There is no good reason to watch this biopic about an average rapper who brought absolutely nothing new to the game. What is reflected by the movie's lack of substance, of insights, of imagination, is Biggie's own lack of substance, insights, and imagination. Christopher Wallace's rise to fame was no different than a man winning the lottery—it was pure luck. The film, however, makes the opposite case: Not luck but intelligence got Wallace, played by Jamal Woolard, to the top. In one scene set in a high-school classroom, Biggie is shown to be so smart that he is smarter than his math teacher—he points out that the teacher earns $4,000 less than a garbage man. The students laugh at the humiliated teacher, and Biggie pimp-struts out of the class to sell crack on the street. Let's repeat the end of that scene: Biggie walks out of a free education to sell crack on the streets! Worse still, a person with even half a brain would not compare the work of a teacher to that of a garbage man. It's not all about the money—or the Benjamins—you silly rabbit!

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Then there's another scene where Biggie is talking to Tupac in some pool hall. (This is supposed to be the time when the two were tight like that—middle finger wrapped around the forefinger.) Tupac tells Biggie that he, as a rapper, is not an important figure to the youth. Malcolm X—he important; MLK—he important; Tupac—nigga, please. In response to this honest self-assessment, Biggie can only think: Man, Tupac is one crazy cat. But Tupac was not crazy; he knew he was nothing more than an entertainer and, like Biggie, not a very good one at that. Both were wik-wik-wack commercial rappers. Both brought death and dishonor to essential truths of hiphop culture (and such truths DO exist). Both sold their souls because they could not sell anything else—they had no imagination or talent.

Biggie came out of nowhere, sold some crack, released a couple of records, fucked some hos, got caught up in some West Coast/East Coast bullshit, and the bullshit got him shot at the age of 24. And that's all there is to it. recommended

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Washington Ensemble Theatre presents amber, a sensory installation set in the disco era
In this 30-minute multimedia experience, lights & sounds guide groups as they explore a series of immersive spaces.