Few rappers can come close to Biggie Smalls’ iconic flow. Famed for his unique use of the half-rhyme as well as exuding charismatic confidence that was unmatched, even in the hip hop world, when The Notorious B.I.G. spit some bars you knew very quickly that you were in the presence of greatness. From his first moment on the street corners of Brooklyn right up until his tragic death in 1997, Big was one of the best.
If you needed proof of that fact then may we direct your attention to the sparkling display of talent below as Biggie Smalls delivers quite possibly the finest freestyle of his career, combining all the facets of his holy stardom into one iconic video. Taken from 1997, the clip proves his genius.
The Wake Up Show with Sway and King Tech on 92.3 The Beat, is arguably one of the most famous radio programmes of all time. A Californian institution, the show was a vital part of hip hop’s rise to dominance. One of the best moments of any appearance on the show was when the great rappers of the day delivered fearsome freestyles. Naturally, when Biggie showed up, the hosts were keen to hear him spit.
However, before they did that, the DJs asked Biggie about the non-fatal shooting of Tupac Shakur and how the West Coast rapper assumed Big had set him up. The New York rapper quickly denied the claim, saying the rapper was “caught up” and that it was a pure “coincidence” and that “I’m not that powerful. Yet”.
The Brooklyn native goes on to share how Pac helped guide him early on in his career, saying “you can be the broke rapper or the rich rapper” and that “you can rap as hard as you want on your album, but make sure the radio got its joints.” It’s a reminder of how close their relationship was before tensions grew and rivalry grew with it.
Sadly, the clip only shortly pre-dates the demise of both artists as they were both slain in cold blood. However, without wishing to focus on the dark side of their rivalry for too long, we will swing back to what made The Notorious B.I.G. one of the best as he unloads a mesmeric set of bars for Sway and King Tech.