REALLY QUICK: Why Biggie is Considered One of the Greatest MCs of All Time

One of my favorite Shawn Mortensen pictures.

Welcome to another new feature here on Popular Opinions – ‘Really Quick.’ Here, instead of the usually extensive blog post, I’m going to just offer up a quick explanation as to why something is the way it is. Consider these the go-to posts when someone needs a quick answer to something they should already know.

If rapper Canibus has made only one major contribution to rap music, and he has, it’s his line “the greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th,” from his dis to LL Cool J that, over a decade later, reminds us all of the day we lost Biggie. If you weren’t a Hip-Hop fan in the late-90s and are only aware of Puff’s mythical “I lace the track you lock the flow” friend whose Wikipedia page the movie Notorious was based on, chances are the last thing you’ve heard discussed about the man is his actual recorded output. Many of Biggie’s staunchest supporters will simply bellow “BIG POPPA IS THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME” and not even acknowledge your question of “why?” as they’re too busy playing Def Jam’s Rap Star with Hulk Hogan.

Long-story short, beyond that bizarre moment of pop culture when a genre’s two most popular artists were murdered a midst a sensationalized media blitz, The Notorious B.I.G. is one of the most important and influential artists to ever pick up a mic. Many people consider him one of the all time greats and REALLY QUICK here’s why…

An Undeniable Masterpiece and there is no argument to the contrary.

Ready to Die is one of the best rap albums of all time, largely due to Biggie. From the rhyme writing to the performance in terms of both voice and flow, it’s impressive on every technical level and in the LP’s fully realized vision is made to sound easy. Also, his collaborations at the time were all stellar and at least half of Life After Death is undeniably a virtuoso at work. Let’s also remember that at the time of his death he had only been rapping for SIX YEARS.

Biggie could be a ‘lyrical-spiritual-miracle’ type rapper one second and then effortlessly switch to a less-is-more storyteller all with maybe one transitional bar with no filler. That’s not even including one of the best voices and most charismatic presences in the genre’s history. When you have one of the best rap albums of all time AND 90% of your recorded output is incredible, you can’t really knock someone nominating him for a ‘best of all time’ position.

So until next time…let’s agree to agree!

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