A NETFLIX documentary celebrating the life of Brooklyn-born rapper Biggie Smalls is out today.
Also known as The Notorious B.I.G, he is considered one of the greatest rappers of all time due to his distinctive laidback lyrical delivery and often grim content.
His music was often semi-autobiographical, rapping about hardship and criminality, but also celebration.
Biggie: I Got A Story To Tell, premieres on the streaming service today (March 1).
What happened to Biggie Smalls?
Biggie Smalls was born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York on May 21, 1972.
The rapper, who real name was Christopher George Latore Wallace, was signed to Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records when it first launched in 1993.
His debut album Ready To Die was met with widespread critical acclaim and included singles like Juicy, Big Poppa and One More Chance.
In 1996, Biggie was entangled in the escalating East Coast-West Coast hip hop feud.
Former friends Biggie and Tupac Shakur were at the heart of a rap war – fuelled by jealousy and brutal diss tracks.
Following the death of Tupac in September 1996, Biggie was accused of being involved in his shooting.
Biggie was then murdered in similar circumstance six months later on March 9, 1997, in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles.
He was 24 at the time of his death.
The driver of a dark Chevrolet Impala SS, dressed in a suit and bow tie, pulled up alongside Notorious B.I.G’s SUV at a red traffic light at 12.45am and began shooting at the rapper’s car.
Biggie was shot four times, and died in hospital at 1.15am.
His second album, Life After Death, was released two weeks later and reached number one on the Billboard 200 – and eventually achieved a Diamond certification in the US.
Who killed Biggie Smalls?
It is still not known who killed Biggie as decades later, his case remains unsolved.
His autopsy – released 15 years after his death – showed the only the final gunshot was fatal.
It entered through his right hip and struck his colon, liver, heart and left lung.
What are the theories behind Biggie’s death?
One theory suggests Biggie was killed by mistake and that P. Diddy was the original target of the shooter.
Leaked FBI documents reveal Sean “Puffy” Combs aka P. Diddy had received multiple death threats and his security guard confronted a man who had approached Combs’ car just moments before the shooting.
Both rappers had been waiting for cars to pick them up outside the Peterson Automotive Museum in LA after an after-party.
The pair both got into the front passenger’s seats of their respective green SUVs.
Combs’ security guard told his driver to run a red light rather than stopping at a junction, knowing they wouldn’t have been safe to sit at the lights.
Biggie’s driver however didn’t follow suit and they sat at the lights for around a minute.
The fact that it took a minute for the shooter to make the hit indicates they were hesitant, perhaps due to identity confusion.
Meanwhile, an ex-FBI agent says he has evidence that the Los Angeles Police Department orchestrated Biggie’s murder.
Philip Carson claims to have evidence against two “dirty” cops and the LAPD could now face a $500million lawsuit.
He says bosses shut down his investigation, but when he retired in 2016 he took almost 3,000 pages of case documents with him.
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Carson gave his evidence to filmmakers and a film about the case called City of Lies starring Johnny Depp is being released shortly.
He said: “LAPD, all the way to the very very f***ing top, knew exactly what was going on.”
Carson believes that Marion “Suge” Knight, the former CEO of Death Row Records who signed rappers including Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac, employed the LAPD cops and ordered them to arrange Wallace’s murder.