Hip-hop's ten most impactful deaths

Categories: Lists

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Today marks the anniversary of the day that the world lost the greatest rapper of all time. Christopher Wallace's untimely death on March 9, 1997, had a significant impact on the rap game. If Biggie had lived, for instance, his presence would have essentially erased the need for Jay-Z. Unstoppable as it was, Jay-Z's breakout single "Hard Knock Life" was lent gravitas by the invocation of the recently (very recently) deceased Biggie Smalls. Say what you want, Jay-Z stepped in to fill a void when we were all hurting.

Biggie's passing also paved the way for Puffy to sell twenty million copies of "I'll Be Missing You" worldwide. Bad Boy's most successful year was the year preceding Biggie's death. But within one year, Britney, Christina and Justin ruled the charts, and Puffy was forced to diversify and create the blueprint of multiple revenue streams (clothing lines, fragrances, restaurants, etc.) to keep his empire afloat.

Many rappers (ahem, Master P) followed suit. To this day, invoking Biggie's themes and world outlook are still big (no pun intended) business. Nasir Jones notwithstanding, nobody cares that Jay's best lines are borrowed from Biggie. Thinking about Big made us reflect on other iconic members of the hip-hop nation that we've lost over the years. Click through for a rundown of the top ten most impactful deaths in hip-hop.


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29 comments
2pac
2pac

Good article but I sense a bit of Bias for the east coast. 2Pac's death in my opinion had a way bigger impact on the rap community and the world as a whole. It ended the East V. West, people responded to his passion and charisma, and he became his own biggest example of where thug life leads.

Oo
Oo

Wow no Mac Dre??? Oh wait I forgot its the Backbeat. SMH.

flamboyant4life
flamboyant4life

HAHAHAHAHA Top 10 most impactful hip hop deaths and Big L aint on the list, hilarious...get a fucking clue dummys, Big L 139 Danger zone. Reconize what!?

Over_it
Over_it

Seriously. Fuck hip-hop. Enough already.

Starter
Starter

I have a homie who has said fuck the world for over 10 yrs and no one cared about it but when tupac says fuck the world they all wanna look at it like it's something new and judge me by it I don't understand,Bill Clinton can whip his dick out and get a blow job and when tupac does it, it's a major crime again I don't understand we all must be treated equal and fair if I can't live like the man next to me then I rather not live at all.by Tupac

Starter
Starter

Tupac is the greatest everyone who is anyone knows this you moron Biggie never touched people like Tupac did none of the rappers you claim to be 10 rappers even talked about the real shit going on in life while biggie had call me big poppa ,tupac talked about forming a united world without greed and envy you best go back and get your facts right you pretty much put the best of the best down ,now a days all these so called rappers who which I might add tupac open the doors for all of them all they talk about is car's money,bitches,how they wish to be mob bosses,and they all fake straight up period .Keep true to the real and let the fake bounce out the way .Tupac Ps: Plus biggie was a fan yes a fan of tupac as another close artist of biggie stated biggie would listen to Hail Mary from Makavelli, bitch stay real or get the fuck out the kitchen .

Guest
Guest

How is Big L not on this list?

Jrb_303
Jrb_303

what about big L one of the best ever

ActualFacts
ActualFacts

That whole beef thing as many have said was largely started by media hype. It made me sick when magazines and articles were being written like it was something other than one person who disliked another. 2pac said THUGLIFE and everybody interpreted it in a way that was different than what he was talking about. His elder influences (his godfather and stepfather) named him after a revolutionary figure and those ideals were a major influence in his music. i agree this article is heavily east-coast biased and i think its sad all the evidence to 2pac being the most influential rapper of the last 20 years was ignored. If eminem and 50 cent claim he was one of the best (em said the best), then how do you ignore that? (i hate those 2 but i can at least respect their opinions). BIG did that song "everyday struggle" and it was like listening to another version of a 2pac song. Money B from Digital Underground said the whole album was very heavily influenced by him.

