Biggie Smalls Is (Still) The Illest: A Writer’s 5 Favorite Notorious B.I.G. Songs


(AllHipHop Features) Twenty years ago today, while leaving the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California, Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace was fatally shot.  I still clearly remember being a 9-year-old boy sitting on the floor in the living room of my grandparents’ home in Sarasota, Florida, and hearing the newscaster report that Biggie had been killed on the evening news.

It left a void in Hip-Hop that will never be replaced and his passing is a tragedy on so many levels.  However, rather than mourn his death, I choose to celebrate his life.  The music he created is timeless and some of the best that has ever been made.

My name is Shad Reed and I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of writing for for about 4.5 years now.  If you’ve read, commented, or debated over a list on this site at all in the past few years, there’s a very good chance that I’m the one who wrote it.

The Notorious B.I.G. is one of the reasons I am passionate about Hip-Hop.  He was one of rap’s brightest stars during my formative years as a music fan, and so he is not only responsible for one of my favorite albums, Ready to Die, but also holds a spot in my Top 5.

I had the wonderful opportunity to pay homage to the aforementioned LP a few years ago, and so I would be remiss to not point out why I hold the artist himself in such high regard too.  The fact he is still so important all these years after his death proves that I am not the only one who does either.

Narrowing my list of favorite Biggie joints down to five is a daunting task because he has so many great records.  Even if that’s cliché, it doesn’t make it any less true.  “My Downfall.”  “Who Shot Ya?”  “Brooklyn’s Finest” with Jay Z.  The way he blacked out on that Jackson 5 sample for Puff’s remix to “All About the Benjamins.”  The two characters on “Gimme the Loot.” The screenplay like detail of “N****s Bleed.”  Those songs, among others, could be on a list like this and I wouldn’t be mad at it.

If forced to pick though, these are the five Notorious B.I.G. songs that have affected and/or impressed me the most.

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So, what are you favorite five songs of the notorious Biggie Smalls?