LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11) - The unsolved murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G remains a notorious part of LA's crime story. It was a time of gangs, drugs, and guns, but also, great music from the streets.
As KTTV continues to mark its 70 years as a local news station we opened up our video vault for footage on the late rapper. Back then our mic flag was blue and yellow. B.I.G., whose real name is Christopher Wallace, belted out a lyric on the mic. It's haunting video given his 1997 murder outside the Peterson Automotive Museum.
Wallace was fatally wounded in a drive-by shooting at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax on March 9, 1997. It was after the Soul Train Awards, and six months after Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by in Las Vegas.
Romeo reflected on hearing the news of Biggie's death. "A friend of mine, he hit me up and said it happened again. We lost another one. It was one of the darkest moments for us in hip hop," he said.
Biggie was part of Bad Boy Records founded by Sean "Diddy" Combs. An east coast west coast rivalry with Suge Knight's Death Row Records had been in play.
Romeo said they thought the beef was fun, was cool... but, "when you lose two of the biggest rappers of all time, it changes everything."
The case was extensively covered by Fox 11 reporter Chris Blatchford. Over the years Wallace's mother filed a civil suit accusing the LAPD of a cover-up.
Named in lawsuits were Knight and disgraced LAPD officers David Mack and Rafeal Perez said to be working for Knight. The murders of both Shakur and Wallace remain unsolved.
Twenty-two years after his death, B.I.G.'s music remains at the top of the radio playlists at 93.5 KDAY. Daytime radio host Paulina at the 90's hip hop station says Notorious B.I.G. is still in her top five rappers of all time.
"If you've been to a nightclub and they're not playing Biggie, you're not at the right club," said Romeo.
Notorious B.I.G. who also went by Biggie Smalls, or Biggie had only released two albums. The hits like Juicy and Big Poppa are fan favorites to this day.