The release of ‘Ready To Die’ in 1994 had seen Biggie Smalls become regarded as the saviour of east coast rap yet he rarely performed at large venues. I was taking photos for the New York Times and was fortunate to be one of the few photographers allowed to take pictures front of stage. He was a great live performer, menacingly stalking the stage in his sharp suit and trilby whilst throwing dollar bills out to the audience. This had the desired effect to make the crowd go even more wild.
Less than two years later he would be dead – another victim of the east coast/west coast feuds. Although the assailant has never been apprehended, there finally appears to be some movement in making a conviction.
Thankfully his legacy lives on with his music and even in 2011 more remixes and duets are planned for release.