Alicia Keys has a bit of a revisionist version of an important part of the history of hip hop:
We ask what other gangsta rappers she liked. And that’s when Keys drives a steamroller through the wall.
“‘Gangsta rap’ was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other,” she says, putting down the sandwich. “‘Gangsta rap’ didn’t exist.”
Come again? A ploy by whom?
She looks at us like it’s the dumbest question in the world. “The government.”
Oh, my! While I love the Notorious B.I.G., I didn’t realize that he was a pawn, or perhaps even a player, in a deadly, genocidal game.
…Alicia says Tupac and Biggie were essentially assassinated, their beefs stoked “by the government and the media, to stop another great black leader from existing.”
OK, it all makes sense now. Biggie never wrote a political lyric in his life so far as I know, but apparently, he was not a pawn. If he was going to make the jump from “Juicy” to leading the Revolution with Defense Minister Tupac at his side, he must have been on to his government Puppet Masters, working undercover, accepting their filthy money and record contracts and playing along with their gangsta games so that he could destroy them from the inside before leading the Revolution from without.
Nothing in “Big Poppa” could have given him away. Nothing in “#!*@ You Tonight” could have tipped off this sinister cabal that he was on to them. Indeed, he did everything to cover his tracks by telling the world that he had “Mo Money Mo Problems” and hence would be too preoccupied to do any rabble-rousing.
So how did they find out, and decide it was time for him be liquidated?
He must have been betrayed.
But by who? Puff Daddy is the obvious choice–too obvious, I think. Plus there can be no doubt that the pain that shines through every note of “I’ll Be Missing You” is all too real.
Biggie had a lot of friends and associates. It could be just about anybody. Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony; Lil’ Kim; Too $hort–it can be maddening running through all of the possibilities.
However, one possibility sticks out.
Who worked with Biggie on Life After Death, right before he was assassinated?
Who has had legal troubles for his entire career, but always seems to slip out of them?
Who was acquitted of 14 counts just the other day, to the astonishment of everyone?
During the “#!*@ You Tonight” sessions, Biggie must have been tired. Late at night, alone in the studio with someone he thought he could trust, Biggie slipped. The weight of the world on his shoulders, he confided to his duet partner his secret plans to lead the Revolution.
His duet partner knew that certain incriminating videotapes were out there and eventually one would be made public. He was scared for his own skin.
He dropped a dime.
That’s right. R. Kelly betrayed Biggie like Judas betrayed Jesus. Instead of thirty pieces of silver, he was given a guarantee by The Government that he would never have to pay his debt to society for his endless parade of perverted behaviors.
The cleanup crew stepped in. And in a hail of gunfire, the world was robbed of the next great black leader.
“I Believe I Can Fly”? Oh, yes, you can fly all right, R. Kelly. Just like you flew the coop, because you sang like a bird.