Nas Details What Made Biggie One Of The Greatest To Ever Touch The Mic (Video)
Nas and The Notorious B.I.G. were both friends and rivals. With a complicated history—one of legend, the two artists tragically never were able to share a song—despite plans for a “Gimme The Loot (Remix)” in 1994-1995.
Looking at the life and work of his man, Nas gives it up for B.I.G. in a massive way. “Biggie had his foot on everybody’s necks from a musical standpoint,” Nas remembers of the fellow New York MC in the new series Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G. “We needed him,” Nas says. “He had the game in a chokehold.”
Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G. premiered this week and is now available on demand on A&E
“Biggie was definitely not just Alfred Hitchcock, he was Stanley Kubrick,” Nasir says, comparing Christopher Wallace to esteemed film directors. “He was Langston Hughes…He had the look. He had the presence, the vocal presence and physical presence on the stage. He looked like a king. He was the true king of Hip-Hop.”
Produced to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Biggie Smalls’ death in a still-unsolved drive-by-shooting in Los Angeles, the documentary includes interviews with JAY-Z, Puff Daddy, and the Bed-Stuy rapper’s widow, R&B singer, Faith Evans.
Nas is not alone in thinking that Biggie was one of “the greatest ever to touch the mic.” Virginia MC Pusha T made the same claim two years ago, telling Rolling Stone that Biggie “delved deep. He was a master painter with words. His flow was just so effortless. … Big had all these intricacies, all these colors, all these witty things—and it didn’t sound like a rap. It was a conversation.”
Biggie’s Smalls’ iconic reputation is all the more remarkable considering he only released two solo albums – Ready To Die in 1994 and the posthumous Life After Death, both on Bad Boy Records. Compilations have followed since.
Summing up the genius of The Notorious B.I.G, Nas says in the clip: “There’s many levels to it: There’s the voice. There’s the words you use; there’s the slang you use. There’s your flow. It’s timing. It’s metaphors. It’s about the gift of gab.”
He then adds: “The guy who could speak the language of the people he’s around, you know – that guy – that’s a really special gift…I wish I could just give him a dap, go, yo, what’s up? Just talk to him.” Nas adds. “[Biggie] was one of those minds you want to get to know. He’s greatly missed to this day. He’s one of the greatest—ever, ever—to touch the mic. Ever, period.”
In the years since Biggie’s death, Nas has opened up about a rivalry with B.I.G., alleging that “Kick In The Door” was subliminally aimed at him. Early in their careers, the two New Yorkers rocked shows together—including one famed clip.
Also, to be released later this year: a six-hour mini-series, on Biggie’s nemesis, Tupac Shakur – shot six months prior in Las Vegas – entitled Who Killed Tupac?
#BonusBeat: This TBD episode examines Ralph McDaniels’ early 1990s clip of Nas and Biggie on stage together, and what really took place:
Other TBD episodes.