NEW YORK — Biggie Smalls, also known as the Notorious B.I.G., had the rap lyrics to make you move and feel good while also getting you to visualize the tough streets he was rapping about.

"'Til this day, still one of the biggest records to ever do it for Biggie was the 'Big Poppa,'" said Ephram Lopez, better known as DJ Enuff. 

Enuff is a popular DJ on radio stations HOT 97 and WBLS. He fondly remembers his friend, the Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace.

What You Need To Know

  • Notorious B.I.G. helped to put NYC back at the top of rap music in the mid 1990s

  • In his younger years, Biggie listened to jazz and country music as well as rap

  • Biggie had a feud with fellow rapper Tupac Shakur. Both of their murders are unsolved

  • Biggie's second album "Life After Death" was released two weeks after his death

In the '90s, Enuff was already a radio DJ. He helped the then-up-and-coming rapper get into a Manhattan nightclub the Brooklyn native could not get into on his own.

“After that, he thanked me and he loved me and he said, 'You are my guy'. He gives me his album on cassette as a gift. 'Here goes my album. Play it, do what you got to do with it,'” Enuff recalled. “So I go on KISS FM and I start playing this music, I started cleaning and editing the records on my own. Then the warmline hits, the hotline, and it’s Puff Daddy and he’s yelling and screaming at me. 'What are you doing? You’re leaking my B.I.G. album. You’re crazy.'”

A short time later, Sean "Puffy" Combs, who was on his way to becoming a music mogul, asked DJ Enuff to be Biggie's road and concert DJ.

"I’m a part of history. My name will forever be in the books because of my affiliation with the Notorious B.I.G., and that’s amazing to me," Enuff said. 

He still feels the pain of losing Biggie 25 years ago. Only 24 years old, the rapper who quickly rose to the top was gunned down and murdered in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997. This was during the time of East Coast/West Coast rap feuds that often turned violent. Tupac Shakur was killed the year prior. DJ Enuff was nervous and told those closest to Biggie to keep him safe during the trip to the West Coast.   

"I was here in New York, I was afraid to go to LA. I did not want no part of it. In my mind, I was thinking, 'Tupac just passed six months prior or something like that. Why are we going to LA to party?'" Enuff said. "I just felt in my heart that this wasn’t the time to be in LA. That’s the way I just felt."

Unfortunately, his intuition was correct.

"Prior to that, there were death threats, there were phone calls to the hotels or to the people with the phones, 'We are going to get you,' this and that," he said.

Biggie's death is still an unsolved murder, and that bothers Enuff.

"I can’t believe that of all those people that were there and nobody saw nothing and nobody has the information of who took our guy.” Enuff said.

Biggie's fellow Brooklyn rapper Maino is also still hurt by the loss.

“When I thought about getting out and becoming an artist, he was probably the main reason because it was the first time I actually identified with somebody that clearly came from my neighborhood that actually did it. You say 25 years, but for me it feels like it was just yesterday,” Maino said.

Many others feel the same way.

During Biggie's funeral procession through his Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Clinton Hill, scores of fans packed the streets cheering and dancing to his music.

Biggie's music spoke about his real life of dealing drugs to becoming a rap star and taking care of his family and friends. DJ Enuff said although his life and career were short, his hardcore lyrics over a soulful R&B beat will continue to live on for generations of fans.

"The swing and bop like the old Isley Brothers records had or the Mtume 'Juicy' record had, but it was still street, it was still Brooklyn, and it’s just amazing that we’re here 'til this day still talking about them," Enuff said. "I love you Big."