“The human side of him came through in his music and I think it moved the molecules in the world.”
The Notorious B.I.G. was remembered by his family and fellow rap icons at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s virtual induction ceremony last night.
The legendary Bed-Stuy rapper was inducted by his former collaborator, friend, and label chief, Diddy. “Big just wanted to be the biggest, he wanted to be the best, he wanted to have influence and impact people in a positive way, and that clearly has been done all over the world, the Bad Boy Records founder said in his segment. “Nobody has come close to the way Biggie sounds, to the way he raps, to the frequency that he hits,” Diddy added.
His segment of the ceremony included archival footage of performances and time with family, as well as testimonies from JAY-Z, Nas, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and members of his family. “He represents the Black experience, where they tell him ‘No, your hair doesn’t work, you can’t dress like that, you can’t talk like that, you can’t be.’ He said ‘Fuck that, not only am I gonna be, I’m gonna be the best,” Nas said of the late rapper. In his portion, JAY-Z recalled worrying about his own future as an artist after hearing the demos for Life After Death, describing Biggie’s writing as cinematic and “almost like Hitchcock.” Hov added, “The human side of him came through in his music, and I think it moved the molecules in the world.”
“You never thought that hip hop would take it this far. How much farther would he have taken it?” asked the Hamilton director. “It’s one of the most tragic what-ifs in the history of hip hop,” Miranda somberly stated.
Watch The Notorious B.I.G.’s children CJ and Tyanna Wallace, accept his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors below. Head over to HBO Max to watch the full ceremony.