Murs Details Watching Biggie Smalls Lose A Rap Battle To An Unsigned MC (Video)
Many Heads have seen the footage of a pre-deal Biggie Smalls ripping into an opponent in his own neighborhood, outside a Brooklyn storefront (posted below). The Notorious B.I.G. was clearly a battle-tested MC who brought his confidence, wit, and commanding delivery to a decorated career that includes a diamond-certified double LP, and another classic debut to boot.
However, no MC is infallible. Just as J.U.I.C.E. recently offered the defeated Eminem a “double or nothing” rematch of their 1997 Scribble Jam battle, Biggie likely did not walk away from all battles as the victor.
Murs just released his Captain California album. In promotion of that LP, the Living Legends member appeared on DX Live for HipHopDX. In a Facebook video, the artist who has collaborated with Snoop Dogg, O.C., DJ Quik and other Biggie peers recalls watching a young B.I.G. face an opponent in the streets of Los Angeles.
“[Biggie was playing at a show] right around the corner from Project Blowed at Marley Gibbs’ place, the Crossroads of L.A,” Murs tells the DX staff about an event that appears to be in late 1994. “He was opening for Craig Mack. He came out [and] did ‘Juicy’ and then said, ‘Who’s the hottest MC in here? I’ll battle him right now.’ It was barely nobody [in] there. Lady Of Rage was in the back,” recalls Murs. At that time, Death Row Records and Biggie’s Bad Boy appeared to be on amicable terms. “It was maybe 50 people in there. He battled this dude named NgaFsh from [Chillin’ Villain Empire]. Fish got in his ass. Killed him. And Biggie was a good sport about it. As a 14-year-old looking up to that shit I was like, ‘Wow I’ve been listening to [The Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready To Die] all month and I love him and he got served’ but it didn’t mean anything. He was just giving this dude some shine that’s from our city. Gave him love, held up his hand and was like, ‘You got me bro,’ went back [to his set] then Craig Mack came on and did ‘Flava In Ya Ear’ twice and left.”
NgaFsh is a part of Project Blowed. For those looking for a taste of his style, the fast-rapping MC appeared on “Enter The Kaos,” alongside other prominent P.B. members Aceyalone and Busdriver:
Project Blowed also included hit-maker Volume 10 (“Pistol Grip Pump”), Rhymesayers MC Abstract Rude, Nocando, and all members of Freestyle Fellowship.
Murs’ career would largely take shape a few years later. The same 1997 where Biggie Smalls was killed in Los Angeles, Murray dropped his full-length debut, F’Real. Captain California features Curtiss King and label-mate Krizz Kaliko.
Elsewhere in the interview, Murs discusses his latest Strange Music LP, and the understated artistic toughness of Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am.
#BonusBeat: Biggie’s circa 1990 battle footage:
This was shot in Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn.