The night biggie was killed, Onyx rapper and rising actor Fredro Starr was there. After hanging for three days with Biggie, Fredro knew that the East Coast/West Coast beef was real. So when Fredo told him, “be safe,” as Biggie departed for his car and into fate’s hand, they weren’t just casual words from a friend, they were a warning.
We sat down with Fredro on the eve of our Celebrity Crime Files episode about Biggie Smalls to talk about the legendary MC, his thoughts on his death and where he stands amongst his top three emcees
Fredro will be tweeting live TONIGHT during Celebrity Crime Files at 9/8c. Follow him at twitter.com/Fredro_Starr
Q: Do you think Biggie’s death was random violence or really part of a larger conspiracy?
Fredro: It definitely wasn’t random violence. Tupac was killed just six months before Biggie. I mean, Biggie’s death was connected to Tupac and Suge Knight and the whole east coast, west coast beef. There had to be something involved with that. Then you add on the LAPD and it gets bigger.
At the end of the day no one knows, nobody knows the truth. I don’t think we’re ever going to get the truth behind this, Tupac or Jam Master Jay’s deaths. Kind of like when Bruce Lee died, we never got the whole story.
Q: If Biggie was still alive, would he still be relevant?
Fredro: I actually made a song called What If and asked “What if Notorious was here? What if he was around/ Would all these niggas claim to be king? Who would wear the crown?”
His voice in hip hop would still be the biggest. I think biggie would have transcended into film, TV and bringing up other artists. Hip hop is limitless, man. He might have created the next Facebook. How big would he have been? That’s a good question.
Q: Before watching Celebrity Crime Files, I didn’t know you and Biggie were close. What would you say is something people don’t know about him?
Fredro: Before he came out to LA, I don’t think I had said more than a paragraph to him. I mean, we were in the same business but we never had the opportunity to really know each other. We recorded a song way called Flip That Sh*t that was never released, that was the first time we met. Two years later, his first album came out, there was the Tupac beef, everything. When he came out to L.A., we bumped into each other and I got to witness Biggie as a person. For three straight days, we were like best friends. We talked about sports, and how he wanted to go into TV and buy a big mansion.
He was a humble guy. He laughed at everything I said, he was like “you a funny dude.” But he was a different Biggie, a different aura. He felt like a legend who was sharing his space with me. He was recognizing my space in hip hop and transitioning into Hollywood. It was definitely like I was sitting with the King of New York, you felt the richness, the success. It was in the air.
Q: If you met someone who had never heard of Biggie, what song would you give them to help them understand?
Fredro: Juicy – that describes Biggie’s legacy. That first line, “It was all a dream,” that first verse, it speaks for Biggie as a whole — his life and transition from kid to a rapper. It was the R&B beat and the hardcore lyrics. Juicy was the record that made Biggie a legend, it showed him going from ashy to classy. Even the video, it was just crazy. Juicy was the record.
Q: Who would you say are the top three MCs of all time?
Fredro: B.I.G. is my number one. I’m a NY , Queens native so, he speaks to me and my experience. Rakim is my number two. As far as still being relevant, he made the blueprint for rappers to put your words together. Jay-Z uses his word structure. That’s what makes him a top MC. And my number three is Run from Run DMC. He informed me as a person and a rapper, how to control the crowds, how to become a star. He was the first rap superstar.