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“The Greatest Rapper Of All Time Died On March 9th” – Canibus “2nd Round Knockout”
Yes. Today is the day where EVERYONE celebrates the life of the Notorious B.I.G. Mixtapes, songs, radio tributes and whatever else you can think of related to the life of Christopher Wallace will bombard your senses on March 9th. But death days are something I don’t “celebrate.” You guys can have it.

Before you go off on a tantrum thinking that I’m anti-Biggie or committing some type of hip hop blasphemy, allow me to explain my position.
Only in hip hop do we celebrate the day a rapper dies violently. We don’t celebrate the day they were born nearly as much as the day they died. Say what you want about how you remember the Notorious B.I.G., I also remember my pager going off with #911 codes the day Biggie Smalls passed away. I remember exactly where I was at when the fateful news hit — working at a Smith’s grocery store grabbing a bunch of shopping carts. One of my closest friends was nearly moved to tears when he heard the news. It was a crazy day just to think that we’d lost another rapper by gunfire.
But just because I remember it doesn’t mean I celebrate it.
Pop question: When did John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. die?
I’ll wait…
The answers are November 22, February 21 and April 4th.
How many people “celebrate” those death days? Honestly, those are days I’d rather forget. But yet and still, the hip hop community celebrates the days where our artists pass away. Aaliyah‘s death day, Big Pun‘s death day, Big L‘s death day and Tupac Shakur‘s death day are greeted to multiple tributes. Most of the time I’m seeing tributes by those that didn’t really care for the artist until he/she died. Seriously, how many that celebrate Aaliyah hailed her as one of the best at that particular time? I’m not saying nobody did, it just seems odd that people jump on the bandwagon to be a part of the “tribute” movement. Whether it be blogs, magazines or websites, everyone wants to have the best “tribute” ever to garner traffic spikes. It’s cool, ride the gravy train. I just don’t indulge.
You know what I do? I celebrate Biggie Smalls whenever I turn on Ready To Die, Life After Death and any song by The Notorious B.I.G. 365 days out of the year. I remember Tupac whenever I listen to “So Many Tears” and his enormous catalog of music. As for Malcolm and Martin? I celebrate them every, single day that I’m breathing. I don’t need a reminder of the tragic day somebody died. Hell, I don’t “celebrate” when my grandmother passed away.
It’s just weird to see it happen in hip hop and hardly anybody remembers what day these people were born. Somebody said that it’s a “black” thing, but I don’t see Martin and Malcolm being celebrated on their death days as much. Their birthdays are more important (the former far more than the latter unfortunately).
Maybe one day we’ll realize that it’s not a race to see who cares more about a certain rapper on their death day. Honestly, maybe one day we, as a community, will celebrate the lives of other great African Americans who truly changed how we are viewed in this country. I’d prefer to not be viewed as the community that celebrates death by gunfire over the birth of someone who would change the course of the culture.

But I’m just a critic, “Who The Hell Am I?”

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