The Notorious B.I.G. To Be Inducted Into 2020 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
Biggie Smalls, a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G., is the latest rapper to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The legendary artist – full name Christopher George Latore Wallace – joins a prestigious list of icons placed on the list over the past decade, including Tupac Shakur, N.W.A., LL Cool J and The Beastie Boys.
Biggie makes up the hall’s 35th annual class of inductees, alongside Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, T-Rex and longtime rock journalist Jon Landau.
One of America’s most famous rappers, Brooklyn-born Biggie led 90s music through a change of the tide, as fans flocked to buy each and every rap record hitting the shelves.
In order to qualify for the Hall of Fame, artists must have released an album preceding 1994 – fortunately, Biggie released his classic album Ready To Die that very year.
It was a release that propelled him into stardom, but also tapped into the previously unspoken lifestyle of a drug-dealer. Commenting on the album, Sean Combs, a.k.a. P Diddy, told The New York Times: ‘In street life you’re not allowed to show if you care about something. You’ve got to keep that straight face. The flip side of that is this album. He’s giving up all his vulnerability.’
While his legacy echoes through today’s music, Biggie’s career was cut tragically short. In March 1997, as the rapper’s SUV waited at a red light, another car pulled up beside it and opened fire – he was rushed to hospital, but sadly did not survive.
This came only months after the death of Tupac, who Biggie was close with during his career, and who similarly died in a drive-by shooting. Both cases were never fully solved.
The inducted musicians were chosen from a ballot of 16 finalists, leaving the likes of Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motörhead, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy waiting until next year’s induction.
While appearing on NPR’s Morning Edition, music writer Evelyn McDonnell discussed a study in which she found that only 69 of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 888 members – less than 8% – were women. While Houston’s inclusion is a more-than-deserved place, she’s being inducted alongside other, exclusively male artists and groups.
The annual induction ceremony is set to take place on May 2 at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, the city in which the rock museum is located.
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