Everyone with even the slightest interest in hip-hop is wondering about Notorious. Biggie is an icon if there ever was one, and fans would like to see this new biopic hit a home run as far as storytelling goes. Check some of these clips for a taste of the way the film depicts the relationship between Diddy and Big, the Brookly MC’s first recording sessions, living the street life in Bed-Stuy, and hooking up with Lil Kim and Faith. Make the jump to see what other celebs think about Biggie’s impact on rap. Check this story for his impact on style. Check this clip for interviews with the movie’s stars and Big’s mom. See Puffy getting emotional about his old pal right here. Buy the soundtrack to Notorious right here.
CELEBS WEIGH IN ON THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G.
LL Cool J
I had a lotta interesting run-ins with Biggie. I was in the studio when he did “Who Shot Ya?” He was a real cool guy. I remember seeing him at the Tunnel. “One More Chance” was out and it was doin’ real good at that time. I was like, “Wassup, Big? How are you?” He said, “Chillin’.” I remember I laughed about that all night. I said, “This boy got this hit record and he so happy right now, he didn’t know what to do!” Biggie’s legacy? Musically, it speaks a pure talent and skill. But the bigger lesson is that you really have to watch your moves very carefully and think for yourself. It’s not a happy legacy. When you look at the big picture, him and Tupac are like microcosms of a young black male: live fast, go after whatever you want, don’t think about the consequences, whatever happens happens and then die young. That’s not really the way we wanna be. Everybody somewhere inside them wants to get old.
Raheim (Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five)
We had a radio show on Hot 97 called “The Mic Check Show.” Before Biggie blew up, they had him come down. We had a freestyle session with Biggie on the air. You could see he was a diamond in the rough. You could hear the things that he was saying and the way that he said it was in the tradition of great MCs.
Scorpio (Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five)
Everybody made fun about the way he looked, because he wasn’t no pretty boy [like] Al B. Sure. Everybody had opinion about Biggie before he blew up. They were saying dude was just straight ugly. But he took that as fuel and when he said, “Heart throb, never, black and ugly as ever/ However, I stay Gucci down to the socks,” that’s when I knew, you can’t pull nothing over this cat’s eye. He gave so many people dignity. That’s one of his greatest legacies, because after that, you should see the big dudes in the clubs. They stand around like, “What? You don’t like this stomach?”
I was living in Harlem when Biggie was starting to become popular. Then he came up with that “Ready to Die” album. To me, this was this was a unique cat: the way that he phrased his lyrics and some of the things he said. I actually met him twice. It was both up at Hot 97. As a cat he was real selfless. The second half of the show we would normally be having the callers call up and rhyme, and we asked him, Did he want to stay? And he looked back at the cats that he was with and they was like, go in! Go ahead! I was like, yo, this gotta be a real genuine kind of guy, ‘cause he coulda just said “Yo, I don’t care what these cats is thinking about. It’s all about me.” He seemed like he was a real genuine kind of guy.
Melle Mel (Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five)
The main thing that impressed me as far as Biggie was the way he talked. He had such a presence. When he died and I found out he was like twenty-something, I was amazed. I thought he was like 30! It hurt me, because this was like a young kid. When I found out he was 24 I was like, huh? He was a little kid! He had a whole lot of shit that he could have been doing. But he [had] too much of that street, just being on it.
Big Daddy Kane
Biggie brought his own style and flow into the game. What I liked most about Biggie is how he really he believed in himself. He convinced everybody that he was a fly dude, that he was sexy. When he did that “One More Chance” remix, he made every fat man in America wanna go get a Coogi sweater and some Versace shades and chill at the club and bag chicks. For real!
I ain’t heard people that just ride beats the way he does. He always told great stories and was a cold lyricist, too. But his persona came through in his music: You felt like Biggie could get along with everybody. Regardless of whether he was a hustler or not, he was a cool dude. You felt that warmth and character coming through his MC’ing. He was definitely one of the greats.
Michael Clarke Duncan
When I was with other rappers backstage, he was very nice. I could see his mother raised him well because he was not like what we seemed to think he was like on television. He laughed a lot. He joked a lot. He was well-liked. When he got shot, I was supposed to be his bodyguard that night. For some reason, me and a friend switched. The friend had Babyface and I said “I’ll take Babyface,” ‘cause I really wanted to just go back home and I know rappers like to hang out and go to different parties. So my friend took him. By the time I got home and got settled in bed, on the 11 o’clock news they said [he’d been shot]. I took it as like God maybe sending me a message that “you don’t need to do this. Something else is better out there for you.” That night I retired from doing bodyguard work. I said “I’m gonna go acting full-time. I’ll just strain with my bills a little bit, but I think I can make this acting thing work.”