Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G.
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10 of 13 found the following review helpful:
And Unbelievable Is What He Is!!! May 30, 2004
I am so glad that I read this book. This book glorified Biggie as a everyday fella not a superstar. How good of a person he was and what he did for others including the ones that hated on him, which were many.
This book gave a first account on how he went for "ashy to classy" and how hard he tried to keep it once he found out that he really had talent for music rather than talent for selling crack.
What I didn't know, but really didn't surprise me was how much of a playa Biggie was. He had his wife Faith, Lil' Kim and Charlie Baltimore and I am going to say that it was more than that. It bugged me out him and Faith never even spoke to each other when the saw each other on the night he died. I guess it is true that you never know that last time you may see someone for good.
I love the loyalty of his true friends from St. James, mainly Lil' Cease. This book also showed you how grimey Lil' Kim really is. What devastated me that most was how his relationship between him and Tupac just crumbled over bullsh--, straight bullsh--. If you ask me my opinion and this is just my opinion, I think Tupac what just in the wrong place at the wrong place, just like the rest of his situations. Now, don't get me wrong that's my boy too, he just makes bad judgements, just like Biggie staying out in Cali, like everything was cool.
Overall, this book was the best biography I ever read. It was straight up real, it made you feel as if Biggie was telling you the story of his life himself.
Best book about Biggie Sep 02, 2005
Coker has written a readable, entertaining, and comprehensive biography of the man who became, rather improbably, the greatest rapper of all time. Focusing on his life, his titanic talent, his character, and the intrinsic grace of his storytelling, this book does not dwell on the petty rivalries that engrossed the media and dominated most discussions about Biggie Smalls. This book is overwhelmingly positive; in fact, the author seems somewhat infatuated with the subject, and this is the only reason I do not give the book 5 stars. For instance, Coker does not dwell on how Biggie exaggerated the poverty and depravation of his childhood to a great degree. But overall it is a great book that gives a solid feel of the life and times of the King of N-Y, although it is a bit of a puff piece.
3 of 5 found the following review helpful:
A Fascintating Read Jun 04, 2004
A must read for anyone interested in the history of hip hop. Before I read it, I had only heard of the Notorious B.I.G. Now I feel as though I know him - personally.
During the 90's, when gansta rap and the East coast vs. West coast fight broke out, I was too busy working on my Bachelor's and Master's degrees to pay much attention to anything else.
I had also heard of Suge Knight and Sean Combs, but only from newspaper reports. Reading this book really filled in a lot of the details for me. Suge Knight is portrayed in a postive light as really caring for his artists and seeing to it that they were treated right. He became violent only when he thought that those artists were being taken advantage of, and that they (as well as he) were losing part of the money they were entitled to. I had always wondered what had prompted this violent streak of his. I remember the newspapers would only report the latest incidents, never try to explain them. The book also explains what it is, in fact, that Sean Combs does. I had always wondered: Is he a rapper? A producer? An executive? And, how did he amass so much money? Combs had always been a mystery to me. To some extent, he still is, but the book goes a long way toward solving this riddle too.
This book explores many interesting puzzles like these and shows how intricate relationships within the hip hop community had become, even by the 90's. Biggie Smalls is portrayed as a flawed yet sympathetic character. At first, he's a child attending Catholic school in uniform, who feels different from all the others hanging out on the corner. His mother is a teacher, he's fatherless, and while not rich, he's by no means poor. His mother gets all the latest gear for him so he doesn't go out and get in trouble. As he grows older, however, the lure of quick profits grows stronger, so that by the time he's 16, he's dropped out of school and become a full-time crack dealer. The book wants us to believe this is so he can buy even more of the latest gear, and that he's never statisfied with what he's got. I'm not sure that that's the whole story, but surely his life was never as bleak as what he depicted later in some of his songs. One gets the feeling that somewhere along the line, something just isn't right - either with the world, or with Biggie. Then, once Biggie becomes a rap star, he says in the book that he never expected to, that rapping was just a hobby and that the profession he had actually chosen was that of the crack dealer. So, we're expected to believe that this rap star thing just happened as a fluke, and came just as much as a surprise to him as to the rest of the world. Maybe all this is so, but if it isn't, the book makes no alternative explanations, nor even attempts to. All we're left with, instead, is an incomplete portrayal of the man who would later become known as the Notorious BIG. All in all, despite the inadequacies in the portrayal, one is still able to admire and respect the genius and charisma of this man. This is both a tribute to the man and to the author. It makes us aware that even legends have character pitfalls, yet we're still able to remember and love them for who they were.
A good read Apr 23, 2014
By beth dundy
It may drag some in the beginning but gets better, some of the book about certain things collide with faiths book which make me question some things and interviews with others also collide with some story's in the book.but overall a good read
Incredibly thoughtful account Jan 04, 2014
By Taylor Metzer
Was inspired to read this narrative after being a fan of Wallace for 10+. It is a fond delivery of a fighter who propelled himself into the American Recording Industry Association of America Spotlight. It delivers on all fronts -- life and early life, hardships through the streets of the Bronx, NY Burroughs area, his rough and tough relationship with his mother(and her health battles) and through his two marriages. Explores in to the nitty gritty details of his illustrious music career -- despite his anxious battle with the mainstream record companies and street thug life. Delves in to his later days as a hip pimpster and his rivalry with Def Jam record artists, Tupac Shakur and Suge Knight. I purchased this product to continue learning.
Honorary Bachelor of Arts, Business Economics, 2011
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