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The Murder of Biggie Smalls
Synopses & Reviews
The Notorious B.I.G. exploded onto the hip-hop scene with his platinum-selling album Ready to Die in 1995. The life of B.I.G. a.k.a. Biggie Smalls--born Christopher Wallace--had come a long way from the years spent in his Bed-Sty neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, where he dropped out of school at age seventeen to pursue the culture of the street and master his rapping style. It was on the street that Smalls began emceeing his original raps and was discovered by Sean "Puffy" Combs, who recognized Smalls's potential and took his gangsta image to the next level.
Within a few years he moved from the street to two successful rap albums, several million dollars in earnings, a Billboard Music Award in 1996 for Rapper of the Year, a marriage to R&B singer Faith Evans, a very public affair with L'il Kim, and hanging with Tupac Shakur, Marion "Surge" Knight, Puff Daddy, and Mary J. Blige. Despite becoming king of his world, Smalls didn't leave the life he rapped about behind. During his two-year rise up the charts he had several run-ins with the law, on charges ranging from assault to drugs and weapons possession. In 1994, both he and Combs were accused publicly by Suge Knight and Tupac's camp of setting up the shooting of Tupac Shakur, a charge they both vehemently denied.
The high life was brought to an end on March 9, 1997, after Biggie attended the Soul Train Awards in Los Angeles. Smalls was gunned down in his car much like friend-turned-enemy Shakur had been six months earlier.
Three years after Smalls's death, the police still have not made an arrest, and despite their early confidence that the case would be solved quickly, his murder continues to raise more questions than it answers.
Respected journalist Cathy Scott has traveled from Las Vegas to New York and Los Angeles, interviewing those involved with Smalls and reviewing court documents and police reports surrounding the case in order to tell the real story of the murder of Biggie Smalls.
The Murder of Biggie Smalls uncovers what those around Smalls and Shakur don't want to be revealed, including:
The possibility that Smalls may have owed a gang money and was killed to collect on the debt.
That Puffy Combs, Smalls's record producer, may have hired Crips members as bodyguards, who in turn killed Smalls over a financial beef.
That Combs may have been the intended victim instead of Smalls.
The investigation into Suge Knight, Tupac Shakur's record producer, and the suspicion that he may have masterminded Smalls's murder from his California prison cell.
Smalls's mother's belief that the federal government was involved in the mruder and that police have conspired not to solve the crime.
Why many surrounding Smalls feel the police have neglected the case to the point of letting the murderer get away--while being unwilling to offer any information themselves or assist the police in their efforts.
About the Author
Cathy Scott, a graduate of the University of Redlands, is an award-winning journalist based in Las Vegas. She is also the author of the bestseller The Killing of Tupac Shakur. She serves as the Nevada chairwoman of the Society of Professional Journalists' Sunshine Committee, which works to open government records to the public. Her work has appeared in George, the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and Reuters news service. She has appeared on Unsolved Mysteries, Court TV, BET, CNN, MTV, and CBS's Morning Show.
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