Even today, most would agree it is still difficult to think about the fact that Biggie Smalls – an incredibly talented rapper from two decades ago – was shot and killed just before the release of his long-awaited album. What really gets to people about this eerie story is that it was on the eve before Biggie was set to release an album titled “Life After Death."

'Life After Death' is exactly what happened to Biggie

Exactly 20 Years ago today, the popular rapper was shot and killed in Los Angeles during a drive-by shooting. The death of Biggie Smalls followed just two months behind the death of Tupac who was also killed in a very similar manner.

The only difference is that Tupac was killed in Las Vegas instead of Los Angeles. Biggie Smalls was just 24-years-old when he was killed.

He was a star on the rise

There was no denying that Biggie Smalls was a star currently on the rise. His debut album – which many agreed was also eerily titled with the title “Ready to Die” has been certified as both double and quadruple-platinum. It even has two separate songs titled “Big Poppa” and “One More Chance/Stay With Me” that made it to the top ten of the Billboard’s Hot 100 list.

If anything, the death of Biggie and the eerie names of his albums only drew more attention to his music. Released just 16 days after he was shot, the double-disc album managed to sell just shy of 700,000 copies during its first week.

Biggie still holds a record today as one of the biggest sales during the first week of an album’s release. This dates all the way back to when Nielsen first started to track the sales of music in the United States back in the year 1991.

Life After Death” had two songs hit the number one slot on the Hot 100 including “Mo Money Mo Problems” and “Hypnotize.” To date, Smalls is the only artist to hit the number one slot twice in the Hot 100 after passing away.

In fact, Jim Croce, John Lennon, and Janis Joplin are the only other singers to have ever had a song hit the number one slot after passing away.

The rapper Biggie Smalls is gone – and has been gone for 20 years. His music, however, continues to resonate with people. He may be dead and gone, but he is still BIG in the music world.