Flashback Friday: The Biggie Belt

by
Chris Wilder.

This story on B.I.G., the first national press he received, was published in The Source. And it was written by one of my favorite Source A-teamers: Chris Wilder. I wonder if Big’s wearing the Biggie Belt here…

In the winter of 1999, I was promoted at The Source from Staff Writer to Associate Music Editor.

Honestly, I was less then excited about the new title. All I wanted to do was write. Not edit. But after changes at the top, I had no choice. There was no longer a budget for a free-spirited thinker to travel the country and write whatever she wanted to. I could still cover stories but I’d have to edit and assign some stuff too.

The best part of my promotion? I was moving out of the projects!!

There were two places you could sit at The Source when I got there in the late 90s: in the projects or in the condos. The projects were six cubicles on opposite walls in the main room on the editorial side of the floor.

The condos were the five private offices leading to the editor-in-chief’s digs.

We called it the projects because it was so wide open and crowded. And quite, frankly, it was a ghetto, in the literal sense of the word.

You had all these different people, from different backgrounds, listening to various types of music on blaring stereo systems—and we were all crunched into one tiny space.

When I first got there, I had Jonathon “Gotti” Bonanno sitting behind me in the projects. We shared a stereo. The main part of the stereo was on my desk. But I put a speaker on his desk and we took turns listening to new music. One week, I had to listen to WuTang on repeat while he wrote a cover story on the group. I wasn’t happy about it. And I’m sure he wasn’t happy living through my Angie Stone phase. (At The Source, an R&B fanatic like me was just barely tolerated).

Oh, and I won’t even talk about Anslem and that MONTH that he played that DAMN song “Stan” by Eminem every freaking hour on the hour. I still can’t listen to that song.

So I was very happy to move out of the ‘jects and into a deluxe office in the corridor. The office had belonged to Roberto “Riggs” Morales, who was leaving. I loved Riggs. He rode a scooter through the office and had an ear for music that was no joke. And he taught me how to rock my first pair of Air Force Ones properly. (“And when they get the tiniest smudge of dirt, toss ’em. You hear me?”)

Riggs was packing his office and I popped in, ready to measure for curtains. (I mean that figuratively. There were no windows in that tiny spot.) He told me to come inside and close the door.

“You see this belt?” Riggs said.

He pointed to a belt that was hanging from a hook on the back of the door. The belt was so long that although the buckle was nearly at the top of the door, the end of the belt was halfway to the floor.

“I know that can’t be your belt…” I said.

“No. it’s Biggie’s belt.”

I looked closer and shook my head in disbelief.

“No way.”

“Yeah, it is. Look at the notch. That’s where he had to close it.”

I took the belt off the hook. It wrapped around my waist several times and I saw the well-worn notch that had been punched in with a sharp edge. Whoever that belt belonged to was huge.

“This is really B.I.G.’s belt?” I asked Riggs. “How did it get here?”

“He came up here to the office a few years ago,” Riggs explained. “We were clowning him about his raggedy belt and how he had to make a new notch for it to fit. He took it off and left it here as a joke. Told us he’d be back to get it and not to touch it.”

Riggs just looked at me and didn’t have to say anymore. At this point, B.I.G. had been dead for two years. It was obvious that he hadn’t made it back to get his belt. I hung the belt back up.

“That belt doesn’t leave this office,” Riggs said.

“Okay.”

“Not under any circumstances. It stays right there. Right on that hook. Unless Big comes here to get it, it doesn’t move.”

“I got it.”

“And don’t tell people about it either. The more people who know, the more likely someone’s gonna steal it.”

I nodded.

“If you move offices or if you leave The Source: the belt stays here. You can tell the next person who moves in here.”

Riggs was always laughing and grinning about something. He was a jovial type. But on that afternoon, he was cold and serious. I assured him that I’d keep Biggie’s belt safe, honored to be a small part of hip-hop history.

I stayed in that office for close to two years. I didn’t tell anyone about the belt. (Okay, I did tell a few people. But only people I really trusted!) And I never removed it. I touched it absentmindedly from time to time. But didn’t give it much thought.

And then, it was time for me to move on from The Source. I sat down in Carlito’s office one Monday morning and before I could say a word, he just rolled his eyes and said, “What do I need to do to get you to stay?”

But there was nothing he could do. I was done. I was ready to freelance. Carlito gave me a writer’s contract. (Love him to this DAY for that.) And he sent me packing.

