Wednesday, March 9, 2011
A B.I.G. TOUCH OF RHYME
Everyone has a story, right?I'm no exception to that rule..in fact many of us have more than a few interesting sagas to tell,and like many people who feel their stories are worth reading, I intend to write an autobiography about my life, one day in the future. Those of us who have embraced music as a way of life often have very intriguing eye-opening tales to tell..In my book, you'll read about how Teena Marie helped me repair the motor in my car, who should pay me for publishing for stealing a rhyme that I wrote, and of course, no autobiography would be complete without a Tupac or a Suge Knight story..but for now, here's my "touching" Notorious B.I.G. story. I vowed to myself that I would only reveal this story in my book, so consider this a free chapter..
I lived in L.A. between the years 94 and 98, so I was on the left coast when the whole east coast vs. west coast Hip-hop "beef" took place.I remember how somber the mood of the city was on that day Pac died..reminiscing now, it all seems like the drama was too blown out of proportion; almost movie-like, & sometimes conspiracy-driven. The date was March 9, 1997, and I lived near the Wilshire district. I, along with a few friends I decided to go to the Soul Train afterparty at the Auto Museum; after all it was walking distance from where I lived. When I arrived at the party, of course the line was long, and the party was already crowded inside.I engaged in some convo with a few folks, and some of my peeps and I were debating whether or not we should wait to get in.
I slowly approached the entrance. This party was extremely crowded.I turned around to briefly speak to someone, and then my attention became directed to the door, where I saw a jovial Biggie Smalls walking past me on his way out of the building. Dressed in all black and limping while walking with a black cane, he was accompanied by the Junior Mafia/Bad Boy entourage.Without a second thought, I reached out my hand to shake Big's hand. "Hey Biggie, much respect!""Hey, how you doin?" he replied, his handshake firm and quick. He seemed to be as polite as everyone said he was.Like everyone else, I had so much respect for what Biggie represented to hip-hop as a phenomenal lyricist.It was imperative I shake his hand & pay him the respect he deserved, if anything as a token of appreciation for the inspiration he provided.
Hey, I was a fan. (Who wasn't ?) I was surprised by his light-hearted relaxed & upbeat demeanor despite the fact that he was obviously injured, & despite the fact that he was on the west coast, where tensions were clearly high.He didn't seem to be bothered too much.
Anyway, me & the folks that I rolled with decided to not participate in the mayhem, & we opted instead to leave.I saw Biggie hop into the truck with his entourage. Shortly afterward, while leaving the parking lot, I saw people who looked bewildered and frazzled.I hadn't heard or seen anything out of the ordinary.No screams, no gunshots, no screeching tires, and I was on the premises.This is why I've always believed that Biggie's murder was an "inside professional" job. It was too quick, & too clean..almost unnoticable.It all happened quicker than you could imagine, quicker than lightning.I remember someone running around saying Biggie was shot, & I was thinking to myself, "He was just right here!" It was crazy.
The next day, of course the news was worldwide. Biggie was gone..over a senseless media-driven rap war, or perhaps for even deeper reasons that we've all considered. As a lyricist, I felt honored to have had the opportunity to be "touched" by a lyricist who's lyrics touched us all, right before his transition. Now, to me looking back, it almost feels surreal, that I can say I touched Biggie before he met his fate.I know, this is just another story like there are millions of stories to tell but I've always considered that experience to be in Big's words, none other than "unbelievable".