Jay-Z Wore Biggie’s Personal Jesus Chain While Recording

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Jay-Z Wore Biggie’s Personal Jesus Chain While Recording

Beanie Sigel on how Jay-Z would wear Biggie’s personal chain and wouldn’t get a haircut when recording an album. He also details how Jay-Z taught him not to write.

Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) and Biggie Smalls (Christopher Wallace), also known as The Notorious B.I.G., shared a complex and multifaceted relationship that evolved through various stages, including friendship, competition, and collaboration. Their connection was deeply rooted in their shared experiences growing up in Brooklyn, New York, and their parallel journeys in the hip-hop industry during the 1990s.

In the early stages of their careers, Jay-Z and Biggie Smalls were associates within the burgeoning New York hip-hop scene. Both artists were part of the Brooklyn rap community and had mutual respect for each other’s talents. Biggie’s rise to fame with his debut album “Ready to Die” in 1994 coincided with Jay-Z’s emergence as a prominent rapper and entrepreneur.

While there were moments of camaraderie and collaboration between the two, their relationship was also marked by a degree of competition. As both artists aimed to establish themselves as the preeminent figures in East Coast hip-hop, they occasionally found themselves in rivalrous situations, especially as their careers progressed and they became two of the most influential figures in rap music.

One notable collaboration between Jay-Z and Biggie Smalls was the song “Brooklyn’s Finest” from Jay-Z’s debut album “Reasonable Doubt” (1996). The track showcased their lyrical prowess and chemistry as they traded verses over a classic beat produced by DJ Clark Kent.

Tragically, Biggie Smalls’ life was cut short when he was murdered in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997. His death deeply affected the hip-hop community, including Jay-Z, who mourned the loss of his friend and fellow artist. In the aftermath of Biggie’s death, Jay-Z paid tribute to him in various ways, including incorporating references to him in his lyrics and performances.

Despite the competitive aspect of their relationship, Jay-Z has spoken fondly of Biggie Smalls in interviews, acknowledging his influence and talent. Their friendship, though tempered by the dynamics of the music industry, remains an important chapter in the history of hip-hop, reflecting the bonds forged between two iconic artists from Brooklyn.


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