It took me a week to pack everything. And in between sending boxes to my house and letting people know my plans, I was sniffing out a replacement.

I wasn’t going to be able to hire someone, that job would go to the Music Editor. But I did want to make some suggestions.

I wanted Jermaine Hall in my seat. Jermaine was a writer working for a website at the time. He often wrote freelance stories for me and was always quick and clean with his stories. I loved that I could call him up on a Friday at three and have him on a plane by five for a story I was two weeks late on assigning.

I brought Jermaine in and asked him if he was interested in the gig. He was. I gave him a primer on what they were looking for and how he should handle the interview. He went in there and did what he had to do and got the job.

After I found out he was hired, I asked him to come back to see me one more time.

“Riggs had this office before me,” I told Jermaine.

“Word?”

“Yeah. And I’m taking everything out of here. Except that belt hanging on the hook behind the door.”

Jermaine turned around and looked at the door. Then his eyes widened.

“Whose belt is that?” he asked.

And I passed down the story of the Biggie Belt to Jermaine.

“You can’t take that belt down,” I told Jermaine. “Ever.”

Jermaine nodded.

“And if you leave, the belt stays here.”

Jermaine nodded again.

That was my last day at The Source. And I never went inside my old office again.

Although I stayed in touch with Jermaine and continued to write for the magazine, I didn’t ask about the belt and eventually forgot about all it.

And then, when I got the email that Jermaine was leaving The Source, I remembered the belt and wondered what had become of it.

It’s been years now. The Source’s offices have moved completely.

And I don’t know where Biggie’s belt is.

I called Jermaine up the other day and he swears that he gave instructions to the next person who occupied the office, Johnathon “Gotti” Bonanno.

Aiight Gotti. It’s on you… I need an update. From you or anyone else…

On the night of the opening of Notorious, I thought it would be a good question to ask. ‘Cause it’s a question I’ll be thinking of as I sit down to watch the movie tonight:

I wonder what happened to Biggie’s belt?

57 Responses to “Flashback Friday: The Biggie Belt”

  1. NakedWithSocksOn.com Says:

    Ah, the Biggie belt. I remember it fondly. I think I may have been there (or eve’s dropping) when Riggs told you that story because I recall him saying all that.

    And yup, Gotti was the last one I saw with it, but I ain’t seen it since. We all be gone from 215 for a minute. Damn, 6 years for me. Sheesh. A lifetime ago, thanx for the flashback.

    And you forgot that the projects were broken into two sides. There was teh real projects where you sat and then the slightly better Co-Ops across the street with low walls and shelves. Before I got a door, the co-ops were a vivd dream that I achieved once Wilder’s old assistant Jasmine left.

  2. Jermaine Hall Says:

    I’ll shed some light on the missing Biggie belt. But it’s rather dim, meaning I have no idea where that belt is. When I left that windowless condo, I moved into KO’s old office (a condo with a city view). As written, I left the guarding of the belt to Gotti. He lived and breathed hip-hop 24/7 and respected the culture so I knew that the belt was in good hands.

    I never really thought about that belt till this post. Where is that thing?

  3. Hanif Says:

    Somebody find the belt! That is historic memorabilia

    Today I felt like a Hip-Hop Trekie. I went to see the first showing of Notorious today! I had my Ready to Die bumping on the way up, and Life after Death on the way home. I was surprised that I was alone in rapping the lyrics to every freestyle and song they played in the movie. (I am in the south right now, maybe they don’t appreciate B.I. like us east coast folk from the tri-state. I had to play hookie from work, but I was there bright and early at 12-noon. I haven’t been to a matinee in a minute, but I had to see it.

    I remember a while back I was working on a fiction piece that had me talking to BIG and Pac about the current state of hip-hop.

    I would love to hear Big’s thoughts on Ether and Takeover. I would like to hear straight from the horses mouth if it’s cool that Hov says a Big verse to, “Big up his Brother” in almost every song. So many questions.

    P.S. Big wrote that movie, everything depicted in the film comes straight from the albums.

  4. Anita Says:

    I expect your verdict on the movie.

  5. Aliya S. King Says:

    @naked: yes, anslem, I think you were in there helping me pack when I got the speech from Riggs!!

    @Jermaine: I’m waiting to here from Gotti…

    @Hanif: but most importantly: what did you think of the movie? Did you like it?