The author wants to have everybody believe KRS-one taught and ghost wrote for 2pac as if all of his music was repetitive and redundant like the crap on todays radio stations. I think that shows his bias with respect to his beliefs and not the actual reality that made 2pac the influential artiste today..."They dont give a F about us" "When my homies call" "U cant C me" "unconditional love" and "Letter to the president" are just a sample of the profound things he wrote (not KRS-one). I guess all of biggies songs were better tho?

DJ Big Styles
DJ Big Styles

c'mon son. it's the top 10 deaths in HIP HOP. not OAKLAND hip hop. Mac Dre was dope, one of the wittiest MCs ever to do it, "I'm Feelin' Myself" is an anthem, but you know what? it's not the top 10 dead witty MCs now is it? And don't put it on Backbeat, by the grace of Backbeat's editor you had an article to come and flame! You haven't pulled anybody's card, we love Mac Dre and miss him. right now, you're disrespecting us and him. keep it moving.

DJ Big Styles
DJ Big Styles

we already addressed this in the comments above. and while you're bullshittin' this DITC for life. holla back.

Over_You_Troll
Over_You_Troll

Why do you waste your precious time reading an article on hip hop and then further, take the time to comment on it only to say, "fuck hip hop." Troll. Dick.

Starter
Starter

Lmao go hear grandma got ran over by a rain deer while you sit on your rocking chair clown .

Starter
Starter

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... look for yourself moron like I said facts are facts Biggies had nothing but respect for 2pac and his music plus 2pac allowed biggie to open his show's and next you will say Biggie started rappin before 2pac get your facts right period .

DJ Big Styles
DJ Big Styles

Starter, your handle is fitting. I was all set to go in on you and sink to your level for calling me out of my name when you obviously don't know shit about me or this hip hop thing. Yup, I was all set, but then I just re-read the article to see if there was a shred of truth or grammar to anything that you obviously typed from your T-Mobile SIdekick in a weed filled rage. Why is 2pac number 3? although you've made it clear that just like Justin Beiber he will always be number 1 in your heart) Because 2pac's entire identity (prophet, thug, ghetto griot, teacher, commentator) had already been done to perfection by KRS-One and DJ Scott LaRock on an album that came out 10 years before Tupac died. No his death is not as important as Scott LaRock sampling James Brown, no he gets no credit for being an intelligent thug, KRS already did that. We can credit 'Pac with being the first dude to pretend to be something he's not on wax and nobody caring. (In short as Shock G has been quoted Tupac played "Bishop" in Juice then tried to become him in real life) I will also credit "Pac along with Suge Knight for putting a bad taste in the mouth of a lot of hip hop fans with the drama they continued to perpetuate until, to NO ONE's surprise Tupac was murdered. Biggie's death was shocking and a total surprise. Tupac's death, just like your uninformed ass showing up in these comments to "ride for the homie" was totally expected. Miss me with that fanboy shit, and if you still ain't satisfied with that? get at me, i ain't too hard to find.

DJ Big Styles
DJ Big Styles

This is Shawn White the author of the article. The focus of the article is 10 most impactful deaths. Big L was a great rapper, but I am at a loss to articulate how his death changed the culture of hip hop. I would put the impact of Big L's death on par with the loss of MC Trouble, Freaky Tah and Kid Hood. All those folks were talented and missed, and were subject of some beautiful elegies, but the impact of their passing on the culture is hard to place. On that note I do regret not mentioning the murder of U.N.L.V.'s Yella Boy after he allegedly pistol whipped Baby from Ca$h Money, and also Trouble T-Roy who was the subject of hip hop's greatest elegy: "They Reminisce Over You."

Oo
Oo

If what you believe is that Mac Dre legacy has no impact on Hip Hop outside of Hip Hop, I can't help you.

StopIt
StopIt

Brilliant. Starter says, "get your facts right period." Credit due, Starter knows how to spell "period" even if he doesn't know how to use one. Plus, this from the large professor who when schooling Styles proclaimed the Pac "started i n NY that's where he did jams with other artist like digital underground"

I think my favorite 2Pac jam is "My ballz on Starters Chin".

Fuckyou
Fuckyou

ever heard "Whats Beef?" by Big.... haha yea nothing but respect

RICHB
RICHB

STFU MAN NASIR JONES IS THE GOAT

Starter
Starter

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... listen with KRS ONE his own words listen very careful because you haven't listen at all 2pac we still hit 'em up not honest and straight up real people but them fakes who aim to twist stories around without facts .

Starter
Starter

Lmao clown you wanna say you know more well lets say first your fuckin wrong KRS One I remember them and again they didn't do shit to open peoples eye's clown did they nope if so prove your facts how did they over come shit that Tupac did ? you speak with out facts about tupac's life son lets set the record straight,Tupac started i n NY that's where he did jams with other artist like digital underground and so forth then he went threw chicago for a minute then he went to Oak Town where he did become mixed up with the bloods and the street showed him another life fuck face and when he moved to southern cali he then fell in love with L.A and all the surrounding true G's not a fake fuck like yourself maybe selfish at that.He also united west and east coast so both sides could start bringing home real money to there cities what did either of those 2 artist that you posted do to help the community's? and at that before 2pac died if you no so much, we can see who knows what none got shot 5 times none went platinum in a matter of 1 yr and continued to sell out anyone who dared come across him the facts are facts I bet you jump like a fairy for the fake ass Lil Wayene .Dj BLG Styles look at me I bent over for all the fakes but put down true movers like all the busters when a man is dead and gone RIP Tupac homie the true G's miss yea and yes I met the man him self nothing what fool's and morons claimed he was .

Starter
Starter

This person has protected their tweets.Figures you said you ain't hard to you must of been mistaken with me cause I ain't hard to find and I got real people to back that up do you instead of using other people names in vain for your own fame you should be ashamed I just left and ended this game .

Starter
Starter

Who the hell are you to judge dead men and how far they reached I am known in many states and I talk to people out of the Country and the only artist they say is 2pac I have no clue where your getting your facts but it's people like you who confuse the facts you twist your lies up and soon the fools start following without doing there research ? have you done your research .If this Article is about who and how they change hip hop I will promise you that you will find yourself looking dumb example play every hit almost since 2pac's death and you will find bit's and pieces of his work on all there Albums even the artist at one point or another state in there own words how much respect and who open the doors for them in there era not anytime before,don't get me wrong RDMC,beasty boys,KRS ONE and the rest had impacts no doubt it's who open peoples eye's to see the truth on how our gov holds the people under control and how we the people can stand as one to defeat them and better our lives and the future .

Troublesacoming
Troublesacoming

Wow so now what am I suppose to laugh with you how you a damn fairy ? what are you jumping around like one after your post hmm smart guy you so damn smart then tell me this if your balls suppose to be on my chin then why they hanging off your own chin stop using my post as your cloak for slowly informing people how you roll now fit a broom stick up your other end and enjoy it with a smile and no Vaseline

Starter
Starter

Sorry but that What's beef song almost put me to sleep yes I remember that song back in the days but Biggie's a follower not a leader at least not in many peoples eye's, again if it wasn't for tupac allowing biggie to open shows for him there might not of been a biggie.

StopIt
StopIt

shut the fuck up

Starter
Starter

Correction why you adding to what I posted I never said digital underground was from NY I said he did jams with them .But hey you might feel as I am directing a hit to you the truth is the truth if you where there then you where if you weren't and you guys by what others say well then continue your path .

DJ Big Styles
DJ Big Styles

while you check your facts my man, DIgital Underground was and still is from Oakland not NYC. nobody is questioning tupac's greatness or legacy. we are simply having a reasonable unemotional discussion ranking the impact of deaths in hip hop. you on the other hand are looking like this right about now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... go ahead and back away from your Tupac Ressurection poster and live your life player. and yeah you can request to follow me on twitter. i'm just telling you now, I won't follow you back.

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