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The Story Behind The Notorious B.I.G. Big Poppa

Photograph of the blog post author, Music Gateway Team

Music Gateway Team


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The Notorious B.I.G. Big Poppa – also known as Biggie Smalls – is one of the most influential and iconic figures in hip-hop history. His meteoric rise to fame and tragic death at the age of 24 has left an indelible mark on the genre. In this article, we’ll explore the inspiration and creation of “Big Poppa” and the legacy it has left behind.

We’ll look at the lyrics and the samples that make up the song. We will take a look at the impact it has had on the hip-hop community. We will also explore the life and legacy of the late rapper, from his humble beginnings in Brooklyn to his eventual success and untimely death.

The Notorious B.I.G. Big Poppa

Directed by Hype Williams, Biggie is seen in the music video surrounded by some of his well-known friends, such as Heavy D, Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans, Jermaine Dupri, Aaliyah and Sean “Puffy” Combs.

On February 20th, 1995, The Notorious B.I.G. released his hit single “Big Poppa” as the 13th track on his debut album “Ready to Die”, which also featured the song “Juicy”. The song topped Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs chart and peaked at #6 on the Hot 100 and was certified Platinum in America and its ringtone went Gold. At the 1996 Grammy Awards, it was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance but lost to Coolio’s iconic track “Gangsta’s Paradise”.

Interestingly enough, 2Pac’s “Dear Mama” was also up for nomination in this category. Biggie is credited as the sole writer of this song; however, it samples a number of tracks including “Between the Sheets” by The Isley Brothers and Super Cat’s 1993 hit “Dolly My Baby”.

Many fans view “Big Poppa” as an introduction to The Notorious B.I.G. Big Poppa. The track is quite romantic, with Notorious addressing a potential love interest. He is trying to woo her in a manner that was popular in the 1990s. It is he who holds the title of “Big Poppa”.

In the club, Biggie is trying to convince a girl to go home with him. He does this by emphasizing his superiority over other men interested in her. Biggie boasts about his wealth and possessions (mentioned in the third verse). He also makes references to his love for marijuana throughout the song.

The main theme of this song is the rapper trying to pick up a lady. He provides us with a glimpse into the type of lifestyle that was lyrically themed throughout his extraordinary career.

Facts about The Notorious B.I.G. Big Poppa

In “Big Poppa” (also known as “Papa”), The Notorious B.I.G. boasts about his ability to draw the attention of women and impress people with his wealth and fame in a club setting. Through witty rhymes, he celebrates his success as a rapper and how he has earned the nickname of Big Poppa. As one of several nicknames for him, this song serves to show why it is one that he prefers.

Keithroy Yearwood, the tyke featured on the iconic cover of Ready to Die. He was from the Bronx and only made $150 for his two-hour shoot. He didn’t realise he was in the photo until he saw it in Times Square when he was 8 years old. When asked why they chose him, Yearwood replied “I still think it’s the afro.” This image is a reference to rapper Craig Mack who was signed to Bad Boy Records. With a sample of “Between The Sheets” by The Isley Brothers. It has become immortalised through his line: “I got more Mack than Craig.”

The Notorious B.I.G. Big Poppa film – Notorious

Based on the life of Christopher Wallace, better known as Biggie Smalls or The Notorious B.I.G. Big Poppa, Notorious is a movie narrated by Jamal Woolard, who plays Biggie in the film.

Christopher Wallace, famously known as the Notorious B.I.G., Big Poppa was more than just a man-mountain of rap. He was an overgrown kid trying to do the right thing. The film “Notorious” focuses on this side of him and his life story. It begins with his birth in Brooklyn and his mother, a teacher who was studying for her master’s degree.

Despite this loving upbringing, Christopher found himself drawn to street-corner drug dealing due to its lucrative nature. As he grew older, he began performing rap on the street. At 20 years old was signed by record producer Sean Combs. Unfortunately, four years later Christopher passed away at only 24 years old.

The Notorious B.I.G. Big Poppa songs

Here are our top songs by Notorious BIG:


“Juicy” was released as the lead single from his debut album Ready to Die (1994). The song was produced by Poke of Trackmasters and features a sample of Mtume’s 1982 song “Juicy Fruit”. The song was a commercial success, reaching number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 6 on the Hot Rap Singles chart. It is considered to be one of the greatest hip hop songs of all time and has been listed in multiple publications’ lists of the greatest songs of all time.

