The Notorious B.I.G’s death will forever remain one of hip-hop’s most tragic occurrences. Murdered at the age of twenty-four, Biggie Smalls was already well on the way to becoming unparalleled in his artistry. Exuding gravitas well beyond his years, B.I.G’s flow remains the benchmark to which technically gifted emcees are held, his legacy cemented as the long-reigning and inspiring King Of New York. And yet, for many, Biggie is something of a mystery, a larger than life figure closer to legend than reality.
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Today, Funkmaster Flex took to Instagram to share a humanizing glimpse at an otherwise mythic figure. The footage finds Biggie in the booth, laying down some vocals for his iconic single “Hypnotize.” While we don’t catch him spitting his verses, the clip depicts him laying a reference for the track’s infectious hook with unparalleled swagger. Much like a brain is said to use merely a fraction of its power, so too was Notorious B.I.G. in this video. Seeing him laying down some of the bars would have been a sight to see, and we can only hope more archival footage surfaces.
Shout out to Funk Flex for sharing, and be sure to check it out below. Long live Biggie Smalls.