As today marks Christopher Columbus Day, the Internet has been unloading it's fury on the European colonizer. And, rightfully so considering the historical context of his voyage to "discovering America" in which he conquered as well as displaced the indigenous people of the Bahamas.
But, what if we lived in a world where one of the greatest emcees to ever touch a mic was honored on this day instead? With Jay Z championing the lyrics: "the only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace," here are our 7 reasons why the Notorious B.I.G. deserves all the praise on this day instead.
Needless to say, Christopher Columbus not only infiltrated the land of the Arawak tribe but also saw to it that disease and genocide would eradicate their deeply-rooted culture. Christopher Wallace, on the other hand, helped bridge the gap between boom bap rap and the light production of R&B with deep cuts like "Juicy" and "Big Poppa."
It's often said that the game is to be sold and not to be told, but Biggie generously dropped gems on Life After Death's "10 Crack Commandments." Sampling Public Enemy's "Shut Em' Down," the Brooklyn lyricist gave us prophecy on the stand-out track as he detailed all the dos and don'ts of the drug game, which or more less can be applied to everyday life.
While history would allow for Columbus to be lauded as "discovering America" ― this is far from the case. Biggie's penchant for molding burgeoning talent, however, is iconic in its own right. From serving as a mentor to the likes of Jay Z and Cam'ron to discovering Lil' Kim on the streets of Brooklyn, Big surely deserves a statue in his honor.
The first time the entertainers connected on wax was in 1995 on Michael Jackson's "This Time Around." Then, six years later MJ released his tenth studio album Invincible which featured a posthumous verse from B.I.G. This feat alone makes Biggie legendary.
From Versace frames to the finest in designer threads, Biggie may have been on the hefty side but that never limited his array of fashionable fits. Columbus could never singlehandely change the rap game with a Coogi stitch.
Shortly before his death, Biggie distributed copies of Ready to Die on cassette at his childhood home in Brooklyn, which resulted in hundreds queuing up around the block. In a 2012 interview with Vlad TV, Busta Rhymes hilariously recalled the incident saying, “I watched Biggie give away Ready to Die and thought he was crazy. From his house, dubbing the album on a double cassette deck and had a line in front of his crib on St. James like he was selling the best c*ke ever. That was like the most illest sh*t because it was his way of marketing himself.”
From being transparent about his humble beginnings and stitching designer logos on his clothes to owning his less than favorable features, Biggie reveled in his shortcomings. The rapper's discography can easily serve as a master class in self-esteem.
(Photo: Adger Cowans/Getty Images)