When Canibus once opined that “the greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th,” he did not exactly go out on a limb. The Notorious B.I.G.—in his time— was easily the most emulated and respected figure in the hip-hop industry, masterfully towing the line between commercial and critical acclaim.
Fifteen years removed from the Brooklyn MC’s untimely passing, The Bridge picked the minds of some of Manila’s finest on their favorite line and why Biggie Smalls was—to them—still the illest:
JOLO aka J-Dot
“Lyrically, I’m supposed to represent”
(The) line speaks for itself. (It) keeps me on my toes whenever I write lyrics.
B-Roc (Turbulence Crew)
“Stay far from timid, only make moves if your heart’s in it, and live the phrase ‘Sky’s The Limit’”
He was a great MC, specially his storytelling skills – unheard of during that time. He writes stories more than structured songs. (He) made me look at talents I work with deeper and challenge them to commit to a storyline when making songs
“You’re nobody till somebody kills you.”
I’m more of a ‘Pac fan than a Biggie fan, but I think Biggie is more intricate with his lyrics. And he has a real distinct voice too
“Spread love, It’s the Brooklyn Way”
I grew up in New York City. I glorify my borough, Brooklyn, as Biggie did. I’m a super-duper hip-hop head, so naturally Biggie Smalls fell as a giant inspiration to my life. Just as the part I played in ‘Notorious’ the movie, I am one of his biggest fans.
“Birthdays was the worst days. Now we sip champagne when we thirst-ay “
He influenced me with his honest lyrics and storytelling. His flow is also not contested till today.