R.I.P. to Notorious B.I.G. -- The Good Die Mostly Over Bull

First off, R.I.P. to Christopher Wallace BKA (better known as) Notorious B.I.G., a talented young man who died senselessly at the hands of someone who was most likely the same color as he.Everyone knew it was true when we first heard rumors he was dead. "Aye! Somebody just killed that fool Biggie Smalls!""Damn!" was the only reply.That makes for four very popular rappers killed since January 1st, 1996, and the last two deaths were the top billing artists on each of their respective "coasts" or "sides". Despite their similarities, the two feuded furiously, in songs, interviews and in person, pulling guns, traps, setups. All heaven and earth knows Tupac accused B.I.G. of being the attacker in the first attempt on his life and devoted the end of his career to humiliating the "Notorious" one.What is even more ironic is that the two (Tupac and Big) were also at one time the closest of friends. What severed the friendship? Quoting Tupac, "Biggie got signed." The music industry destroyed their friendship, after which both set off on their own self-destructive paths -- parallel lines ending at the same point: Bullet riddled cars with bullet-riddled young black men slumped over inside.Check out another similarity. Both men also had the same underlining theme in their music -- death.In light of their deaths, I've pondered their recorded pasts and fight the impulse to loathe both the men and their messages. First, Tupac, because he was once a voice of hunger and purity -- of "the young black male." In his first hit, Brenda's Got A Baby, he reminded his audience:"I hear Brenda's got a baby, but Brenda's barely got a brain.Damn shame the girl could hardly spell her nameThat's not our problem, that's up to Brenda's family.But let me show how it effects our whole community.....Ayo and it's sad cuz I bet she doesn't know,just because you're in the ghetto doesn't mean you can't grow."But he regressed both mentally and spiritually as his financial status progressed. In his last album, Makavelli the Don Killuminati, he moved from Brenda to:"Come with me, hail Mary Nigga! Run quick see, what do we hear now?Do you want to ride (kill) or die? die. die. die. die. die, die, die, die."To accurately describe it, Tupac fell from grace. Angelic, idealistic, powerful Tupac became human and in doing so became inhuman. Whereas the B.I.G. man always saw his fate coming and voiced his fear frequently, from his first album Ready to Die to his last, Life After Death.Even though both men expressed fear and resentment for their separate but shared destinies, neither made the necessary changes in music, let alone lifestyle, to escape them. Their fears became self-fulfilling prophecies.Both men have left legacies musically. Tupac's cronies are the Outlaw Immortals (once known as the Thug Life). B.I.G.'s junior mafia are now faced with the task of making good on their mentor's memories by making good of themselves. The Outlaw Immortals just recently lost a member, the only member coincidentally who was willing to assist police in finding Tupac's killers. He was shot in the head.That makes FIVE dead rappers, not four; all of the gangsta hardcore genre. Men who should be raising their children and making more millions are dead, have met their violent and bloody fates. All men who, even though at times they rebelled against such senseless loss of life, chose to accept this as reality and just "tell it like it is".By contrast, rappers like Chuck-D and KRS One, Rass Kass and Outkast tell it how it should be -- and how it originally was.R.I.P. Seagram, Mr. C, Tupac and his all too mortal comrade Notorious B.I.G. They represent the examples for those who criticize the music, the martyrs for those who follow the music, and the fallen dynasty for those who created the music.To quote another spiritualist/edu-tainment rap group, Goodie M.D.B., "The good die mostly over bull....."

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