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Notorious B.I.G.

Notorious B.I.G.

Mammoth-sized rapper the Notorious B.I.G. released just one album during his lifetime: 1994's Ready to Die. Written by Wallace and produced by Sean Combs, it was a remarkable debut, distinguished by Wallace's thick, commanding baritone and his slow, matter-of-fact rhymes about the hustler's life he left behind for rap. Wallace would not attain true iconic status until after his murder, on March 9, 1997. By the time his second album, the sprawling, double-CD Life After Death, hit stores three weeks later, Wallace had become a rap martyr.

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