Biggie Smalls And His Namesakes – A More Complicated Story Than You’d Believe

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To be part of the world of rap you can never only go along with one name. You need a couple of other nicknames along the way if you’re to be taken seriously by the big fish. Every rapper, which comes to mind, has at least one stage name, to go along with his original one. These names normally are assigned to a person as a way to describe their character and the vibe they bring with their music and poetry. In some cases, however, things get a little more complicated.

Tupac himself must’ve had doubts in certain moments, since history clearly points to the fact, that the rap legend was in contact with three of the four people, who would be written down in the history books under the nickname Biggie Smalls. To the mass audience admittedly, the only truly familiar person on the list is none other than the Notorious B.I.G himself – Christopher Wallace, with whom Pac had multiple feuds during their respective careers. Since both men died over a short span of time over 25 years ago, however, people have had to digest the idea that another 3 men had proudly held the nicknames. As the tale goes, 3 of them were closely related to Shakur, being in a sense part of his entourage. Over the next few paragraphs, we’ll get you acquainted with all four men, whose stories continue to cause some confusion.

Biggie Smalls – a.k.a The Notorious B.I.G

NEW YORK – JULY 23: (L-R) Rappers Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur and Redman pose for a portrait at Club Amazon on July 23, 1993 in New York, New York. (Photo by Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Naturally, we kick things off with the most popular person to ever be known by the name. Biggie will certainly go down in history for the massive role he played in the evolution of hip-hop music, including the release of all-time hit singles like “Big Poppa”, “Juicy”, “Hypnotize”, “Dead Wrong” and many more. It’s pieces of art like that, which has earned the B.I.G the “king of New York” tag.

Of course, seeing as his rise to glory coincided with that of Tupac, along with the fact that both men were from the opposite sides of feuding groups, it’s absolutely no surprise that tension was often high. Admittedly, as many people, who were close to the pair confess, the beef was mainly a product of media publications, rather than true hostility. Nevertheless, the speculations surrounding Biggie’s death continue to ramble on even today. Most people believe, however, that Wallace had picked a wrong moment to visit Los Angeles – only a few months after Pac’s murder. His was also met with extra hostility because of a radio performance a week before, in which it seemed as though he dissed Tupac’s death. Ultimately, his LA trip turned out to be his last.

Biggy Smallz – real name Tim Bigelow

Biggy Smallz, real name Tim Bigelow
Biggy Smallz, real name Tim Bigelow

The second case study of our topic is that of Tim Bigelow, who was better known by the name of Biggie Smallz, although fame never really caught up with him. Putting it this way – he had the rotten luck of kicking off his rap career shortly before Notorious took the scene by storm. It was a battle, which could ultimately never be won, despite Bigelow being the first to rap.

Some sources associate Smallz with the Tupac entourage, including a story about how he begged the B.I.G to use a different rap moniker, so as to give Bigelow a shot at glory. These rumors, however, seem a bit far-fetched to be believed. Other stories speak of lawsuits, filed by the Bigelow camp, aimed at Notorious for the rights over the nickname. Nothing of that came to any fruits, however, and Bigelow’s career was pretty much finished before it even kicked off. The B.I.G would take center stage, whilst his namesake only every released as many as three songs – “Save Mr. Perkins”, “Cruisin” and “Nobody Rides For Free”.

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Biggie Smalls a.k.a Big Dric

Biggie Smalls aka Big Dric from 2Pac’s ”God Bless The Dead”
Biggie Smalls aka Big Dric from 2Pac’s ”God Bless The Dead”
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At number three we have a man, who factually had nothing to do with the music world. Not in the way you’d imagine. The information on the life and faith of Big Dric is incredibly scarce, but from what’s available we can safely say that he was a side piece to the rap group Live Squad, the members of which were close to none other than Tupac.

One of the other members of the squad – Majestic, took his time to clarify what Dric’s real role was. It turns out he was a graffiti artist, who happens to have met Pac by chance, which at least to an extent seems to have solidified his name in history. Majestic speaks of a great bond that the two men formed almost instantly. So much so, that after Smallz passed away Pac would honor his faith in the song “God Bless The Dead”, mentioning the name Biggie Smallz. Confusion arose, as the Notorious B.I.G was still alive at the time, but it seems as though Pac knew exactly what he intended to say in those lyrics.

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Biggie Smalls a.k.a Big D The Impossible

Last but not least on our list – that Deon Evans himself. The legendary producer helped Tupac on the path of stardom and was an integral part of his entourage between 1991 and 1993. And the two certainly didn’t disappoint during their work together. In that time frame, the duo released all-time jewels like “Brenda’s Got A Baby”, “Changes”, “N.I.G.G.A”, Ghetto Gospel” and many others, ingraining both of their names into the hip-hop hall of fame. All in all, however, it would be a challenge to find any similarities between Evans and the Notorious B.I.G, apart from their rap monikers. Big D certainly owes a lot to Shakur.

The opposite can also be said, regardless of the fact that Evans’ contributions were partly done in the aftermath of Pac’s death. He would help Afeni Shakur and the Tupac Estate in their efforts to release a posthumous multi-platinum album of the rap legend’s biggest hits – „Tupac’s Greatest Hits”. With 11 million sales, the album remains a best-seller in the hip-hop industry when it comes to greatest hits albums.

As we see, the world of rap music is quite familiar with the name Biggie Smalls, which comes in all shapes and sizes, so to say. Despite the fact that most will only ever remember the Notorious B.I.G, we should honor the memory of the members of this list as well.

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