    @Anita: sold out, every show, every theater around my way last night. And I had a babysitter and everything. Saw Brad Pitt in Benjamin Button instead. will try to see it this weekend.

  6. Chris Wilder Says:

    How come I never knew about the belt!? My office was directly across from Riggs before the Sports moved downstairs to the Deluxe Apartment in the Sky. Downstairs was much better than the corridor leading to the Editor in Chief’s office. Nobody could tell me? What was I, the establishment or something?

  7. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Chris: I don’t know why you didn’t know about the belt. I thought everyone knew. And you came to my office a bunch of times and it was hanging right there…I think I assumed that you knew. Anyway. The corridor was WAY better than downstairs. Downstairs was corny. =)

  8. Hanif Says:

    Honestly, I liked the movie, I thought Gravy was a good Biggie, and I got a little more insight on the relationship with Pac. I am a little skeptical as to the truthfulness of the actual events and how they transpired, Diddy exec produced it, i’m sure he played it safe. Entertaining and Nostalgic it was. I would put it in my Non-Bootlegged dvd collection.

  9. Tracii McGregor Says:

    Um, I didn’t know about the belt either… And I lived in those condos for years!
    7th floor was not the Deluxe Apartment in the sky Chris is making it out to be — super sterile, but it was definitely a great hideaway from the madness on 11. Actually, let me retract that statement. Now that I think about it, there are quite a few tales about life downstairs… LOL!

  10. Tracii McGregor Says:

    What about the cane? Biggie’s cane from the cover shoot? I had that in all of my offices over the years… Who know’s where that joint is now? The last one’s left probably didn’t even know that’s what it was. J-Mill would, tho. And I believe he’s still holding it down over there, no?

  11. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Tracii: okay, now this is weird. You and Chris didn’t know about the belt? Impossible. I gotta find out if Carlito knew…And I definitely never knew about a cane…

  12. Paul Says:

    The Biggie Belt… (said like a kid saying “ooooooh caaaaaandy”)

    I remember coming to your office one time and you showed me the belt and told me the story. I remember sayin’, “For Real!!! Stop playin!” And you were like, “Look at the length of the belt.” (in your dry Aliyaesque monotone voice) I stood there hypnotized. (No pun intended) I said, ” Do people know this? Why hasn’t anyone stolen it?” “Are you gonna take it?” I asked many questions and all your answers were pretty much background noise. I just stood there looking at the belt like Ralphy in Christmas Story when he saw or thought about the Bee Bee gun. It glowed like Sho nuff and Bruce Leroy, and I for once had demons on both shoulders. Taking it surely crossed my mind and I would’ve hoarded it all to my self in some place that no one ever knew until 25 years from now.

    Then I heard. Paul Paul Paul…

    “Oh sorry. Were you saying something?”

    I do remember asking what happens when you leave, and you told me what Riggs told you. But I just always felt in my heart that no one would be that honest. Cause I know I’m an honest dude and I remember how I felt once I knew that was Big’s belt. Its almost like like Frodo in The lord Of The Rings…In the right hands its cool. Corrupt people would probably hold it for ransom. *shudder at the thought* But it could possibly turn honest people corrupt. I for the record would’ve never sold it if I did take it. That’s blasphemous! Whoever has it, damn you to hell (that’s serious) if you use it for bad things.

    Kudos to the dude that played Big. You’ll really feel like your watching Big. He seriously killed it! Derek Luke got Puffy down pat. At first I thought it was a caricature version of Puffy. Then I thought, Puffy himself is a caricature…

  13. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Paul: um. good thing I outed myself and admitted that I did tell a few trusted souls about the Biggie belt. Since you just totally blew my spot up! But alas, dear readers, I’ve known Paul since I was 12. I had to tell him.

  14. Paul Says:

    I wouldnt have said anything if you didnt put that parenthetical up.

    You’re secret was (how do you italicize on macs) safe with me.
    You blew your own spot, Buddy.

    You might as well tell ’em bout Pac’s bandana now…

  15. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Paul: you are hilarious.
    …and it was ‘Pac’s double herringbone chains from the “I Get Around” video you’re thinking of. Not the bandana…

  16. Paul Says:

    If anyone bags Aliya for ransom, I know not of what she speaketh about. I don’t really know her like that. Don’t hunt me down. I know nothing of these hip hop memorabilia. It was a joke. He He…

    I just read her blogs from time to time and wanna act like I know her cause she seems kinda important…

    Disregard prior posts of any knowledge of mine about anything. I never really saw that belt either. *gulp*

    Who is this Aliya?. (said like Mr. Asirifi)
    Oops. I dont know you! I forgot.

