But Notorious never examines this moral seachange—the very filth Voletta Wallace lamented. It lacks the moral intelligence that Charles Stone III brought to Paid In Full. “My frustration turned into rhymes” Biggie claims, but when he acts tough, he’s as self-destructive as Lil’ Kim turning her own frustrations into sexploitation, grabbing her crotch and spitting whorish lyrics in the Junior Mafia hit “Get Money.”The filmmakers drive-by the horrible irony that Black American culture reached its lowest, self-demeaning point through hip-hop celebrity.
Notorious endorses the ghetto fallacy: “If you make it, we all make it.”This materialist notion replaces Up From Slavery,The Souls of Black Folks, Black Boy, Invisible Man, Letter From a Birmingham Jail,The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Sounder, Killer of Sheep and, most recently, Akeelah and the Bee.The final image of a funeral procession that celebrates success is appalling. Understand Notorious as an epitaph for an entire culture.
Full Article: Drugs-to-Bitches: Notorious
Biggie’s life mirrors human life: it is complex. But the power of Biggie’s story is that his life and his artistry speak to this complexity… in a Hip-Hop way. The authenticity of Hip-Hop is exactly this: that it is complicated. That is why Christopher Wallace is also “Biggie Smalls,” “Frank White,” and the “Notorious B.I.G.”
So when we re-tell Biggie’s story, we can not be irresponsible and under-express it’s problems: misogynistic, sexist, violent, and even amoral. Yet we can not underestimate the great positive force Hip-Hop culture induces: skill, wit, determination, and…success. Biggie’s life is not an archetype, it is a truth; it is a truth because the urban reality of poverty, inequality, and injustice are lived…not imagined. While B.I.G. may have lacked political ambition or a social justice orientation, he unquestionably embodies a human sentiment: the desire to not be poor anymore. And if you’ve lived the urban, ghetto experience, escaping poverty is a sentiment you’ve undeniably felt. How to escape is complex; the path to escaping is complex. But the sentiment and desire is without question authentic. B.I.G symbolizes this, in rhyme and reason; and in Hip-Hop culture. That is why “Biggie Smalls is the illest.” That is why Biggie Smalls represents BK to the fullest.
So fuck the haters. It’s all good baby babyyyyy.
Long live Notorious… Movie In Theaters January 16th…
– Michael Partis