blow up like the world trade
Notorious B.I.G, The Source ‘95
Nas x Notorious BIG (LIVE) Freestyle Session, 1995
New Yortk, NY- 1997: (left to right) Lil’ Cease, Notorious B.I.G and Puffy during a performance at the Jon Stewart Show. Puffy used to join Biggie on stage and ad lib along with Biggie. If it wasn’t for Biggie’s endorsement of, his then record label boss, Puffy / P-Diddy would have never had the confidence to release an album and move on to become a platinum selling rapper.
Biggie was on his way to do a sound check for an appearance on the Jon Steward show. This was before Jon Stewart became the huge comedy central success that he is today. He had a previous Jon Stewart Show, that was taped at a studio on 27th street on the west side of Manhattan and aired on UPN. While coming up the back stairs, I saw this sign and called out to Biggie to look my way. Timing is everything in photography.
It was my idea to get this shot of Biggie in front of the twin towers in NYC. I knew one of the best vantage points to see the towers was from Liberty State Park in Jersey City. I had to pick Biggie up from Brooklyn and get him over to Jersey to get the shot. We already scheduled the shoot and had to cancel it three times before this day. One time, I went to Biggie’s home in Fort Greene, said hello to his wife Faith in the kitchen, gave a pound to his body guard Damian and went downstairs to wake Biggie up from his bed. By this point, Biggie and I knew each other for a long time so no one thought it odd to allow me into his bedroom to try to get him motivated to do the shoot. Biggie asked me if we could cancel the shoot today due to being exhausted from constant touring and live shows. I said absolutely. Let’s try to do it tomorrow. This attitude always helped me to get the confidence of people like Biggie because although I had a duty to get the cover done, I was very aware of his condition and didn’t want to be another person pulling him in another direction as many famous artists experience. I ended up scrapping the shoot that day despite all of the expense that was already incurred but it was the right thing to do. When we finally got it done, a week later, it was well worth it. R.I.P Notorious B.I.G and R.I.P World Trade Center ! circa 1997