March 9, 2012 will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the death of The Notorious B.I.G. In 1997, The Notorious B.I.G. was completing his second album, Life After Death: ‘Til Death Do Us Part. While completing his album, Biggie was enjoying himself in Los Angeles. Months after the death of Tupac Shakur, fans on the West Coast were still angry with East Coast hip hop artists. The Notorious B.I.G. decided, early on, not to let any of this get to him.
Despite his peace-keeping efforts, The Notorious B.I.G. became the second person to lose his life in the feud between the East and West Coast. In the years following both Biggie and Tupac Shakur’s death, hip hop has honored both rappers, specifically on their birthdays and the date of their respective deaths. In September of 2011, XXL magazine dedicated their issue to Tupac Shakur, as it marked the fifteenth anniversary of his death. Now, the same honor will be given to The Notorious B.I.G.
The Notorious B.I.G. had been rapping since the late 1980s, but began to take rap seriously in the early 1990s. Making a name for himself on the streets, Biggie would catch the attention of Sean Combs, then known as Puff Daddy, now Diddy. Combs worked for Uptown Records and would sign Biggie to the label in 1991, with plans of releasing his album in 1992. During this time, The Notorious B.I.G. built a large fanbase, as he appeared on several hit singles from Uptown artists, but he was dropped from the label when Combs and the Uptown Records CEO had a falling out.
Upon falling out with Uptown Records, Sean Combs launched Bad Boy Records and The Notorious B.I.G. was used as the flagship artist of the new label. Over the next three years, The Notorious B.I.G. dominated radio waves and helped to re-establish the New York hip hop scene. As he was preparing for the next chapter of his promising career, The Notorious B.I.G.’s life was taken.