This evening I finally got to see film that I’d heard about last year and wasn’t actually drawn to it at the time mainly because it was about an icon, Notorious B.I.G. (a.k.a. Christopher Wallace) who was a rap superstar, gunned down at the age of 24 in 1997. I never really listened to this poet’s lyrics before and admittedly I’ve been very narrow- minded about this genre. However, seeing this well produced movie took me into a world of real people who sometimes struggle and then, despite all odds, make it by doing what they do the best; create music and poetry.
Like any music genre which we don’t normally associate with, we tend to turn it off and not let it in, saving our ears for those other styles of music that we do get into. I’ve been guilty even as the publisher of an independent music web resource, of not doing my homework and remaining ” open “.
It’s a tragedy indeed how young Christopher Wallace’s life was cut short in a bi-coastal crossfire between rival fans and record companies but it’s a good thing that when someone passes on there can be something left behind, something worth talking about that’s positive. Notorious B.I.G. had discovered at an early age that he posessed a gift for looking at the world around him and instantly finding a beat and a rhyme in his head and heart. He could rap about life, love, poverty, sex, drugs and crime and he could deliver it with honesty and passion. He did it because he felt it inside and wanted to share it with everyone, not because it was a slick Hollywood project to make money. Oh yes, the money did come and a lot of it! But this all came with a cost of hard work and hundreds if not thousands of hours of studio time, traveling out on promo tours and way too much time away from loved ones. Sounds like the cats who play Blues, Country, Rock or Jazz. Doesn’t matter what music we talk about. All the good dedicated players have to work at it. Having the gift doesn’t gaurantee you the diamonds.
Chistopher Wallace left behind many who loved him and called him family, but he inspired million with his words. If you have never seen this film, Notorious, go to your favorite video provider and rent it soon. It may just open your eyes as it has mine. Peace!
Bruce J Maier