It's hard to believe it was 14 years ago today that Biggie Smalls, aka The Notorious B.I.G., was shot and killed after the Soul Train Music awards in Los Angeles. Born Christopher Wallace, he was just 24 at the time, but his lyrics and music had already secured his place as one of the greatest rappers in history.
Celebrities and fans today recalled just how much he meant to them. Basketball great Shaquille O'Neal has been particularly haunted since the rapper's death, wondering if he could have saved him. He was supposed to be with him that night, but because of a fluke, ended up going to bed instead. In an ESPN Outside the Lines feature, O'Neal recalled Biggie:
I just think that I was fortunate enough to say that I knew him. Fortunate enough to say that he blessed me with 32 bars on my album. And I'm blessed enough to say that he knew me and I knew him. So I don't really think about the bad times, I think about the good times. He is the greatest now. Even now, when I listen to his verse on different beats, it still sounds like he's still here.
Mike Tyson also reminisced about the rapper, telling MTV:
He was just a dynamic rapper. It’s just a shame he had to leave us so early.” Tyson also added, “Same with Tupac as well, you know? It was just senseless and reckless…just real drastic measures.
Sean "diddy" Combs, who signed Biggie to his label, declared it #BIGGIEDAY on Twitter, and kept up a constant stream of Tweets about his friend all day. Just minutes ago he Tweeted:
i want all the biggie fans out there to change their avatar ... its still #BIGGIEDAY !! lets celebrate the life of the one and only...
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