After Rick Ross announced he was Big Poppa reincarnated in Mafia Music II the internet has been debating the validity of his sentiments. A Hypnotize looking video with Puff Daddy/Diddy ensued while Diddy himself claimed Ross came off sounding like Biggie on Angels last verse. The similarities are there. Both being fat, unattractive and rappers are ambiguous. Pointing out the fact that these characters captivate large audiences with a reliance on charisma is where the arguement gets raw. People are willing to fight/kill/defend the honor and intergity of Biggie and his legacy. Of course he isn’t Biggie reincarnated but is Rick Ross really filling Biggie’s shoes?
Since the Notorious B.I.G. left his earth prematurely rappers have lined up to fill his shoes. From Nas to Jay-z to Jadakiss to your next door neighbor and now Rick Ross. Its embarassing to watch this shit happen. In any other genre they leave their greats their legacy and try to extend the genre beyond the greviance. We (hip hop) try to recreate the legend and the genre doesn’t move. It stays in a stand still. 2pac died almost 15 years ago and the things he releases post mortem tend to be right inline with what is “hot” at the time. Yes his music should still be relevant but we should be able to see the gap in time but that doesn’t happen. The fact that we are still looking for the reincarnation of Biggie is a shame on not only the music but on us the consumer. Let us build on what has fallen. The genre is already in turmoil (if rebirth, the black eyed pea’s and kid cudi are hip hop then the line between hip hop and rock is weathering in the sand) Comparing someone on his path to carve a nitche for himself to a fallen great is discrediting to him and Biggie’s legacy.
Other than arguably being the most unattractive rapper Rick Ross is among the most charismatic. I’m not talking about in his interviews, in his interviews he’s a jackass. I mean in the booth, behind the mic, when he’s rapping. Sure tracks like Billionaire don’t sound like Big Poppa but they don’t sound like Foolish either. This is where the comparasion is astounding. If we’re going to be honest we can agree that the Notorious B.I.G. didn’t always have the best rhymes and sometimes the flow wasn’t there but the charm was prevelant. Whether he was screaming for you to give him the loot or persuading a women to have sex on his persain rug it was all smooth. Rick Ross brings that element to southern rap. Although he has been caught C.O.-ing his bars about cocaine, the lavish life and gangsterism are accepted. Maybe not accepted for their truthfulness but for the sheer effortlessness in which they are delivered. Like Biggie the flow and lyrics aren’t always there but the charm is. His words real or not-fluid or not caress your ear drums. Deeper than rap was much like Bad Boy albums in the 90′s. It was astounding to see a southern rapper throw New York charisma on down south tracks to success. Yea Deeper than Rap only went gold but 500,000 copies in a day in age of torrents and file sharing is a staggering number. Just because Rick Ross is ugly and raps with charm at a successful pace doesn’t mean he’s Biggie. It just means he is ugly and good at his choosen profession.
“Biggie of my city”-Rick Ross. I’ve never heard falser words spoken. People form Brooklyn would kill for Biggie’s integrity. Just twitter search “Rick Ross is Biggie” and look at the tweets that pop up. Biggie was a pinicale piece in that Bed-Stuy lure. In 1995-despite the crime, the low income housing and the high unemployeement rate-if you asked a hip hop head where he’s from and you get Bed-Stuy with a huge grin. Like “What!? yea nigga Bed-Stuy the home of Biggie”. Biggie was/is everything to them. Maybe less now since the gentification but with the originals the feeling is still the same. March 19, 1997 the streets of Bed-Stuy were filled with people morning the death and celebrating the life of Christopher Wallace. I stated all that to ask this. If Rick Ross was killed tomorrow what would happen in Miami? Exactly.
Biggie being reincarnated is a marketing ploy. It’s a politrick as you would have it. I don’t know if it was Rick Ross or IDJ that wished to capitalize on their similatires (Rick Ross/B.I.G.) but the marketing machine ate it up. Its just another way to promote Teflon Don while getting blogs to talk about him. The impact that Christopher Wallace and his rival Tupac had on music will never be mimicked or duplicated. The only successful thing people will be able to do is learn and try to recreate the vibe they instilled in this thing of ours. Fact of the matter is there will never be another Biggie Smalls; Never! Although he isn’t Big, Mr. Ross defiantly (see what I just did right there?) is the closest one. For this we applaud but let the late great vetern live.
5 Responses to “The Reincarnation of Christopher Wallace”
February 28th, 2010 at 11:51 pm
I agree up to a point, Biggie was a product of space & time. He was in the perfect place saying the right things to the right audience. His death was foreshadowed in his music which helped take his popularity to even greater heights. If Ross admires Biggies effect on the culture than thats fine but thats where the comparisons should end. No way dude is holding a candle to Chris Wallace’s accomplishments. Matter of fact its safe to say Ross and his whole generation of wannabes is standing on the foundation that dudes like Big, Pac, Nas, Jay, Geto Boys, UGK, and countless others who elevated the music to pop icon, rock star status. This is a big reason why popularized hip hop is losing steam in sales. No one is interested in the rehashing of these old “classic images” that were used to establish the culture. We need the next step. Its high time someone “new” with a different perspective on real life stepped to the plate to deliver us from this era of extreme mediocrity. Just my opinion of course but Ross aint Biggie. Biggie went to jail, not wearing a uniform as an employee for the state….
S. Mat Says:
March 2nd, 2010 at 12:33 pm
Its as simple as talent. ROSS doesn’t have a ‘READY TO DIE’ debut album, a ‘ONE MORE CHANCE’ on the charts or a ‘UNBELIEVABLE’-like performance anywhere (BIG didnt allow METHOD MAN to kill him on his own track the way JAY killed ROSS). Back in 1996, I didnt appreciate the fact that I had BIGGIE, NAS, JAY-Z, MOBB DEEP, CNN, WU TANG, etc all young and in their primes all at once. Where the hell is the young talent? Young JEEZY is 30+, T.I. turns 30 this year, and WAYNE will be 30 in 2012. Comparably, NAS was 20 when ILLMATIC came out. Biggie was 21 when Ready To Die was released. Should I expect later starts and longer finishes. Or is rap just that – mostly finished?
Gerrys Blog » Blog Archive » Christopher Wallace | Pardon Me Duke » Blog Archive » The Reincarnation of Christopher Says:
March 9th, 2010 at 2:48 am
[...] March 19, 1997 the streets of Bed-Stuy were filled with people morning the death and celebrating the life of Christopher Wallace. I stated all that to ask this. If Rick Ross was killed tomorrow what would happen in Miami? Exactly. Read more [...]
March 9th, 2010 at 5:19 pm
Ross doesn’t need to compare himself to BIG. He’s crafted a nice career for himself despite questions regarding his authenticity. On “Cigars” he raps, “I’m the down south Nas;” I saw a photo of him in the front row of a Rakim performance a couple weeks before “The Seventh Seal” dropped. As far as I can tell Ross respects the legends. If he continues to make the type of music he has shown the last few years he will end up very well regarded in the annals of hip hop.
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