The D.O.C. Explains Why Biggie Is His #1 MC
In September of 1994, photographs were taken of The D.O.C., The Notorious B.I.G., Craig Mack, and Saafir together. The historic moment combining MCs from Texas, New York, California happened backstage at Chicago, Illinois’ Riviera Theatre. That month, Bad Boy Records was amid its “Big Mack” campaign, when Craig Mack released Project: Funk Da World and Biggie Smalls delivered Ready To Die one week later. As Saafir promoted his debut Boxcar Sessions, The D.O.C. was in between periods helping write for Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle, and he would return to rapping as a solo artist.
This month, Doc spoke to Ambrosia For Heads about that meeting. He described the event when asked about which MCs he felt followed his Rap “Formula”—an approach that he broke down on a single from his platinum 1989 debut, No One Can Do It Better.
The D.O.C. names The Notorious B.I.G., but admits that he initially perceived the Brooklyn, New Yorker with frustration. “I got mad at Biggie Smalls ’cause I could hear where I was gonna go. When he first came [out], I could hear where I wanted to go, and couldn’t do it. So it made me be angry with him—before I met him.” Speaking with the What’s The Headline podcast, The D.O.C. points to that Windy City meeting. “But when I met him, he was such a genuine dude. He asked me to take a picture with him, and he was so f__in’ humble. And I was like, how can you hate a dude like that? Ever since then, he’s been my #1, really.”
“We were in Chicago at something. It was Saafir, and Craig Mack, and Smalls, and myself. And he was just a cool dude, man.” The conversation points out that Biggie spoke openly about how his style was influenced by another Dr. Dre affiliate, King T. “King T is another one who don’t get [the props he deserves]. He had me in Dallas, wearing my white gold chain, trying to be him before I met all those guys.” By the late 1980s, The D.O.C. and his Fila Fresh Crew were running in some of the same circles as King T and DJ Pooh. Both MCs would later contribute to Dr. Dre’s 2001 album.
In the full-length D.O.C. interview with What’s The Headline, embedded below in audio, he speaks about getting name-checked by another Brooklyn legend: JAY-Z on “Public Service Announcement (Interlude).”
Earlier this year, The D.O.C. made his first full rapping appearance in over 20 years on The Codefendants’ “Fast Ones.”
Along with the latest interview with The D.O.C., AFH readers can catch regular discussions about the culture on our What’s The Headline. The podcast also features interviews with Royce 5’9, Guy Wood, Sr. and Sharene Wood, Rapper Big Pooh, Cormega, Meyhem Lauren & Daringer, Diamond D, AZ, Blu & Mickey Factz, Joell Ortiz, Kurupt, Evidence, Skyzoo, Pharoahe Monch, Prince Paul & Don Newkirk, Statik Selektah, Lyric Jones, The LOX, MC Eiht, Havoc, Duckwrth, photographer T. Eric Monroe, and Lord Finesse.
#BonusBeat: The D.O.C. speaks about performing for the first time in 33 years: