The Notorious B.I.G. was shot to death in 1997 at 24 and in a few years became one of the top voices in rap and pop. He was inducted by close friend and collaborator Diddy.
“Nobody has come close to the way Biggie sounds, to the way he raps, to the frequency that he hits. Tonight, we are inducting the greatest rapper of all-time,” Diddy said.
Nas said B.I.G. “represents Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, New York City, America, the world and he represents the Black experience.” Jay-Z recalled when B.I.G. sent him a demo of “Life After Death,” his second and final album that was released 16 days after his death, explaining: “I was a little worried for myself as an artist.”
“It’s just really unfortunate what happened after that,” continued Jay-Z. “The human side of him came through in his music and I think it moved the molecules in the world. I know for a fact it pointed me in the (right) direction and I’m sure that’s happened to millions and millions of people worldwide.”