Christopher Wallace stood a large man at standing 6″ 3′ and weighing 300 some pounds. Christopher aka “Biggie Smalls” named himself after a hustling character in Bill Cosby’s “Lets Do it Again” action-comedy. He felt that the name fit him well and said in an interview with John Farley, Author of Parents aren’t supposed to Like it, “It suits my flashy life style” (388). Biggie struggled financially growing up. He was teased and considered “just another fat kid” he dropped out of high school and couldn’t get a good job. When he was 15 he began selling crack on a street corner. He did this on and off for several years to make a living, until one day he discovered “Gangsta Rap” which brought him to quick fame, success, and money. His first album, “Ready to Die” sold over one million copies. Biggie’s American dream career and lifestyle, in the end, is what brought him to his demise.
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March 9, 1997 Biggie was a guest of the after-party for the Soul Train Music Awards. Biggie and a few friends decided to leave the festivities a little early, and got into Biggie’s GMC Suburban. Biggie’s friend got in the drivers seat and biggie sat in the back seat on the passenger’s side. Biggie had lost his license due to drug possession. An observer noted and stated for Susan Waxman’s Washington Post article “More Critics Allege LAPD cover-up”, that “Biggie appeared breathless and altered, suffering a broken leg at the time”(A-13). He was a frequent drug user which resulted in his health issues and license suspension. They left the parking lot and began driving, when a passing car pulled next to the suburban and fired several shots at Biggie. One witness reported “A lone gunman in a passing car fired several shots from a 9 mm handgun…hitting the 24 year old rapper” (Farley, 45). The other passengers called 911 and Biggie was put in an ambulance, however unfortunately Biggie didn’t make it to the hospital and died on the way.
The main reason Biggie was killed was the East coast vs. West coast rapper rivalries. Biggie “represented” the east coast and was with Sean “Puffy” Combs record company, Bad Boy Records. Biggie’s main rival was 2Pac Shakur who was from the West coast and was signed with Suge Knight’s Death Row Records. Both rappers sang and “predicted” their murders. It is believed that Biggie was killed in retaliation to 2Pac’s death. It is believed that Biggie was responsible for 2Pac’s murder because they were constantly competing through the media. 2Pac claimed that he had slept with Biggie’s wife at the time, Faith Evans, who denied this. Whether or not it is true this is a prime example of their competition. In 1994, 2Pac was outside a record studio, which Biggie was currently inside. 2Pac was attacked and blamed Biggie. Suge Knight and Sean “Puffy” Combs are often associated in the murders.
On April 9, 2002 a civil lawsuit was filed against LAPD police chief Bernard Parks and two former chiefs, David Mack and Amir Muhammad, for “deliberate indifference” of Biggie’s murder. It is believed that the two former chiefs murdered biggie and were paid off by Suge Knight. It is also believed that the LAPD covered up the accusations and deliberately ignored leads. This is the reason that no progress has been made on the case. Lawyer Sullivan believes “Wallace’s case is being ignored because the suspicious officers were black. If they were white, the case would be brought back up.” (Waxman, A-13) He believes the cover-up is related to racism.
Biggie would have enjoyed the great lifestyle he made for himself if didn’t get so deeply and aggressively involved in the coast rivalries. He brought himself up from having to sell drugs to get paid to living a very posh lifestyle. What probably began as a conflict for how ended up fatal. There are a few ideas on the death of Biggie, none of which have been proven. Biggie’s murder illustrates how far people take things and how aggressive people are.