Biggie Smalls, the famous New York rapper also popularly known as Notorious B.I.G., was murdered brutally in a shooting in 1997. His death left those who knew him with many unanswered questions.
Coincidentally, the same fate had befallen his musical rival, Tupac Shakur, several months earlier in September 1996. Like Tupac, nobody knows with certainty who killed Biggie Smalls, although there are some strong theories on who the rapper's killer might be.
Biggie and Tupac were friends initially, but they eventually became rivals in a hostile public beef. This dispute is believed to have led to their early deaths.
Biggie's Early Life And Entry Into The Hip Hop Industry
Biggie Smalls' real name was Christopher Wallace. He was born in Brooklyn on May 21, 1972, in a tough neighborhood. His father abandoned the family when he was just two years old.
His mother had to work two jobs to keep the family moving forward. He started dealing drugs at 12 and dropped out of school by 17. In 1989, he was arrested on a weapons charge and got a five-year suspended sentence.
After a year, he got arrested after violating his parole. Biggie was given a nine-month jail sentence in 1991 for dealing cocaine. At this point, he also started to rap and record himself.
Biggie also started rapping on street corners in his neighborhood, and as soon as Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs launched his label, Bad Boy Records, he found Biggie and signed him.
At the time of his death, he had two children with musician Faith Evans. He was also at the height of his career when he died.
Could Beef With Tupac Help Answer The Question Of Who Killed Biggie Smalls?
Carson, the F.B.I. agent involved in Biggie's murder investigation, believed he knew who killed Biggie Smalls. Carson claimed that Suge Knight had financed the shooting.
Allegedly, Suge had done this because he was angry that his "cash cow," Tupac Shakur, had been shot dead. According to rumors, Suge's accountant helped handle the financial aspect of the murder plot.
Before his death, Tupac had blamed Biggie for getting shot during a robbery in a New York recording studio. Shakur survived the attack, and he believed that Biggie was involved after he coincidentally released the song Who Shot Ya?.
Tupac felt the song was aimed at him. After that, the rapper taunted Biggie over his weight. He also claimed to have slept with his ex-wife, Faith Evans.
Due to this public beef, some people theorized that Biggie Smalls's shooting was a retaliation for Shakur's shooting. The claim, however, has never been fully substantiated.
When Shakur was shot dead in 1996, Suge also got shot, but he survived. At the moment, Suge is in prison for manslaughter. He was sentenced in 2018 after a deadly hit-and-run, and many people think he is the man who knows who killed Biggie Smalls.
Biggie Smalls Was Shot While Sitting In His Car
Biggie was shot while in his S.U.V. at a traffic light. The person who killed Biggie Smalls shot him four times.
After the incident, the rapper was rushed to the hospital. Biggie succumbed to his injuries in the early hours of March 9, 1997. The autopsy revealed that the final bullet had killed him, hitting his colon, liver, heart, and left lung.
He died in Los Angeles, where he was promoting his album while also attending industry events.
He had risen to stardom with his debut album, Ready to Die. The album had made him the undisputed king of East Coast hip hop.
The album, which had hits like Big Poppa and Juicy, was later ranked as one of the top 500 albums of all time by Rolling Stone. It also turned out to be the only album he released while still alive, and it has sold more than 6 million copies.
Biggie's second album, Life After Death, was released two weeks after his death. It shot to number one on the Billboard 200 and eventually got Diamond certification.
Was Amir Muhammad The Man Who Killed Biggie Smalls?
Phil Carson, a retired F.B.I. agent, believed that the person who killed Biggie Smalls was Amir Muhammad, also known as Harry Billups. Carson also thought that several people orchestrated the high-profile murder.
Carson claimed that there was a lot of effort to cover up the murder plot once Biggie was dead. The F.B.I. agent described the massive cover-up as the biggest miscarriage of justice in his 20-year F.B.I. career.
According to him, the police were also involved in the cover-up.
Due to the alleged involvement of the police in the murder of Biggie Smalls, Voletta Wallace, the rapper's mother, sued the LAPD for about $500 million.
In 2009, Greg Karding, the LAPD detective working on the case, concluded that Diddy had put a hit worth $1 million on Tupac and Suge Knight after their beef with Biggie.
The agent insisted that several people had identified Amir as the man who had pulled the trigger. The car used during the shooting, a 1995 Black SS Impala, belonged to David Mack, a close friend of Amir Muhammad.
Was Poochie The Man Who Killed Biggie Smalls?
Mob James, Suge Knight's former boss, believed that Wardell "Poochie" Fouse was the man who killed Biggie Smalls.
The theory was also shared by Reggie Wright Jr, the head of security at Death Row Records at the time Biggie was shot dead.
Wardell was a member of the Bloods. Some group members had no musical talent but stuck around because they could make money doing "certain things."
Poochie died in 2003 after he was ambushed and shot as he was riding his motorbike. He was shot ten times through his back.
Apparently, before his death, nobody talked about his involvement in Notorious B.I.G.'s death. But after his death, that changed. People could finally speak out about him being the person who killed Biggie Smalls without fear of repercussions, allegedly.
Was Sean "Diddy" Combs The Intended Target?
Gene Deal, P. Diddy's former bodyguard, had said that a man in a bow tie had shot the rapper. James Mob denied the possibility of that happening by claiming that Deal was not at the scene when the murder took place.
A former F.B.I. agent later said that the intended target was Diddy. According to the agent, Suge Knight was the person behind Biggie Smalls' murder, but his target was Diddy over his alleged involvement in Shakur's murder.
There were reports that Diddy, a close friend of Biggie's, had hired a hitman to kill Shakur. For this reason, it was theorized that the man who killed Biggie Smalls was supposedly after him.
Diddy had gotten several death threats by the time Biggie was killed. Moments before Biggie was shot dead, Diddy's security guard dealt with a man who had approached his car.
While Biggie stopped at the red light in his S.U.V., Diddy did not because he felt it wouldn't have been safe.
Biggie and his driver stayed at the red light for about a minute before he was shot, indicating that the shooter might have been confused about the identity of the vehicle's occupants since both Biggie and Diddy were using green S.U.V.s.
The Question Of Who Killed Biggie Smalls Remains Unanswered To This Day
Several documentaries have been released to solve the mystery of the person who killed Biggie Smalls, but no definitive answer has ever been found.
At the time of his death, Biggie Smalls had won several accolades for his work, including awards at the Billboard Music Awards in New York in December 1995.
It has been over 25 years since the rapper died, and the question of who killed Biggie Smalls has never been answered.
Nevertheless, his impact on hip-hop lives on to this day. Biggie was only 24 at the time of his death.
Biggie revived hip-hop in New York after years of domination by West Coast rappers such as his biggest friend turned rival, Tupac Shakur.
The famous rapper was buried on March 18, 1997, but to this day, nobody can tell for sure who killed Biggie Smalls.