It Was All a Dream: Biggie and the World That Made Him Spiral-Bound | May 10, 2022

Justin Tinsley

★★★★☆+ from 501 to 1,000 ratings

$30.98 - Free Shipping
From a talented young journalist on the rise, a deeply reported, timely new biography of the Notorious B.I.G., publishing for what would have been his 50th birthday

Culture journalist Justin Tinsley’s It Was All a Dream is “a deeply reported saga of the ephemeral, yet colorful, life of The Notorious B.I.G.” (USA Today).

The Notorious B.I.G. was one of the most charismatic and talented artists of the 1990s. Born Christopher Wallace and raised in Clinton Hill/Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, Biggie lived an almost archetypal rap life: young trouble, drug dealing, guns, prison, a giant hit record, the wealth and international superstardom that came with it, then an early violent death. Biggie released his first record, Ready to Die, in 1994, when he was only 22. Less than three years later, he was killed just days before the planned release of his second record, Life After Death.

A fresh, insightful telling of the life beyond the legend, It Was All a Dream is based on extensive interviews with those who knew and loved Biggie, including neighbors, friends, DJs, party promoters, and journalists. And it places Biggie’s life in context, both within the history of rap but also the wider cultural and political forces that shaped him, including Caribbean immigration, the Reagan-era disinvestment in public education, street life, the war on drugs, mass incarceration, and the booming, creative, and influential 1990s music industry. Justin Tinsley’s biography is the story of where Biggie came from, the forces that shaped him, and the legacy he has left behind.
Publisher: ABRAMS
Original Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1419750313
Item Weight: 1.3 lbs
Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
Customer Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars 501 to 1,000 ratings
"It Was All A Dream is a must-read for any hip-hop fan who seeks to understand the journey of one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. There are a number of important, never-been-told-before stories that Justin Tinsley deftly weaves throughout this biography to create a thorough, brilliant account of the legacy of the Notorious B.I.G."—Brian Nolan, Executive Vice-President, Motown Records
Justin Tinsley is a senior sports and culture reporter with ESPN’s The Undefeated. In his six years with the company, Tinsley has written thought-provoking commentary and journalism on a range of subjects including Marvin Gaye, Malcom X, James Baldwin, Serena Williams, Kendrick Lamar, and Cardi B, with a focus on the intersection of sports, race, and culture. He is a regular panelist on ESPN’s daily sports debate talk show Around the Horn. A graduate of Hampton University and Georgetown University, he lives in Washington, DC.