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by Mike Breen 03.09.2012
Posted In: Music Video, Music History at 10:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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This Date in Music History: March 9

Notorious B.I.G. dies and Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz lives

Today is the 15th anniversary of the murder of celebrated rapper Christopher Wallace, aka the Notorious B.I.G. (aka Biggie Smalls, aka Big Poppa, etc., etc.). Since his death, Wallace's status has risen considerably and he's widely considered one of the best MCs to ever hold a mic, for both his smooth, laid-back flow and lyrical prowess. Caught in the middle of the East Coast/West Coast feuding of the time, Wallace (a NYC native) was killed while in California promoting his soon to be released sophomore album, eerily titled (in hindsight, as was his debut's title, Ready to Die) Life After Death. On March 9, Smalls attended the Soul Train awards show in L.A., where he presented Toni Braxton with one of two awards she would win that night (and was booed by the West-leaning coastal feuders in the audience). Wallace left an afterparty at 12:30 a.m. later that night and, about 50 yards from the party entrance, a black Chevy Impala reportedly pulled up next to the vehicle the MC was in and someone in the Impala shot Wallace four times in the chest. He was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead March 9 at 1:15 a.m. Despite various theories, confessions and extensive investigations, the case, like that of West Coast star rapper Tupac Shakur (killed about six months prior in similar fashion), remains unsolved. Life After Death came out 15 days after Wallace's murder. It went to No. 1 on Billboard's album chart instantly. Two more posthumous B.I.G. records were cobbled together — 1999's Born Again, featuring tracks culled from unfinished ones on which Wallace had been working, and the similar Duets: The Final Chapter from 2005, which was widely criticized due to the posthumous pairings with artists many felt Wallace would never have worked with in his lifetime. The album's guests included Eminem, Twista, The Game, Nas, Nelly, Scarface, Missy Elliott, R. Kelly, Bob Marley (?!), Korn (?!?!) and West Coast MCs Snoop Dogg and 2Pac. Amazingly, unlike the posthumously prolific 2Pac, the album really was "The Final Chapter"; the only other Biggie releases to come out after that were a 2007 greatest hits collection and the 2009 soundtrack to the film Notorious, based on Wallace's life and death.Time magazine's website posted a music video playlist tribute today here. And below is "Living In Pain" from the Duets release, which featured Big and Pac, plus still-alive performers Nas and singer Mary J. Blige:Click on for Born This Day, featuring Bow Wow, John Cale and Ornette Coleman.

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Notorious (Review)

Notorious B.I.G. gets the big-screen biopic treatment

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Soul Food director George Tillman Jr. helms this Hip Hop biopic based on the rise and untimely demise of Christopher Wallace (aka Biggie Smalls, aka The Notorious B.I.G.), tracing his early days as a corner dealer to his relationship with Sean "Puffy" Combs and Tupac Shakur. Watching newcomer Jamal Woolard valiantly attempt to fill the big man's shoes inspires sadness (at the loss) and a sense of being underwhelmed by the proceedings. Grade: C.  

Sweet Child '09

A look into the crystal day-planner to see the year's upcoming music news

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 7, 2009
It's almost beyond belief that we're on the cusp of the last year of the first decade of the new millennium. What does 2009 hold for us? Axl Rose will release a 10-CD box set of material that was considered for 'Chinese Democracy,' while the late Tupac Shakur will mount his first posthumous tour.   

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