March 9th is a somber day for hip-hop fans worldwide.

It’s a time when the hip-hop world mourns the death of Christopher Wallace – the Notorious B.I.G. – the “King of New York.”

His perfect emceeing voice, clever wordplay and flawless storytelling ability – combined with his unique ability to be the voice for those in the inner-city struggle – endeared him to hip-hop fans worldwide.

His violent death is a haunting reminder just how far hatred can go.


I’m currently working on a book about an imaginary conversation between Jesus, 2Pac and the Notorious B.I.G. (Watch a promo video here).

And since March 9th is a day for sharing stories, I figured I’d share one of my favorites. Biggie was working on his debut album Ready to Die when he faced a situation that could have altered the course of his entire career.

His friend Damon “D Rock” Butler, talking to a radio host, explains:

“Actually, it was a situation where baby boy (Biggie) just did his (record) deal. We were walking from his house to my house talking about buying 4Runners if the album went Gold … He had a joint (gun) on ’em, whatever the case may be, and the police ran down on us.

We never made it to the precinct. They cuffed us both up wrist-to-wrist, gave us a cigarette and said, ‘Figure it out. We’re not going to take two people to jail for one gun.’

We smoked a cigarette together and I told him, ‘I’ve got it’ … Police uncuffed his wrist and put my mine behind my back. On that particular (charge), I did about two-and-a-half (years in prison).”


I can’t think about this story without thinking about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Although the Bible tells lots of story, it tells one big story. If it’s helpful, you could think about it as movie scenes that are all in the same film.

The big theme of the Bible is redemptive history. The Bible is the story of God’s rescue plan for humanity through the person and work of His Son Jesus Christ.

And just like Biggie was truly guilty on the gun charge, I was truly eternally guilty before God on the sin charge.

Here’s the beauty of the gospel!

Jesus Christ took the proverbial handcuffs off of me and placed them on Himself. At the cross, Jesus got the punishment I deserved, and I got marked as sinless, a distinction only Christ deserved. Bible scholars sometimes refer to this as the great exchange.

One Bible writer, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, wrote this:

“For our sake He made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

My book Does Heaven Have a Ghetto? Jesus & the Hip-Hop Martyrs is fictionalized, so I can’t work this story in, but it’s such a great picture of the gospel that I wanted to share it.

Thanks for taking the time to read this today. What’s your favorite Notorious B.I.G. story?