  17. Portia Says:

    LOL @ Paul…hilarious bro.

  18. Portia Says:

    Aliya,
    What an incredible story…I’m waiting with baited breath to hear the outcome. *subscribed*

  19. Golianopoulos Says:

    Quick update on the lineage of the belt: Gotti gave me the speech in February 2003 when I took over that office. Three months later I moved into the projects and explained the Legend of Biggie’s Belt to Kimberly Burgess. After she left, Joel Randell moved in. I’m pretty sure that he was the last person in there at 215 Park before the Source moved to 23rd St. in October 2004.
    Don’t know if the belt ever made it over.

  20. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Golianopoulos: WOW!!!!! Okay. We’re making some progress. This might actually be solved. I don’t know Kimberly Burgess or Joel Randell. Are they on Facebook? They must be found.

  21. Paul Says:

    Hunt them down!!!!

    A curse on both your houses if you stole or sold it!

  22. Ak Says:

    I didn’t know about the belt either. I guess there was more than kind of division going on The Source–the Music people vs. the “Non-Music” people. :-)

  23. Ak Says:

    *more than one kind*

  24. lchecks Says:

    Aliya–your blog is overwhelming, I have so much catching up to do! I think Kim Burgess has a hyphenated last name now.

  25. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Ak: interesting. It does seem as if the people who didn’t know were non-music people. still weird though…

    @lchecks: let’s go sister. Catch up with the class! =)

  26. serenakim Says:

    I love this post. And no offense, but the COMMENTS are the best part!!!!

  27. Ann-Marie Says:

    Aliya,

    That belt must be found. Joel is on facebook, but he’s not a friend of mine. Email him Aliya, email him! Love this post!

  28. Aliya S. King Says:

    @serena: I’m right there with you. the story has taken on a life of it’s own. And I love it.
    @Ann-Marie: you have my word. I will not rest. I sent a message to Joel on Facebook. No response. Suspicious, no?

  29. Kimberly Burgess Wilson Says:

    Hey every posting body,

    I got my history briefing on Biggy’s belt from Boo Rosario and I took it seriously.
    While I worked/lived in the condo it was well taken care of. I do have a photo. If I find it I’ll post it. When I left The Source it remained. Tom is right, the guy who came after me might know. They moved so it might be packed in a box somewhere. Tsk tsk tsk

  30. Kimberly Burgess Wilson Says:

    Hillary Crosley is on Facebook. Maybe she knows something about the fate of Biggie’s belt.

  31. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Kimberly: Hillary worked at The Source? When?

  32. Kimberly Burgess Wilson Says:

    around the same time. she stayed on for some time into 2004

  33. Paul Says:

    Warmer…

    Can we all as a community of this belt hunt say that when we find it, whoever has it, has to get beat by it also. One lash from every new person that posts on here.

    Thanks Kim. You are officially off the hot seat.

  34. Joel Randell Says:

    oooh weee! this. is. a. fucking. CRAAAAZY-ass thread!! i’m tripping off this!

    apologies, everyone, for my delayed response. a quick preface…

    when i received Aliya’s facebook msg a few days ago i thought it was just a random thread being circulated, of which things i never read. it said something like, “flashback-friday-the-biggie-belt”. while i was flattered to be contacted by a writer who’s work i’d always read and respected (Aliya and I have never met, but i def recognized her name), i was like, “damn…prolific hip hop journos send spam-like threads??” i immediately clicked out to my “notifications” bubble.

    then this a.m. Aliya hits me up on my fb wall like, “yo dude! did you get my msg?? WE LOOKIN 4 THE BIGGIE BELT!!! and it ends with YOU!!” funny shit, right?? so now i’m like, “what the fuck is this Biggie Belt???” i re-find Aliya’s original msg, click the link, and read. i start LMAO, because it all makes sense and now i remember.

    when i got to the Source in march ’04 and immediately moved into said condo office, Gotti gave me an abbreviated debriefing about the belt on the back of the door. for nostalgia’s sake also, since it hasn’t been mentioned here, the belt was hanging next to an original page of Biggie’s “Unsigned Hype” article the mag did on him whenever. “ok. that’s Biggie’s Belt right there…nice!”, i thought to myself. and that’s pretty much the last time i ever really saw it. reason being, the fucking “condo” office was so small and windowless that the thought of being in there with the door closed made me feel claustrophobic. six months later, as the sinking ship The Source became increasingly took on more and more water, i bounced.

    regrettably, there was no immediate successor named when i left, so i had no one to pass the rites on to. but if i’m not mistaken, Juan Pablo took over my position soon after. and last i checked the Source masthead he’s still there. so seek out J. Pablo.

    man, i hope we find this historic piece of B.I.G. ephemera. it should most def be preserved.

    unless, of course, Biggie came back and got it after all.

