It goes without saying, but Biggie Smalls also known as The Notorious BIG had a huge influence on hip-hop. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York Smalls dropped out of school at age 17 and became heavily involved in crime, spending nine months in jail for smuggling crack cocaine. After being released from prison, Smalls released a demo called “Microphone Murderer” which finally caught the attention of rap editor at “The Source” magazine in 1992. Building on the demo, Smalls signed to the label by Sean “Puff” Comb, Bad Boy Records.
In 1994, Smalls released their single “Juicy / Unbelievable”, which peaked at No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and led to their debut album “Ready to Die”, which ultimately went quadruple platinum. In 1995, Smalls was the best-selling solo artist and male rapper, before being named Rap Artist of the Year at the Billboard Awards.
On March 9, 1997, Smalls was shot and killed as he left a party in Los Angeles. Her second and final studio album, “Life After Death” was released as a post-humorous 16 days later and debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 200. The singles from the albums “Hypnotize” and “Mo Money Mo Problems” also debuted at number one. . The album featured a number of star artists who would go on to become rap and R&B legends, including Jay-Z, R. Kelly and Lil Kim.
In honor of what would be Smalls’ 48th birthday, we’ve handpicked some of our favorite Biggie tattoos from talented artists around the world. Take a look at these sensational tattoos in the gallery below, then share your favorite Biggie song in the comments section on social media.