Watch a 17-year-old Biggie Smalls freestyle in Brooklyn, New York


We’re dipping into the Far Out Magazine vault to bring you an extraordinary moment, a moment when history was made, and Biggie Smalls stepped up to the mic to deliver one of his most impressive freestyles of all time, all at the tender age of 17.

Looking back at the illustrious but short career of the late rapper Christopher Wallace, AKA The Notorious B.I.G, it’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glam of the ’90s rap scene—but there’s one moment that defines the man he would become. In 1989, in front of a neighbourhood crowd, Wallace delivered a stunning freestyle that would highlight the power of poetry in his words.

With a baying crowd, likely all gathered to see either the rise or fall of a battle rapper and revel in either destination, Biggie gets to grips with the beat insanely quickly and shows a command that belies his age. Highlighting his innate ability to ride and create a flow without fuss or fury, it would be a staple of his career and mark him out as one of the greats.

Although the clip is short, it is oh so sweet and shows off everything we have known to love about the iconic rapper. B.I.G powers through a verse drenched in rhyming prowess and all parcelled up with the swagger and arrogance of a man who will be remembered as one of the best hip hop has ever produced.

Below you will find the lyrics to go along with the clip, a video full to the brim with crowd reactions and audience awe. But the question we’ve been pondering in the office is this: did they know what they were witnessing? Were they aware of the impact he would have on hip hop? To them, was it just another street freestyler?

Little did they know they were witnessing one of the greatest rappers of all time making his name and planting his foot on the road to greatness.

Biggie Smalls Lyrics:

“Yes it’s me, the B.I.G.
Competition ripper ever since 13!
Used to steal clothes was considered a thief,
Until I started hustlin on Fulton Street.
Makin’ loot! – Knockin’ boots on the regular,
Pass the microphone I’m the perfect competitor.
Jewels and all that! – My clothes is all that!
Chumps steppin’ to me. – That’s where they took a FALL at! [scratches]
B.I.G. without burner. – That’s unheard of
I stay close to mine like Tina on Turner.
Quick to smother! – A punk motherfucker.
Undercover, word to mother. – I’m above ya!
And I love ya! – Cause you’re a sweet bitch!
A crazy crab, you might make my dick itch!
I flow looser than Luther!
Words ya get used ta, B.I.G. is a born – trooper!
Like ice cream I scoop ya! – My music you wanna get loose ta
Stay pimp, and I’m not a booster! [scratches]
So what’cha got to say? – This mackin’ word is bond
There’s no other assumption. – I got it goin’ on!
I’m not conceited, my friends tell me this
Even my mother – be noddin her head to this.
Makes her proud to see her one son get loud
Flip on a sucker! – And bow to the crowd!
Drink a little Hennessy, smoke a blunt or 2 or 3 or 4,
Live in action, guaranteed RAW! ”

Source: Kotke