Biggie Smalls Is Nominated For The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

Last month marked 25 years since The Notorious B.I.G. released his debut album, Ready To Die. This morning, the impact of Biggie Smalls’ short-but-amazing career is reinforced with a nomination into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. The Brooklyn, New Yorker born Christopher Wallace is in a nomination class that also includes Whitney Houston, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Kraftwerk, Thin Lizzy, Nine Inch Nails, The Doobie Brothers, T-Rex, Soundgarden, The Dave Matthews Band, Motorhead, Pat Benatar, Depeche Mode, The MC 5, Judas Priest, and Todd Rundgren.

Including fan participation, top vote-getters will be announced in January of 2020. The ensuing induction ceremony takes place May 20 at Cleveland, Ohio’s Public Auditorium.

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Biggie’s career began in the early 1990s. Battle-rapping on the corners of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, Biggie would eventually link with Big Daddy Kane’s DJ, Mister Cee. Along with DJ 50 Grand, the men recorded a demo tape that would earn Smalls some ink in the “Unsigned Hype” column of The Source magazine.

Uptown Records executive Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs signed Biggie after learning about him through the magazine. There, he recorded an album with an A-list of hardcore Hip-Hop producers including Easy Mo Bee, DJ Premier, Lord Finesse, and Pete Rock. When Puffy was fired from Uptown, he took Biggie with him to his own Bad Boy Records imprint.

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Following breakout single “Party and& Bullsh*t” and appearances with Heavy D & The Boyz, and Mary J. Blige, Biggie released late 1994’s Ready To Die. Under the moniker The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie blended purist lyricism with recognizable production and mainstream digestible choruses. Although an unlikely figure, the rapper became a superstar in his early twenties.

Biggie would garner critical acclaim with commercial success for his debut and work producing Junior M.A.F.I.A. In 1997, Biggie had completed his sophomore album, a chart-topping double LP, Life After Death. Tragically, Biggie was killed in a Los Angeles, California drive-by shooting just days before the now-diamond-certified project’s release. He was just 24 years old. No one was ever convicted for his murder.

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Rappers in the Hall include Biggie collaborator Tupac Shakur as well as Beastie Boys, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, N.W.A., Public Enemy, and Run-D.M.C.