Although an enjoyable watch, I can't help but wish NOTORIOUS dove deeper into the Era and the Emcee rather than simply a one-sided, surface level rehash of the most public events surrounding the life and death of the Notorious B.I.G.

The basics are all there. Young Christopher Wallace from Bedstuy Brooklyn succumbs to 'allure'. Starts slangin. Gets bagged. Starts rhymin. Bangs Lil' Kim. Raps to stardom. Marries Faith. Beefs with Tupac. East Coast. West Coast. West Coast. East Coast. Pac dies. BIG dies. Puffy wins.

Catering to young and casual fans, NOTORIOUS fails to go much farther into BIG's psyche and motivations than his albums or magazine articles.
Theres nothing new here.

Theres a slant there.

Puff and Faith come away looking like the ambitious savior ("Come on yall, we gotta rise above this." "In order to save the world, first you gotta save yourself") and the love-scorned-superwoman. Lil Cease is relegated to weed carrier. And according to this film, Lil' Kim was slightly more than a talented jump-off. No wonder she was pissed about the final cut. There was much more there than that.

And, yeah, Biggie bum-rushed the game.

No doubt.

But Wu-Tang and Nas were equally huge (if not...huger?) at that time. On Only Built For Cuban Links, Ghostface screamed on Bad Boy for biting Nas's Illmatic album cover for Ready To Die[1] . 'Pac referenced Nas as the 'alleged ring leader' on the "Bomb First" intro on Makaveli. And supposedly BIG's "Kick In The Door" was directed square at the Queenbridge Emcee. Brooklyn was behind B.I.G. from the beginning. But New York was divided. The sharks were circling each other. The fact that neither The Wu nor Nasir received a subtle mention is suspect.

And where was Jay-Z??? We need Jay-Z!!!

Instead, we get to watch Bad Boy Entertainment further cement Biggie's legacy (as they tell it) into pop culture and Hip Hop lore.

He who wins the war...writes the history.

[1] Dead serious quote from the sadly under-educated teenager three seats down from my homie Sean P during the scene when Biggie's in his mother's kitchen holding his baby daughter: "Oohh...yall, thats the baby from the album cover." Sean P: " that baby is suspended in time."

Carry on....

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