Between the coastal rap war of Biggie and Tupac that spread throughout every urban environment, I found myself braving the side of the East coast. I'm not necessarily a fan of Puffy but the Notorious B.I.G. made my allegiance of the utmost loyalty. With my condolences to Tupac, I never got into his style of music making or his "revolutionary" tactics. The legend of Tupac Shakur is rarely listened to or experienced first hand. His spirit and memory lives on thanks to crude airbrushed shirts at your local farmer's market and his Makaveli brand of clothing. Perhaps one day, a biopic in his name will give him justice but until then I'd rather be hypnotized by Biggie's presence.
Few of you might have seen Robin William's film The Final Cut. The concept of this film follows "cutters" - cold film splicers who take a hard copy of memories and the vision of a persons entire life and trim them to make a fitting eulogy. This may seem like a departure from the topic of a deceased rapper but the tale is an unintentional philosophizing commentary on the subject of a biopic. Much like "biopics", the "producer" must pick and chose the struggles of a man and his saving grace, so to say that in the end, Christopher Wallace would appear a good and justified man. The truth might be farther than we know. While he represented the busted niggas, he was also a womanizing, drug-dealing piece of meat. But who's to say any of those are negative things?
On the topic of the music behind the film, Danny Elfman conducts the powerful theme of Notorious. Backed with classic hits from Biggie and the occasional departure such as the tune from Slick Rick the Ruler's Children's Story, Notorious is in no way malnourished in the arts of music. Notorious works in such mysterious ways that it presents songs that we've heard time and time again, but revives them. I can now listen to "Hypnotize" and "Juciy" and think to myself how fresh these tracks are, regardless of the decade gap. The concert footage is absolutely breath-taking. Early on from the trailer, I noticed the surreal like shots from behind Biggie's outline. The camera does his larger than life figure, literally and metaphorically, justice and the hues of dark blues and bright fluorescents light up the dancing crowd. As Biggie once said, "Dumb Rappers need teachin". This statement weaves perfectly for our era of Soulja Boy's and Rico Todriquez Wright's.
Notorious is a film that touched me. The fact that I let my guard down to this marvelous character who is faulted by none of his own is a progressive piece of instinct to me. Jamal Woolard is a highly qualified actor to star as Hip-Hop's departed titan of lyrical terror. Although the cast is mainly full of beautiful people to fill the roles of ugly people, mainly Lil' Kim, such is the ways of the Hollywood machine. I feel the greatest asset this film has is the young appearance of Biggie's son filling the shoes as the Notorious B.I.G. as a child. The pain conceived behind this film is entirely evident. Although this is only the perspective of the East coast on the war and the West coast is still not documented in a visually provoking way, I find solace in the fact that these facts are true. Who knows who killed B.I.G. and Pac? The world will never know.