A viral ABC News video from 1997, where people in LA were interviewed about Biggie Smalls’ death, shows how deep the beef was between the East Coast and West Coast rap scenes in the 90s. Biggie Smalls, also known as The Notorious B.I.G., was one of the most influential rappers of all time. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and rose to fame with his debut album Ready to Die in 1994. He was also part of the Bad Boy Records label, founded by Sean “Puffy” Combs.
On March 9, 1997, Biggie Smalls was shot and killed by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, California. He was only 24 years old. He had traveled to LA to promote his upcoming second album Life After Death, and to film a music video for his hit single “Hypnotize”. He had also attended the Soul Train Music Awards, where he was booed by some of the audience.
The murder of Biggie Smalls shocked the hip hop world and sparked many conspiracy theories. Some people believed that it was a retaliation for the murder of Tupac Shakur, another rap legend who was killed in a similar drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, six months earlier.
Tupac and Biggie had been friends and collaborators, but they became rivals after Tupac accused Biggie of being involved in his 1994 shooting at a New York recording studio. The feud escalated into a war between their respective labels, Death Row Records and Bad Boy Records, and their respective coasts, West Coast and East Coast.
1997 ABC Video Shows How Some People in LA Felt When Biggie Smalls Was Murdered
The ABC News video that went viral shows how intense and violent this war was. The video features interviews with people on the streets of LA, who expressed their opinions on Biggie’s death, and whether rap lyrics promote violence. Some of them showed no compassion or sympathy for him, and said that he was warned not to come to LA in the first place.
As you’ll see below, one LA resident said “they told him not to come to LA anymore, he came to LA, and he got busted on. You know what I’m saying, they peeled his cap”. Just imagine someone saying that on Live News in this day and age after a music artist died, it would cause all kinds of backlash.
The video is shocking and disturbing, but it also reveals how much Biggie Smalls influenced and impacted the culture and society of his time. He was not only a rapper, but also a storyteller, a poet, a businessman, a father, a son, and a friend. He had fans and enemies all over the world, and he left behind a legacy that still lives on today.