a suit and bow tie. Was Biggie’s killer the partial basis for Brother Mouzone, the bow-tied hitman from The Wire?

Biggie Mouzone

At least until I hear from Mr. Mouzone’s lawyer, I say: case closed! (thx, alex)

Mo’ postmodernism

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 28, 2008

An appreciation of the postmodern masterpiece that is the music video for Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems (Puffy, Biggie, Mase, etc.).

So there it is: a weird/powerful truism about social politics delivered in a catchy, post-modern package that uses parody, found video, and cutting-edge video techniques (and let’s not sell Hype Williams short for a second — check out the shots of Puffy and Mase in the yellow suits — I mean, what the hell is that?!), all montaged together with an off-handed mastery (check out how some of the transitions are deliberately not on-beat) to create something that felt so like the future that it could never really be the future. Just like all videos for pop singles, it was dug, and it was forgotten. And so it goes. Somewhere out there there is a list of videos that really truly did something new, and this one belongs on that list.

(via fimoculous)

Video for Gnarls Barkley’s Smiley Faces

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 18, 2006

Video for Gnarls Barkley’s Smiley Faces, my favorite song of theirs. (Even though the mashup with the Notorious B.I.G.’s Hypontize might be better.)

Presenting the Bible’s Book of Genesis in

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 15, 2006

Presenting the Bible’s Book of Genesis in rap songs. For instance, the song for Genesis 21 — which tells the story of Isaac and Ishmael — is Big Poppa by Notorious B.I.G.