Even if you don’t like rap, you recognize the Notorious B.I.G. as one of the best who ever did it. The Brooklyn native became an iconic figure in the genre from the jump. It all started when he dropped his debut album, Ready to Die, in 1994. In three short years, he became a superstar.

Biggie was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles on March 9th, 1997. He was in town to promote his second studio album and shoot the video for Hypnotize. The night before his death he was presenting an award to Toni Braxton at the Soul Train Music Awards. The case remains unsolved.

I was only about 11 years old when Biggie died. I was too young to really understand how important he was to Hip Hop culture and the city that made him. Some rare, never released footage from his funeral in 1997 puts everything into perspective.