Biggie Smalls is still the illest

“That shit was the worst rhyme I ever heard in my life/’Cos the greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th”

A stencil of Biggie sprayed on a telephone exchange in Cathays, Cardiff

A stencil of Biggie sprayed on a telephone exchange in Cathays, Cardiff, Wales UK

FIVE* years since The Notorious BIG was shot dead in Los Angeles and his giant frame still looms large on hip hop.

Just as Canibus referred to the Big Poppa during his 1998 lyrical beef with LL Cool J, today New York is buzzing as Nas and Jay Z do battle – and both state their relationship to, and respect for, Biggie.

Nas scoffs at Jigga’s assertion that he is now the king of New York. But if it wasn’t for Biggie it would be a crown that had long since lost its shine. Continue reading

Kanye West: College Dropout to first class honours

“Good dude, bad night, right place, wrong time

In the blink of a eye, his whole life changed”Kanye1

Los Angeles: The early hours of October 23, 2002 a young music producer making his way back from another late studio session is seriously injured in a car crash.

I learned how Kanye West recovered from the night he almost killed himself in a Lexus, to find his voice  Рmetaphorically and physically following re-constructive jaw surgery  Р18 months later, constantly spinning two thick black vinyl discs at a steady 331/3 revolutions per minute on the turntable my brother had squeezed, with a mixer and a second deck, on the worktop in our tiny kitchen. At times I barely made it past the first five tracks (including the opening skit) as I just dropped the needle back instead of flipping to side B . Continue reading