On March 9, 1997, Christopher Wallace was gunned down in a brutal drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, CA on the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax.
On April 6, 2011, the FBI released close to 300 pages of classified documents detailing their civil rights investigation surrounding his murder case.
Having closed the case in 2005, the FBI saved the city of Los Angeles from a costly civil suit brought on by the mother of Biggie Smalls, Ms. Voletta Wallace. With no new suspects it looks like Hip-Hop’s greatest mystery will continue to remain unsolved.
But thanks to pressure applied through the Freedom of Information Act and the publicity from being featured on Anderson Cooper 360, the FBI has finally released their invesitgative files allowing the public an opportunity to scrutinize the circumstances enveloping Biggie’s gruesome murder. With the heavily redacted documents now available online, the conspiracy theories driving the failed civil case into the murder of the world’s greatest rapper have returned. The case, itself, illustrates the tragic story of unabated corruption pervading a police force, senseless gang violence in South Central LA, one man’s dogged pursuit to unearth the truth, and the void it left in a genre of music still gripping with its identity in mainstream America.
Bringing those responsible for the brutal crime should be the goal of any further inquiry. As a fan, one can only pray that one day justice will be served.
On March 8, 1997, Christopher Wallace, better known by his stage name The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls, had just presented Toni Braxton with a Soul Train Music award. His very presence on stage elicited a smattering of boos from the polarized audience. The self-proclaimed rap phenomenon was embroiled in a bitter East Coast-West Coast rap feud that had finally taken a turn for the worse. Rival rapper Tupac Shakur was gunned down and killed just six months prior to this night, and few could have predicted that the feud was destined to end in a matter of hours. At the mercy of another fiery hail storm of unforgiving bullets.
After leaving the awards show early, Biggie spent the last few hours of his life doing the two things he enjoyed most — party and bullshit. Wasting away the night socializing with Hip-Hop’s elite at the VIBE after-party at the Peterson Automotive Museum, Biggie must’ve let go of the chaos around him and let the good times sink in. Just for a moment.