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  • I found his mother, played brilliantly by Angela Bassette, to be the best character in the movie
  • I would recommend Notorious to anyone who enjoys hip-hop, or even to those people who just want to learn more about a very tumultuous and history-making time in the music industry

    • by Jessie Bahrey
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      I remember only vaguely the so-called hip-hop wars between the East Coast and the West Coast rap artists in the 1980s and early 1990s, because I listened to only some of the music. I do remember the violence between the two groups, and the gang war that resulted in the deaths of two aspiring, talented rappers, Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, and I liked both of their music a lot. When I saw the movie Notorious at the movie rental store, I picked it up because I wanted to learn about the nature of rise of Christopher Wallace’s career from the streets of Brooklyn and jail to being one of the most famous and

      well-respected hip-hop artists. I also hoped to learn more about the much-hyped rivalry between him and Topic, and how this rivalry killed both of them in the prime of their life and career.

      Like so many movies about a true-life story, this movie followed Notorious’ downward spiral into drug dealing when he was only a teenager, and he landed in jail pretty quickly. However, what made him different was that he was also a talented song-writer and rapper, and after hooking up with Puffy (now Diddy), and being warned to go legit, he became famous very quickly, leading the East Coast rappers. After a falling out with Topic, from California, who was also under Puffy’s ...


      • influence, the rift that was between the two personally was used and hyped by the music industry to sell more records. What made things worse was that the thug mentality was so much a part of the rap scene, and therefore violence ensued. After Notorious is blamed for Tupac’s murder, he decides to go promote his new album in California, where he had many enemies, and I could tell as soon as he made that decision that this would be his downfall.

        The character development in this movie is surprisingly good, with Notorious and his fellow rappers, as well as the women in his life, being portrayed accurately. I found his mother, played brilliantly by

        Angela Bassette, to be the best character in the movie. The music is great, and I loved how so many scenes show how Notorious was able to create his raps in many cases spontaneously. Near the end of the movie, he began to make an effort to be a better father to his two children. By the way, the actor who plays the young Notorious in the beginning of the movie is his real-life son, which of course adds a bit of a compelling and fateful twist.

        I would recommend Notorious to anyone who enjoys hip-hop, or even to those people who just want to learn more about a very tumultuous and history-making time in the music industry.




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