  35. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Joel, we’ve never met. But I came thisclose to tearing up at your postscript.

    Anyway, I am SO glad you reached out. And just in time too. Because I JUST found a picture of you online. And was about to dedicate an entire post to YOU and finding you and blaming your for the belt’s disappearance. I’m so glad you checked in.

    Now. let me ask you this. Do you know for sure that Juan Pablo inhabited the condo? Or do you just know that he took over your position. That is critical.

    People. Where is Juan Pablo. I want him found NOW.

  36. Aliya S. King Says:

    Update: Dammit! J. Pablo left The Source a year ago. I just called up there. Dammit!

  37. Chris Wilder Says:

    @Joel: You wrote “Biggie’s “Unsigned Hype” article the mag did on him whenever.”

    Whoa… you made me feel old right there. I was at The Source and in effect when we did that unsigned hype on Biggie. To you it’s “whenever,” to me it’s, “yesterday.” I lived around the corner from him on Grand so, it was cool we were doing somebody from the neighborhood. We also did Common around then.

    Also, that detail was left out of the movie. Puffy didn’t just discover him. He called down to The Source and wanted the best unsigned hype tapes we had. He said he was looking for a real, ghetto-type rapper. He came down and Matty C gave him three tapes including Biggie. He picked Biggie. I would imagine that first meeting with Puff and BIG that was depicted in the movie would have happened after learning of BIG from us.

  38. Kimberly Burgess Wilson Says:

    This thread just gets better and better.

  39. Joel Randell Says:

    @Aliya: eeaasy, please! i’m on your team, and would never even think of stealing a Biggie belt, even when i was the old me (i wasn’t always an editor and i fractured an occasional law here and there).

    as far as knowing for certain if J. Pablo inhabited the condo after me…can’t say. i never went back to that particular office to know. but i checked the masthead after i left, and he def succeeded me, and also carried over into the new offices after the 23rd street move to the finance district. i know bc i did some brief freelance work at the latter. i’m not saying he took it or not, bc i plainly don’t know.

    @Chris Wilder: apologies if i came off apathetic with the “whenever” comment homeboy. i was just implying that i didn’t know when the Unsigned Hype piece on Biggie was written. much respect to you dude, bc as with Aliya, i came up thru college reading your work. so i’m not surprised that you played such an integral role in Biggie’s discovery.

    also, if i can add my 2 cents on the Notorious movie: i think Gravy embodied Biggie damn near as well as Jamie Foxx embodied Ray Charles. of course, Gravy’s acting chops can’t touch Biggie’s due to plain lack of experience, but his embodiment of Biggie was often uncanny.

    this thread is good money. any other way i can help don’t hesitate. i’m reading.

  40. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Joel: sorry. But I was about to blow you up. I didn’t know whose team you were on. Now we’re straight. I have to find J. Pablo. I just got a cell number on him from one of my operatives. I will keep you all posted. I’m calling him within the hour.

  41. Joel Randell Says:

    *correction: mistakenly said “Gravy’s acting chops can’t touch Biggie’s due to plain lack of experience….” of course i meant to say “Gravy’s acting chops can’t touch Jamie’s.”

    Aliya: that’s right, go hard at this culprit!!! and like Paul said previously, whoop the person’s ass with Biggie’s belt like he stole something when you find them! because they did!

    the streets are watching….

  42. Paul Says:

    This gets good…

  43. Kimberly Burgess Wilson Says:

    Have we confirmed that the past owners don’t have the belt?

