Jay-Z and Diddy are both artists who were blessed enough to be around The Notorious B.I.G. when he was alive. So in celebration of his posthumous 50th birthday, the two moguls had a public conversation on Twitter Spaces.
The Notorious B.I.G. (often referred to as Biggie Smalls) died in 1997 after he was shot in Los Angeles. However, hip-hop had just finished mourning Tupac Shakur, who was murdered the year before. The two deaths happened quickly and caused quite a culture shock, as hip-hop lost two legends. It was a devastating blow to the industry.
Hosted by TIDAL, The conversation between Jay-Z and Diddy featured other New York artists, including Fat Joe, together the moguls reflected on the impact of Biggie Smalls in hip-hop. Speaking on the skills he acquired from being around Biggie and how he implemented them after his death, Jay-Z shared, “As far as Big and ‘Pac and pushing forward, that’s just me being a student of the game and loving the game and loving the culture and wanting to push the culture forward.”
Hov highlighted how Tupac’s and Biggie’s murders led to an emptiness within the culture. Sharing how he dealt with that, Jay-Z detailed the effect of their deaths on him. The rapper (real name Shawn Carter) explained how hip-hop had to replace the deceased with new mainstays, “That was the challenge that I was faced with, and that’s a void. That’s a big void. Others stepped in to fill it as well, not just myself. That’s a big void. That’s the two pillars right there. Imagine that, within a year.”
Here, Diddy quickly jumped in to compliment Jay-Z on filling the “void” left by the two legends and boldly proclaimed, “Bro, you filled them shoes though. You came in, and we definitely give thanks. You definitely came, and I just know how much Big really looked up to Jay.”
Diddy (real name Shawn Combs) then went on to discuss the fantastic dynamic that existed between the two Brooklyn rappers revealing, “They looked up to each other. That is crazy you had to step into the shoes of two people. That’s all it was those two people. They had things on lock.”
He continued, “Hov was coming, but it was like these two cats was just so big, and so to have all of that come on you and have that responsibility to keep this shit fly and keep the art of it going. I think Hov kept the art of it going and take where they was at and take it even higher.” The conversation between the two megastars, both of whom have acquired unfathomable amounts of wealth, was heartwarming and inspiring, to say the least. You can listen to the full Twitter Spaces conversation in the tweet below.