The song is a celebration of The Notorious B.I.G.’s success in the rap industry, with lyrics that detail his struggles before becoming famous. The song is also known for its opening line, “It was all a dream…”, which references the opening line of The Notorious B.I.G.’s debut single, “Party and Bullshit”.


“Hypnotize” was released as the lead single from his 1997 double album Life After Death. Produced by Puff Daddy and Deric “D-Dot” Angelettie, the song samples Herb Alpert’s 1979 hit single “Rise”.

The song was an instant hit, debuting at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the first rap single to reach the top of the chart. It was also the last single released during Notorious B.I.G.’s lifetime. The song is considered to be one of the greatest hip hop songs of all time and was included in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

“Mo Money Mo Problems”

“Mo Money Mo Problems” is a 1997 hip hop song. It was released as the second single from his second studio album, Life After Death. The song features guest vocals from Mase and Puff Daddy and was produced by Puff Daddy and Stevie J.

The song is about the struggles of having money, including the problems of envy from others and the lack of true friends. The chorus of the song is a sample of Diana Ross’ hit single “I’m Coming Out”.

The song was a commercial success and peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming Biggie’s second number 1 single in the US. It also reached the top 10 in several other countries. The music video for the song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Video.

“One More Chance/Stay with Me”

“One More Chance” is a mid-tempo hip-hop track that samples the vocals of Mary J. Blige, who is also featured on the song. The track is about Biggie’s desire to reunite with a former lover and make things right.

“Stay with Me” is a slower, more soulful track that samples the vocals of R&B singer Total. The track is about Biggie’s desire to keep his lover by his side and make her happy.

The song was a commercial success, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot Rap Singles chart. It has been widely praised by critics, who have praised its catchy hooks and clever lyrics.


“Warning” was released in 1994 as the lead single from his debut studio album Ready to Die. The song was produced by Easy Mo Bee and samples “The Big Beat” by Billy Squier.

It features The Notorious B.I.G. Big Poppa rapping about the dangers of street life, and features a chorus of “Warning, warning, warning, warning”. The song has become a classic in the hip-hop world and is often regarded as one of Biggie’s best songs. It has been sampled by numerous artists, including Jay-Z, Eminem, and 50 Cent.

Notorious BIG Bigger Than Life Documentary

Notorious B.I.G.: Bigger Than Life is a 2009 documentary film about the life and death of American hip-hop artist Notorious B.I.G.. Directed by Peter Spirer, the film features interviews with many of Biggie’s family, friends, and collaborators, including P. Diddy, Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Nas, Lil’ Kim, Faith Evans, and others. The documentary chronicles Biggie’s career from his early days in Brooklyn, New York, to his rise to fame and eventual death in 1997.

It also touches on the East Coast-West Coast hip-hop rivalry and the unsolved murder of Biggie. The film features exclusive footage and interviews with Biggie’s family and friends, as well as never-before-seen performance footage. The film was released in 2009 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Biggie’s death.

How did Notorious BIG die?

On March 9th, 1997, The Notorious B.I.G. Big Poppa was shot four times in a drive-by shooting a few metres away from the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles’ Miracle Mile District. He had been at an industry party with Sean Combs (P.Diddy), Missy Elliot and Aaliyah before heading back to his hotel with his entourage and stopping at a red light.

A dark Chevy Impala then pulled up alongside the rapper’s Green GMC Suburban and opened fire on it. Despite being taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre for emergency surgery, he sadly died of his injuries at 1:15 am that morning.

notorious big
NEW YORK – MAY 1: Notorious BIG poses for a portrait in New York on May 1, 1996. (Photo by Chi Modu/diverseimages/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Notorious BIG

The Notorious B.I.G. Big Poppa and his impact on the music scene

Biggie’s life was tragically cut short at the age of 24, however his music has had a lasting impact on people around the globe. Following his death, both of his albums soared in popularity, further immortalising him and showing just how much he was appreciated. Despite this success, Biggie had faced many personal struggles that were not always made public.

He is considered to be the voice of a generation and has inspired countless people to pursue their dreams or take up music themselves. His lyrics allowed listeners to experience what it was like to be in his world, and this is one of Biggie’s most powerful legacies.


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