Now I understand a lot of purists would easily be triggered by such a claim, but as someone who would certainly considers himself a Notorious fan, I'm objectively questioning why BIG is allowed to remain sitting cozy in the top 5 hall of fame despite lacking so many achievements and accolades in comparison to the other four.
Can we actually say that BIG truly left a lasting impact on hip hop? Or did it come with an expiration date?
1. Lack of body of work
Straight to the point, no bullshit, Biggie simply does not have the catalogue to compete for a top 5 spot, especially when comparing his accomplishments to the other big four. (Jay, Nas, 2pac, and Eminem. *No particular order.*)
B.I.G. only has two albums, of those two, I'd would only consider Ready to Die to be the only classic Biggie has produced. Nonetheless, I can't justify giving him a spot in Top Five for the same reason I wouldn't put Miss Lauryn Hill in a top tier hip hop artist list. The catalogue just isn't there.
2. We have no idea how BIG can handle himself in lyrical combat
Think about it. Pretty much every emcee that most of us agree to be in the hall of fame at some point had to defend their credibility as a lyricist by verbally sparring with their peers.
Nas/ Jay-z, 50 Cent
2pac/ Nas, Jay Z, the entire Bad Boy family
Jay/ (Nas, Mob Deep, Jim Jones)
Eminem/ (Shit, everybody....)
We're all too familiar with the verbal assaults Pac launched on Big, but when did Big ever return that energy? That SAME energy... not "So called beef with you-know-who.
3. Least amount of Billboard charting (compared to the other big 4)
4. Least influential in the culture (compared to the other 4 horsemen)
When it comes to overall impact on the culture, in comparison to the previous four mentioned, BIG had the least amount of impact in regards to influencing the culture.
Jay Z...Hov... Sir Carter from Marcy, is the true definition of hip hop royalty. Classic after classic album, much billboard success, building one of the most prestigious labels in hip hop history, and introducing the world the mad geniuses of Kanye West, who in turn forever changed the direction rap. No doubt, everything happening in the culture right now, Hov has a hand in it.
Eminem, arguably hip hop's first pop star. Nas, who's first two albums are iconic staples within the culture, not to mention being credited for one of the best disses of all time, in which kids today still continue to use the verb "ether" even though they have no idea where the hell it comes from. Last but certainly not least, Pac is somewhat of an urban myth to the younger generation, but his essence can still be felt through guys like Vic Mensa, Cole, Kendrick, etc...