Exactly 16 years ago, the rap game changed forever. Christopher George Latore Wallace, more commonly known as The Notorious B.I.G. was shot and killed during a drive by shooting in Los Angeles. This after the equally devastating murder of Tupac Shakur several months earlier. All on the coat tails of one of the most intense, violent and publicized feuds in music history, but that’s not what today is about.

Biggie’s story is as complicated as it is human. He had faults, he had famous run-ins with the law and he was in no way a politically or socially conscious rapper. But, he was a good rapper and an equally adept entertainer.

Though B.I.G. passed 16 years ago, this article is celebrating the career of a great emcee. One of the greatest emcees.