Friday, March 01, 2013

The Source April 1997 issue (and Fat Tape) featuring The Notorious B.I.G (RE-UP)

“The greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th!” Canibus

I never agreed with Canibus at all since that title is held by KRS-One in my mind. But damn, Biggie is the greatest at something to me. For years, I’ve discussed this with my hip-hop people. To put it bluntly, Biggie was the greatest rapper who said absolutely nothing. “Nothing” as in fly lyrics that were devoid of any real substance. The mere mention of designer clothing, automatic weapons, expensive jewelry, and gorgeous women in his lyrics enhanced their overall image and his detailed storytelling skills reminded me of a  mixture of both Slick Rick and Kool G Rap. But he really never said anything that made me thimk and that's ok because everyone had their own place in hip-hop back then.  Everyone was able to shine and make a little money back in '97.  I told one of my friends to imagine that Biggie had been mentored by Chuck D. He would have changed the world but sadly, it all ended too soon.

Has it really been 16 years already?  I still can’t believe Biggie would have been 40 years old right now. He was just 6 months older than me and imaging him rhyming today, Twittering nonsense, and raising children with or without Faith would have been strange.  His relationship with Puff would have probably dissolved after realizing he was being ripped off. And even if The Commission album had become a reality, I still believe he would taken much of the shine away from Jay-Z and possible helped develop Lil Kim, Cam’Ron, and Charlie Baltimore differently. Untertainment could have been a major player in the late 90’s.

The eerie thing about this issue is “The Last Word” on page 120. Talk about art literally being prophetic.  R.I.P.

The Fat Tape is included...




  1. Much appreciated.

    I'm a fan of Biggie but i think both him and 2pac became martyrs in hip-hop once they died. Think about it, there are no living heroes. Biggie could rap but he wasn't really that hard on the mic. What he did show however was the ability to produce a variety of records.

    Btw Vince, do you happen to have any XXL, Source or other magazines featuring DMX? I already have the June 1998 one (thnx to u!) but do you have like the XXL magazine with the original Murder Inc (DMX, Jay-Z and Ja Rule) for instance? Or anything else maybe? If so, please upload them whenever you can. I'm a big X fan.


  2. Biggie to me is the greatest of all-time. his rhymes was above and beyond others. If BIG was around today he would be where Jay is but even higher. they would literally pull out the red carpet for him everywhere he went. he would b held in such high regard!

    im glad u touched on '97 cause like i been saying for years, 1997 was not wack at all to me thats one of the best years in hip-hop overall. that was the year hip-hop exploded worldwide finacially!

    i dont think BIG would twitter, he would would b raising his kids with Faith def. not lil kim. Now his relationship wit Puff woulda been tricky cause they really liked each other. Puff really loved BIG and i dont think that would b a relationship that he would mess up. The Commision would been one of the biggest groups ever if it come to fruition. him, Jay & Charli woulda been awesome plus i know others woulda joined the group over time. cam'ron sure could have used more biggie teachings to make him a better rapper.

  3. Thanx. Biggie would have pushed Jay-Z away a long time ago.

    Who is the G.O.A.T.? KRS-One is good but Nas is the G.O.A.T. to me.

  4. @Bloggerdog - I do have other mags featuring DMX but I have no plans to scan anything new for a very long time.

    @Brandan - I know you love Biggie. I will always believe that if Biggie, Tupac, Big L, and Big Pun had lived, that the game would have been completely different.

    @Rabbit - Nas is one of my all time favorites but not the G.O.A.T. And I can't believe that Nas will be 40 this year, too.

  5. @Brandan- '97 wasn't a bad year at all. It was just a little more extreme in terms of the commercialization of hip-hop on one side and very large, independent undergroud scene on the other side. There's a very small write up on independent hip-hop near the back of the magazine while companies like No Limit Records were dominating the advertisements. I believe that from 1997 to 2000, hip-hop had its sales peak.

  6. @Vincentlopez

    Okay, i can understand. Whenever you have time or feel like doing it i'd appreciate it.

    As far as what you said about the year 1997 in hip-hop, i agree. Just a question, do you agree that hip-hop kind of needs that balance at times?

    When you look at 1997 and how commercial it went on one side we still got LOX, Blackstar, DMX, Jay-Z, Nore, Redman, Method Man, Canibus and many others with a succesful year right after.

    Prior to that, we had Hammer, Vanilla Ice, Tone Loc and things like that in the mainstream but then the following years Death Row blew, Nas came out, Wu came out, Hit Squad did their thing and so on.

    So i feel like at times hip-hop kind of needs that ying and yang.

  7. @Bloggerdog - I have no problem with a balance in hip-hop. Everything has its place. If you are old enough, you may recall that there was a time when radio stations would play songs by Biz Markie, Public Enemy, Kid 'n' Play, MC Lyte, Eric B and Rakim, Digital Underground, LL Cool J, De La Soul, Big Daddy Kane, and Heavy D all back to back to back. There was a good balance in the mainstream.

    When the mainstream shifted towards an extreme financial focus and pushed a lot of artists underground, it still had some balance. But it quickly got out of hand when the labels started consolidating their assets to control the music. How many major record labels even exist today?

    That's why I like the way new artists today come out with mixtapes first to build their own buzz and make their own money before they get jerked by those 360 deals. I'm hoping that Joey Bada$$ stays independent and avoids that trap.

  8. thanks so much for inviting me in...looking around now...sooo many classics...thanks again..