Rare footage of Biggie Smalls messing around in hotel room
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Rare footage of Biggie Smalls messing around in hotel room

Biggie Smalls (often referred to as The Notorious B.I.G.) is still one of the most revered artists in hip-hop culture, and, despite his early demise, for many, the impact he had during his short-lived time as a career artist is enough to make him one of hip-hop’s legends.

During the mid and late 1990s, the rapper (real name Christopher Wallace) was considered the king of his hometown New York and the king of hip-hop. Signed to Diddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment record label, Biggie became a worldwide phenomenon and quickly transformed from a local MC to a global star.

Born to Jamaican immigrant parents and raised solely by his mother in Clinton Hills, Biggie Smalls watched her struggle to make ends meet and began dealing drugs at 12. However, battling local emcees as a hobby in Brooklyn, Wallace realised he was skilled at rapping and quickly took the art form seriously, performing with the Old Gold Brothers and the Techniques. Feeling ambitious, the rapper made a demo, Microphone Murderer, which spread like wildfire as a local demo tape. The recordings eventually wound up in the hands of DJ Mister Cee.

Cee was an influential New York tastemaker who had associates across New York City and beyond. With Biggie Smalls’ recordings receiving regular underground radio play, Wallace was swiftly picked up by Diddy, who signed him to Bad Boy Entertainment. The Notorious B.I.G’s music remains some of the best and most classic in all of hip-hop.

Although Biggie Smalls, unfortunately, got caught up in the East Coast vs West Coast beef, for the most part, he didn’t engage with Tupac Shakur and continued to make quality music for his fans. His 1994 album Ready To Die, is one of his most legendary pieces of work and remains a classic.

The year Ready To Die was released, Biggie’s former friend, Shakur, was shot in an attempted murder at Quad Studios, located on Seventh Avenue between 48th and 49th street near the famous Times Square. According to the rapper, the shooters were wearing labelled garments worn by gangs in Brooklyn. The attackers thieved his jewellery, then shot him, hitting him in the chest. Shakur was shot five times, twice in the head, twice in the groin area, and once in his left hand. According to the rapper, he recognised two of the three men as associates of his friend, The Notorious B.I.G.

1994 marked the beginning of the East Coast vs West Coast war. However, Shakur would get shot and killed in 1996. 1995 was bang in the middle of the regional feud when things were at their worst. However, in this footage of Biggie Smalls, he seemed happier than ever and unphased by it all. Filmed in a hotel, apart from the rapper jokingly using Jamaican patois while talking, as is common in most Jamaican households, the footage also shows him shaving, saying he wants to maintain his appearance of being 21 years old. The rapper was 22 when the footage was filmed. You can watch it in the video below.