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Biggie's 'Unbelievable' Biography In Stores

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  • Biggie's 'Unbelievable' Biography In Stores

    Seven years after his death, Vibe Magazine is releasing this month "Unbelievable," the biography of The Notorious B.I.G. - the second half to Vibe's previously released "Tupac Shakur."

    Written by screenwriter/journalist Cheo Hodari Coker, "Unbelievable" documents Biggie's life from his humble beginnings as a Brooklyn hustler to his rise as one of Hip-Hop's most critically acclaimed and commercially successful artists. Coker also details the relationships between Biggie, P.Diddy, Tupac Shakur and Suge Knight.

    Coker's work is based on exclusive interviews with family and friends of Biggie, including individuals that are now speaking out for the first time since his death. The book is also illustrated with rare photographs taken from Vibe's archives and Big's family.

    "Unbelievable," the biography of The Notorious B.I.G hits stores in March.

    hey yo heres an excerpt, its kinda long...

    Excerpt from CHAPTER 2 - "Things Done Changed," from "UNBELIEVABLE" by Cheo Hodari Coker

    ''If I wasn't in the rap game / I'd probably have a key knee deep in the crack game / Because the streets is a short stop / Either you slanging crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot''

    "You know what to get me, Mommy? Buy me the Timberlands."

    Voletta Wallace looked at the price tag on the boots her son wanted. They were well over $100—enough to buy two or three pairs of normal shoes.

    "What am I, crazy?" she said.

    "Ma, if you buy me this one pair, then you won't have to buy me no more shoes for the rest of the year," Christopher pleaded. At last, she agreed. But it didn't matter how many trips she made to Mano a Mano, it was never enough.

    "When I bought him the Timberlands, he'd go, 'Ma, get me a Tommy Hilfiger,'" she recalled with exasperation. "He didn't like it if his friends weren't wearing it," she said. No matter if they were the nicest quality, his clothes had to have the right label. She once made the mistake of buying him some Polo shirts before kids his age knew about Polo; the shirts went unworn at the bottom of his dresser.

    Ms. Wallace could never fully understand why her son was so hard to satisfy. Growing up in Jamaica, nothing was taken for granted. She was grateful to have food on the table, a clean place to sleep, and a good education. She liked fashionable clothes too, but she didn't expect to dress like that all the time.

    As the family's only breadwinner, Voletta Wallace sometimes worked two jobs in addition to studying for her master's degree at night. She made sure she maintained a perfect credit rating and tried to save some money so her son could go to the best schools. Education had been her passport to self-reliance, and she was convinced it would be the key to her son's future as well. He was growing into a sensitive, intelligent, extremely curious little boy with an artist's eye. He could look at a picture in a magazine and draw an exact replica freehand, without tracing. The streets weren't going to claim her son. Not her Christopher.

    "I made sure my son had an education, a good mattress, clean sheets, good-quality clothes, and I gave him quality time," she said. "My son wasn't the pauperized kid he made himself out to be."

    No matter how much jerk pork Christopher's mother served him, his attitude was American. Christopher was a boy growing up in America. And in America, just getting by meant you were poor. Having more than you needed was considered just breaking even. No matter how much you had, the important thing was to make it look like more than it was. Fresh wasn't just the cornerstone of an emerging hip hop culture. It was also a way of life.

    "At an early age, you learn that everything gotta be fresh," Wallace's friend Hubert Sams explained. "You can't have scuffed up Adidas. You gotta get your toothbrush, keep them fresh. That's the thing, fresh. Personality is secondary. It's about what you have on. You walk around Brooklyn in certain circles, even to this day, people look at your feet first."

    No longer the runt of the Hawks crew, Wallace had bulked up considerably since the fifth grade. He'd always been a somewhat husky kid, but at age ten he fell off a city bus and broke his right leg in three places. His mother was advised to sue the City of New York, which settled the matter for a five-figure sum. After paying legal fees, she put a nice little chunk in the bank to save for his college education. His leg was in a cast for six months. Laid up in the house with nothing better to do, he ate, putting on pounds that stuck around long after his leg healed.

    By the time he turned 13, he was nearly six feet tall. Though he still had a baby face, with the extra weight he was beginning to look like a man. But Wallace didn't feel all that manly. A man wouldn't have to negotiate with his moms to stay fresh. A man went out and handled his biz. He was sick of being under his mother's thumb. He wanted to get out there and test the waters beyond the stoop.

    Wallace had bagged groceries at Met Foods around the corner, but from his view, that was a dead end. Earning minimum wage, he'd have to save all his checks for a month or more to get the clothes he needed. And there was no point getting a $200 Adidas sweat suit without the proper shoes—if people saw you with the same kicks and gear all the time, they'd know you were broke. Forget about respect from the fellas—the girls really weren't gonna give a broke-ass ni99a the time of day.

    Wallace's childhood was behind him. He was about to start high school, and his mother kept reminding him how the next four years would affect the rest of his life.

    His first act of rebellion was to tell her that he no longer wanted to go to Queen of All Saints School. No more uniforms, no special treatment—he just wanted to be a regular kid. When he transferred to Westinghouse High School he found the public school environment quite different from Catholic school. There was, essentially, no discipline. The student body—which included Trevor "Busta Rhymes" Smith and Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter—seemed to have the upper hand, while the teachers' chief goal was simply to maintain some semblance of order. For a kid as clever as Wallace, the curriculum just wasn't stimulating. Whenever he felt that one of the teachers had insulted his intelligence, he didn't hesitate to speak his mind.

    "Christopher did very well in high school; it's just that he talked back a lot," his mother said. "He was a smart-ass." "One day," she recalled, "he comes home and asks me, 'Mom, how much does a garbage collector make?' "

    She just happened to know; she'd seen a magazine article that compared teachers' salaries with other professions. The next day, Christopher went to school with the article in hand. After class, Ms. Wallace got a call from Christopher's guidance counselor.

    "The guidance counselor told me how Christopher walked into class and said, 'Do you know how much a garbage collector makes, sir?' "

    "No," the teacher replied.

    "A teacher makes a starting salary of $22,500," Wallace informed him. "A garbage collector starts at $29,000."

    "Do you have a point, Mr. Wallace?"
    April 11th, 2006 - Proof that the good die young

  • #2
    damn i want that shyt...... rip big


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