Notorious B.I.G. 'Would Be' JAY-Z If He Were Still Alive, Says Stephen A. Smith

The host of ESPN's "First Take” gave his thoughts on where Biggie Smalls would be in the rap game if he had lived.

Stephen A. Smith is known for giving his opinion on the latest sports topics. But the host of “First Take” is also sharing his thoughts on some of the best rappers in the game claiming that the Notorious B.I.G. would have had a career like JAY-Z if he had lived.

Appearing on the “Connect the Dots” podcast on Wednesday (March 6), Smith shared his ranking of the best MCs of all time in a bracket challenge.

Making his choice of eight rappers, Smith’s picks came down to Biggie versus JAY-Z, after choosing Eminem over Nas. He then broke it down where he thought Biggie’s status would be in hip hop culture today. 

“If Biggie were alive today, I think he could be Hov. I’m not sure though, but I will tell you that his lyrics, along with his music, the sound of it…I would say to you I gotta give it to Biggie,” Smith said at around the 40-minute mark.

For his final selection, Smith sided with JAY-Z.

“I have to go with JAY-Z. I personally think he’s the greatest. Biggie was something special, make no mistake about it, rapping about what he knows,” Smith argued. “JAY-Z knows more. Jay is more seasoned, so he had more to say.”

“Even though Biggie is spectacular, Nas is spectacular, Eminem is spectacular, LL [Cool J], DMX, all of them, spectacular,” he continued. “But, there’s only one Hov, bro…He has proven that through the test of time, with everything he’s done.”

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Smith also revealed that he received a call from JAY-Z after he compared Beyoncé and Rihanna on his podcast, “The Stephen A. Smith Show.”

“I love Rihanna. I bought her album, she gets my money,” Smith said at the time..”Mad love for her, wish her nothing but the best … But you do know there’s only one Beyoncé.”

Eventually, he received a call from JAY-Z about how his comments affected all parties involved.

“A month later, Hov and I were on the phone,” Smith said. “Hov was like, ‘My dawg, you family, that’s family. That’s too close to say that.’ I said, ‘I didn’t know.’ He said, ‘I know.’ Done!”

Because of his remarks, he said that some celebrities haven’t uttered a word to him since which he now says was a lesson he had to learn, He would later offer an apology to the Fenty Beauty CEO.

“In other words, it’s a business, it’s a part of it, you don’t know how she’ll receive it, etc., etc., etc. That’s all he had to say. I appreciated that,” Smith said.

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