The battle between East Coast vs. West Coast hip-hop in the 1990s is arguably music’s biggest rivalry, which possibly resulted in the unsolved murders of two of the genre’s most influential young artists.

March 9 marks the 20th anniversary of the fatal drive-by shooting of 24-year-old rapper The Notorious B.I.G. in Los Angeles.

Also known as Biggie Smalls or just simply Biggie, the rapper was born Christopher Wallace in Brooklyn on May 21, 1972. The release of his debut album, “Ready to Die” in 1994, helped make the East Coast rap scene a contenderin a genre then dominated by West Coast artists like N.W.A., Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur, whose own unsolved shooting death occurred just six months before Biggie’s.

Biggie'ssecond album, eerily titled “Life After Death,” was released just 16 days after he died, and was one of the best-selling rap albums of all time. The rapper was survived by two children and his wife, fellow musician Faith Evans.


Homages for The Notorious B.I.G. have been rolling in on social media, including this first of many from Sean Combs, who Biggie once said was closer than a brother to him.

Here are just a few of the many making the rounds today:

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