  44. KillaHills Says:

    yeah, we’ve confirmed that past owners don’t have the belt…I think i still have jp’s #, if not, i’m sure dream hampton has it. hell, she might even have the belt. wooow, what nostalgia, I remember that belt, i think either boo or gotti told me about during my wild days at the sauce. remember all that drama Kim B? ahahaha…me plotting how i would escape my eic assistant desk at the end of the hallway if someone came in shooting. thomas g would come in with his coffee EVERY MORNING and Joel rolled through with that damn camo outfit complete with grenade pockets & thomas started singing “over thereeee, send the word, send the word, over thereeeee.” classic.

  45. KillaHills Says:

    i just text jp, am waiting………..

  46. Aliya S. King Says:

    @KillaHills: ohmygosh. that sounds so stressful and crazy. thanks for checking in. Did you ever see the belt? When did you leave The Source and who was in the Biggie Belt Condo when you left?

  47. KillaHills Says:

    @Aliya S. King yeah, the sauce was always crazy from what i hear, but it was insane by the time i got there. since i used to hear all the gossip first, like when ray had roped up dave and when he was coming to yell at/torture the rest of the staff- i’d play jay-z’s “somehow some way” as a coded “watch your back” song for the staffers…

    i left in like 2005, was fired (happy happy joy joy) when ko was fired. i did see the belt, either gotti or boo told me the story, and then it hung in kim’s, then joel’s then jp’s office. just got off the phone with jp, who says he has no idea what happened to it after the move. he asked boo and he had no idea either. sounds like either someone swiped it, or the movers tossed it, thinking it wasn’t worth anything. =0(

  48. Aliya S. King Says:

    @KillaHilla: it sounds like the Biggie Belt met with an inglorious end. I need to hear this from J.Pablo though. I’ll try ringing him again. Thanks for tracking this all down.

  49. Chris Wilder Says:

    Unlike any other job I have had, this thread is making me feel connected to the later generations of Source people in the same way I feel connected to people that went to Howard years after me. It’s as though you have the same experience even if it’s way later. I worked at Sony Music as long as I worked at The Source (the first time) and I couldn’t care one way or another about people that worked there after I was gone.

  50. Kimberly Burgess Wilson Says:

    @Everyone reading: My heart sank reading Hillary’s note. Still sinking as I write this. You mean to tell me that the one thing that was still 100% sacred in that place is truly missing? J Pablo doesn’t know??? This story is supposed to have a glorious ending with the belt in tact and hanging somewhere safe or at least in Chris Jr’s, T’Yonna’s or Ms. Wallace’s room. If this belt is buried, just like Biggie, it met an undue end. This says a lot about the bad vibes The Source carried in its last moments at 215 Park Ave.

    Once I stepped foot in that place in 2003, I knew things had changed. I noticed the difference after having done a quick stint there as an intern in ’96 or ’97 when Selwyn was EIC. There had been that whole secret cover feature thing several years before, but when I interned there was nothing but true hip-hop love in those hallways. People still believed in what they were doing. There was passion among many instead of only a few.

    Something definitely happened at the rag and it was more than lawlessness, it must have been paranormal because where did The Source’s spirit go? It’s soul? This outcome speaks to The Source’s soullessness. The art of chronicling and preserving hip-hop history is why Mays started the thing to begin with. But that got lost along the way, obviously. Some may hesitate to call it roots. Might sound too crazy. But my instinct tells me that dat place did obeah fi true.

  51. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Kimberly: I haven’t given up hope yet. I need to speak to Pablo myself. I’ve called him several times to no avail. Maybe someone knows something…

  52. KillaHills Says:

    @Aliya S. King/Kimberly =0(

  53. RAHZILLA Says:

    I may be wrong for thinking this, but if Benzino and David Mays knows the history behind that infamous belt, they may have it stashed over in their high rise office at “Hip-Hop Weekly.”

  54. Aliya S. King Says:

    @rahzilla: I hear you. but no, I don’t think that happened. I really don’t. If anyone took it, it was someone from The Source who wanted to keep it safe and didn’t want it to go to the new offices for whatever reason…

  55. carlito machete Says:

    First off, please excuse the tardiness. Nah, fuck that. “Tardiness” don’t cut it. I’m later than Lauryn Hill’s (.) on this thread. Keep it 100 w/ y’all, I’d received asking’s note via FB, and though I usually read her posts day-of, for no particular reason, I’d skipped this one.

    Nevertheless… GREAT READIN’s, grasshoppers! (Yeah, far as I’m concerned, you’re ALL grasshoppers, gattdammit. Well, except for AK-47, ’cause she’s a better editor than I am. And C-Wild, ’cause he and I go back to “a place called the Plateau is where e’ybody go.” And T-Mac ’cause shit, she’s T-Mac.”

