1997: Hip-Hop Loses Biggie, We Seek to Escape [VIDEO]
From the insane: Mike Tyson biting off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear, to the historic: Tiger Woods becoming the youngest to win the Masters at 21, and the tragic: Notorious B.I.G. shot and killed in a drive-by shooting, 1997 covered all the newsworthy headlines. And what would a headline in the 90’s be without OJ Simpson? In 1997, Simpson was found guilty by a civil panel and ordered to pay a total of $33.5 million in damages.
While the world was trying to make sense of all this chaos, we found solace in alternative realities to temporarily diverge our attention: J.K. Rowling crafted Hogwarts; a magical place to escape. A world with plenty of its own problems, none of which could leap off the pages. The first installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was published in June of ’97.
A couple months later, the adult cartoon, South Park, made its television debut. The show follows foul-mouthed grade schoolers whom satirize politics and entertainment news. Reoccurring characters include Jesus, Satan, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Kanye West, and Mel Gibson.
Biggie’s death left New York with little to celebrate. However, the tension in the hip-hop community never wavered. By placing the sets of rivals on top of each other, the Summer Jam stage became the battle ground for hip-hops’ biggest crews. Twin sets from the Wu-Tang Clan and Puff Daddy and the Bad Boy Family. Wu Tang Clan dissed the hosts saying, “Fuck Hot 97, we listen to Kiss FM.”
Other featured performers included Aaliyah, Mase, Lil’ Kim, Faith Evans, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.