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Bad Boy Forever: The 50 greatest New York musicians of all time

The 50 greatest New York musicians of all time

TONY (Time Out New York) magazine has listed the 50 greatest New York musicians of all time in their current issue (Issue 596: March 1–7, 2007). They have ranked Notorious B.I.G. in number 39.

Here’s what they wrote about Notorious B.I.G.:

When West Coast rappers made a play for supremacy, Biggie Smalls said, “Uh-uh, bitches” by recording 1994's Ready to Die. On this cycle of gangsta tales, he turned even the size of his schlong into legend. If he hadn't gotten popped in 1997, Biggie may have soared above his fellow George Westinghouse High dropout Jay-Z (No. 27 on our list).

Must-own album: Ready to Die (1994)

And here’s how they tell the story behind this list:

New York is America's first city when it comes to music, so drawing up a list of the 50 greatest New York musicians ever seemed like a logical thing for TONY to do. But what makes a musician great? And for that matter, what makes them a New Yorker?


Determining greatness is both easy and complex. Influence, innovation, sheer aesthetic brilliance—and the context of the times in which an artist brings those protean qualities to bear—all played a major part in our discussions, debates and arguments (oh, there were a few, but thankfully, TONY covered the hospital bills).

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