This is not a typical Biggie interview about is famous period , about the beef with 2pac and all the mainstreem shit. It is not even about music at all. This is an interview of an upcoming rap phenomenon from Brookliyn. And that is why i like it most.
HAVELOCK NELSON: Is this the new Bad Boy look? Black on black on black, with black clothes, black shades, and the black gangster-style cap and all that?
THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G.: Just tryin’ to keep it real and all-black. Just bangin’, you know?
HN: What’s a typical day like for you?
TNB: These days? Just waking up like nine o’clock in the morning, going to different record stores, catching planes, going to the studio, you know? Thinking of ideas for songs for myself and for Junior M.A.F.I.A. Just workin’.
HN: What was a day like before you started making records?
TNB: Well, I was just on the corner, selling drugs with my niggas.
HN: What was that like?
TNB: Basically, it was the same thing: waking up around nine o’clock so you can catch the check-cashing place at nine-fifteen, nine-thirty. I didn’t have checks, but the crackheads did.
HN: Where did you do your hustle?
TNB: Fulton Street and Washington [Avenue, in Brooklyn].
HN: That’s a place you don’t want to hang out too long if you’re not recognized. It’s not a Ken-and-Barbie fantasy suburb.
TNB: It’s just real niggas. You know there ain’t no tall tales. I think every comer goes through the same drama our corner goes through. It was just niggas hustling – regular kids with a philosophy of “Let’s just get the money.”
HN: When you’re out there, you see everything that’s going on: the good, the bed, the ugly – and the crazy, sometimes.
TNB: I’m expecting something to happen, because it’s nothing special to me. It happens on every corner I go to in Brooklyn. I’m immune to it. The only time that hearing someone got killed is a surprise to me is when it’s somebody I was close to. So then I have a feeling: I have mourning for them.
HN: Have you ever seen somebody killed in front of your eyes?
TNB: Hell yeah. My man Cheese, God bless him. He died in my arms in the subway station at Clinton and Washington.
HN: Did you actually see him get -
TNB: No. He was downstairs in the station and we were upstairs on the corner hustling. We just heard two loud shots. Sounded like cannons: Boom! Boom! We ran downstairs and saw Cheese just spread out.
HN: How did that make you feel?
TNB: I felt fucked up. I thought, My man is gonna die. No one wants a nigga to die.
HN: Why did he get shot?
TNB: Nobody ever found out.
HN: How old were you the first time you saw someone get shot?
TNB: Fifteen, sixteen. I really didn’t get to see no blood squirtin’. All I know is we was runnin’ and we was chasin’ this nigga. The nigga says, “Stop!” and I heard a shot: Pow! I saw a dude drop. My man put the gat to his head, somebody screamed “Run!” and we all ran. This was just real. It was nothin’. We were seeing niggas gettin’ hit all the time.
HN: How did you get caught up in street life in the first place?
TNB: It was just basic living.
HN: You’re not selling drugs anymore, but you’re still living in the same apartment. Is it hard to be on the same corner?
TNB: Hell yeah, man! Because sometimes I be jealous of them niggas. Even though it was dead wrong what I was doing, we still had mad fun.
HN: Tell me about the fun.
TNB: Going shopping all the time, just being in the neighborhood and getting money and knowing that in other neighborhoods there’s niggas getting money. It’s like a little competition. We was young, so we was just goin’ to get jewelry and clothes and stay the flyest. And the girls – there was the whole competition about the girls and who had the prettiest girlfriend. Then there was goin’ to school, flyin’ it with other fly niggas in school, and niggas gettin’ motorcycles and niggas gettin’ Honda Accords and [Jeep] Cherokees. We’d go to the movies on the weekends, go to 42nd Street with the fellas, bump into a whole bunch of girls, party. . . . It was just on, you know what I’m sayin’? It was fun!