Biggie And Madonna Also Nab New York Magazine’s Annual ‘Yesteryear ‘ Cover With Jay Z [Photo]
In Celebration of its annual yesteryear issue New York Magazine released eight different covers to celebrate 100 years of pop music in New York City. Gracing three of the eight covers were Hip Hop mogul Jay Z, the late Biggie and Pop icon Madonna.
The issue also contains the Encyclopedia of New York Pop Music, which is a survey of the past 100 years of New York pop, focusing on key figures and watershed events. Artist profiles listed in the Encyclopedia of New York Pop Music includes, Public Enemy, Wu-Tang Clan, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Nicki Minaj, J. Lo and many more.
Check out all eight covers (which includes Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, and Lou Reed) in the gallery above as well as Biggie’s and Madonna’s Profile below. You can Read the full Encyclopedia of New York Pop Music here or in latest issue of New York Magazine on stands today.
1990s: Puffy and Biggie
There never was a New York hip-hop season quite like the autumn of 1994, when 22-year-old Bed-Stuy native Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. the Notorious B.I.G., released his debut album. Biggie, who signed with Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs and later joined Bad Boy Records, had been popping up in guest spots. The 1993 single “Party and Bullshit” confirmed the suspicion that the guy was an outrageous talent, a rapper with mesmerizing flow and a devastating gallows-humor wit. He was also, emphatically, a local hero. The songs on Ready to Die gave gangsta rap a New York spin. Like Mickey Spillane, he was a virtuoso teller of hard-boiled street tales, and he was a thugged-out Woody Allen, a classic New York neurotic, stressed by the squad car on the corner, by other hustlers eyeing his loot, by the “everyday struggle.” Ready to Die wasn’t just a personal triumph, it was a municipal one: a New York reclamation of rap, whose center of gravity had shifted to Los Angeles. Of course, the East Coast–West Coast feud was far more serious than anyone believed; soon, it would claim the lives of both Tupac Shakur and Biggie. But for a glorious long moment, New York hip-hop felt reinvigorated, even utopian. Puff’s own debut record, No Way Out, released in the wake of Wallace’s murder, was also unmistakably a New York record: With the album’s shiny surfaces and endless boasts about cash flow, conspicuous consumption, and high-end brands, Puff launched hip-hop into the bling era. —J.R.
In a mid-aughts interview, the late Mark Kamins, the Danceteria DJ who helped produce her first single, remembered her priorities: “We had no money and we were sleeping on egg crates. She wasn’t a homemaker. I bought some lingerie for her one night, and she wasn’t interested. To Madonna, a boyfriend was secondary. She knew how to use her sexuality to manipulate men, everyone from promotion guys to radio programmers.”