EDITORIAL: My Issues With March 9th

The greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th” ~Canibus

We all remember that line from Canibus on the anniversary of the day that the Notorious B.I.G. died. Maybe we should take this as a good time to remember Canibus too. He’s still making music that you don’t seem to care about.

Anyway, it’s not his day, it’s Biggie’s, but I take issue with a few things here.

I’ve already written the post were I talk about how great Biggie was and what a loss his death was to Hip Hop and what a loss his death was period. You can read that anywhere and maybe you have already. Without trying to be offensive to anyone I’d like to take a different approach now.

Notorious B.I.G.- “Queen Bitch (reference track)”

I thought this one was pretty rare so I wanted to share. This is Biggie doing “Queen Bitch” by Lil Kim. It’s strange to here Christopher Wallace say he’ll “stay dat bitch” but it gives a sense of the studio work he and Kim did together and how much he helped her.

It’s been 13 years, can you believe it? It’s hard to imagine kids growing up now who will never know the impact this death, this unsolved murder, had on our culture. I still remember the media’s thirst for encouraging conflict, the confusion in the aftermath, and the startling lack of answers…again.

I know in Hip Hop we’re way more sensitive then we let on but celebrating the birthday and the anniversary of the death of a rapper is a bit much for me. I think it’s too much celebration of death, specifically the death of an artist. It’s hard enough to make it as an artist when you’re alive but being appreciated even more when you’re dead sucks.

Another issue of mine is the fact that we seem to overlook the correlation between the ways our emcees die and the ways the rest of us in the community die. Young Black male murder rates are still high and we don’t need stats to tell us that because one is still too much.

He would have been 38 today. He died at 24 years old. If he made it to 38 would we call him old and irrelevant now? In Hip Hop I think we think we have a concept of what old is but having a concept of what young is is something else entirely.

24 is incredibly young to lose your life and you need perspective to know that. Now that I’m older I have a better idea of what not to look to a rapper for. 24 year olds don’t have all the answers. Sometimes I think we forget that too.

You can go to Smoking Section, one of my favorite sites, for the Remembering March 9th stream of Nick Bloomfield’s 2002 documentary, “Biggie and Tupac”.

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