Behind the rap legend

2009-03-16 00:00

The rapper biopic might seem a bit overdone considering that there’s been at least one release per year ever since Eminem’s 8 mile, but Notorious was just da sh*t.

With every release of this sort, I’ve always asked myself: why is it that this rapper (and a lot of the time, an actor) should have a movie made about him?

With a little help from Wikipedia, I found that the Notorious BIG, born Christopher George Latore Wallace, achieved fame not only by becoming the first artist to reach number one on the Billboard charts with an album released after his death, but two of the largest hip-hop magazines, The Source and Blender, also named him the greatest rapper of all time.

Biggie was also the first artist to bring hip-hop music to the mainstream music market. So we can actually credit him for what we hear on the radio nowadays, because hip- hop has become the pop of today.

Apart from his commercial success, his personal life, which was heavily publicised in the media, was like a soap opera, only with a lot more censored words.

From his relationships with protege Li’l Kim and R ’n B songstress Faith Evans, to his beef with Tupac (which lead to the East Coast-West Coast rift), Biggie’s personal life was definitely eventful if not entertaining.

And all of this before age 23.

Although the movie does drag a bit, it offers more than just what was on the surface. A lot of people may want to watch this movie to gain some insight into what really went down (because of everything put out there by the media), and yes, it does this and a little more.

This movie gives you an understanding of the man, his actions and those of a lot of others in his social circle. It puts it all out there, drug-dealing and all.

You can tell that a lot of TLC went into this production, judging from the acting alone. Angela Basset (who plays Biggie’s mom), and newcomer Naturi Naughton (Li’l Kim) give phenomenal performances, as do most of the cast.

Another newcomer who holds his own, Jamal Woolard who plays Biggie himself, even has Biggie’s heavy breathing thing down to an art.

This is a must-see. ****

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