    (No offense, by the way. I love the grasshoppers! Y’all make a ni**a wanna keep his keyboard well-oiled.)

    On to the Biggie Belt…

    WHAT MUTHAFUCKIN’ BIGGIE BELT?!!

    Ahem.

    Basically, that’s the short way of saying that I was never informed of said artifact. Either that or I was waaaay too drunk on the glorious nectar of the EIC Gods to remember.

    Mind you, I was there when Big came through those couple years back, and remember dude’s genuinely good natured laugh at the cracks about his belt. (Obviously good-natured. He could take being snapped on better than ANY mu’fuckin’ rapper or “industry” type I’ve dealt with since).

    Fuckin’ Riggs and his gattdamn superstitions. Maybe he shoulda told somebody else about that belt too. (No knock to you, asking. From the (hilarious!) comments to this most-tear-jerking post, he left it in good hands.)

    What bugs me out as much as the saga of the belt, however, is just how much I’d detached myself from the old plantation, proven by how many names on this thread I honestly don’t recognize. Fuckin’ tragedy, to be sure, as the indy rag that once worked its magic out of 594 B’way and then 215 Park Av South served as the rocket fuel that propelled me headfirst into the hip-hop journo game (@ Joell: props for the dope nomenclature!).

    Which is not to say that none of you grasshoppers post-Lito don’t matter to me. Just that — although I didn’t leave there under any beef-like circumstances — my ambivalence towards the Wonder Twins must’ve leaned a lot more towards negative because within three or four months after I kicked rocks, I just stopped caring about anything having to do with those dudes, that publication and the hip-hop music industry in general.

    But that’s for the memoir…

    Some props and LOL’s real quick. (Actually, it’s never “quick” w/ me, is it?)

    LMFAO @ asking and Ans re: projects vs co-ops vs condos!

    At least neither one of y’all had to share a one room, cold-water flat like me and Riggs did in 96-97. Two grown-ass men, trading Doritos breath and back-sweat does NOT a good look make.

    LMFAO TWICE @ C-Wild and T-Mac re: Deluxe Apartments on the 7th floor!

    Wasn’t no Ralph the Doorman down there. Only a gang of Munchkins, working Numbers Magic for the Wizard and the Witch, upstairs!

    @ T-Mac re: the cane: WORD UP! I completely forgot about that joint!! That’s some shit for the Rock n’ Roll HoF Museum!

    @ C-Wild re: the Notorious flick’s GLARING omission of the old plantation’s role in helping Big and Puff make history, DOUBLE WORD THE FUCK UP, my dude. I actually caught the Brooklyn screening w/ Matty and even though he wasn’t trippin’, I could tell he wasn’t thrilled about it.

    Even though I wasn’t on staff yet (actually, I wasn’t even out of “college” yet), Tramp, Hayz and I had the comic strip running. I’ll never forget the time I called them to check in, and Tramp kept telling me about “this kid from Bed Stuy named Biggie who got the Unsigned Hype this month. He’s fuckin’ DOPE.”

    Damn. I haven’t given much thought to any of those stories and many of those people in a long time. Shit got me kinda fucked up right now.

    Wow.

    Sigh…

    Ah, well. More goods for the memoir…

  56. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Cee: I was thisclose to shooting you a quick,private email, asking you to check in on this thread. But I really wanted you to get here on your own. And you did! and I’m glad you did.
    Yo. I think it’s CRAZY that you didn’t know about the belt. But what’s spine-chillingly interesting is that it seems like only the people who actually lived in that particular condo knew about it. And a few who happened to be nearby when the tale was told. I always assumed you knew.
    As a matter of fact Cee. One day you came into the office to chew me out about being late (again). And when you turned to go, you stopped, held the belt in your hand for a second and then shook your head and left. I thought you were having a moment, thinking about how Big’s belt was still there. That’s crazy that you were probably thinking, “Why the hell does Aliya have this big ass belt hanging on the back of her door?”
    Aiight. Enough of that. Mr. Cee? Can you please find Gotti and Boo and direct them to this thread. Threaten them if you have to. I hit them both up and no response. This saga so far ends with them.

  57. Luvvie Says:

    I love this and I’m laughing at the 00-Negro you doing in the search of this belt. I truly hope you can track it down. For HipHop! *puts fist to chest dramatically*

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