Twenty-three years ago on March 9, Hip Hop lost one its brightest stars ever in the Biggie Smalls aka the Notorious B.I.G. Kenya Moore, Daz Dillinger’s ex-girlfriend speaks about the night Biggie was shot in an exclusive interview with The Art of Dialogue.
Kenya recalls changing her house phone number, which she did practically once a month, to keep from groopies, and others from calling consistently. “My phone was ringing off the hook and I couldn’t understand, I’m like I just had gotten my number changed. We got our first call that Biggie had gotten shot,” said Kenya Ware.
“The first question that popped in my mind at that moment, was what the hell is he doing in California, not even a year after Tupac got murdered,” Kenya tells The Art of Dialogue.
Kenya doesn’t blame Biggie for the decision of going to back to Cali, but rather anyone organizing Biggie’s tour and promotional dates. With Tupac being shot a few months prior the to Biggie shooting, it seemed logical to most to keep Biggie away from the West Coast.
Biggie coming over to L.A. in part of a media run, and to perform at the 1997 Soul Train Music awards, was taken as a disrespect towards Tupac, and angered fans in L.A.
“Why the hell was this man down here, in the city that hated him at that moment. They hated him, they hated Bad Boys, and they blamed them squarely on the death of Tupac,” explained Kenya.
KYLD 107.7 FM of San Francisco interviewed Biggie four days prior to his passing, where he spoke about moving forward from all the negativity. “I’m just getting over this whole situation with this east coast west coast thing. They was going though there thing. We was going through our thing. I just came over to basically squash. My album is about to drop March 25th, I need to be all up in the Bay, Oakland, all over. I gotta grind,” said Biggie during his last interview.
The album Biggie speaks on is “Life After Death“, his double album, which ironically featured a song titled “Going Back To Cali”.
Kenya went on to question those around Biggie who she felt did not do what was best for the Brooklyn rapper. Booking him at shows, media runs during the tensed times. “I would never booked any shows for him down here, probably for two or three years, until tensions would come down. But, not even a year later,” said Kenya. “You think it’s safe, and it’s the best case scenario, to come down here and to party in the middle of Hollywood, with people who are still mourning Tupac.”
Meeting Biggie in his early career, Kenya knew Biggie way before the fame. “He was a cool cat. So when he got killed it hurt, and Daz was hurt. He was genuinely because he had been around him before. Daz knew deep down in his heart that Biggie had nothing to do with Tupac.”
At the end Kenya feels terrible for the lost of Biggie Smalls. Those above him who made bad decisions for the Hip Hop legend, she feels is to blame. “Who gave that green light to get on that plane, to party, in the mist of mourning. Was it basically a joke, where they was trying to s*** on Tupac, to say hahaha our artist is still alive. Or did they not know the repercussions for coming down here. California ain’t no joke.”