The Reason Behind Notorious B.I.G. and Lil’ Cease’s Car Accident
Photo: Warner Music

The Reason Behind Notorious B.I.G. and Lil’ Cease’s Car Accident

Cease says the brakes in their loner car wasn't functioning properly

The seventh episode of Iconic Records: Life After Death is full of loosie stories that give insight into the work, life, and humor of Notorious B.I.G.

Producer Buckwild delivers detailed insight into the making of “Story to Tell,” the dizzying adventure of Christopher Wallace having a tryst with a woman who was allegedly dating a New York Knicks player. The record’s sample wasn’t cleared by musician Andreas Volenwhider because he wasn’t fond of hip-hop, according to Buckwild. Sean “Puffy” Combs then called on Chucky Thompson to play an interpolation of the sample. Here is a clip of BIG rhyming on the track with the original sample.

Related: 7 Best Guest Verses on Life After Death, Ranked

The episode also includes never-before-told stories from Too Short, who featured on the “World Is Filled,” and a frightening practical joke recollection from journalist Bonz Malone. But the jewel of the episode is Lil’ Cease’s interview on the car accident that serve as the origin of BIG’s line “I used to be as strong as ripple, B/'Til Lil’ Cease crippled me” on “Long Kiss Goodnight.”

Cease says that he and Big got arrested for smoking weed the day before the accident. They were locked up for about three hours and went to retrieved a gold Lexus 450 Landcrusier that B.I.G. had just purchased (“Frank switched the plan, cop the Lexus Land/ C-Gutta, Roc-A-Fella, 400s and better” — Lil’ Cease on “Get Money (Remix).” The car didn’t start. Lance “Un” Riviera picked up Cease and Big and brought them back to Biggie's home in New Jersey.

The next day B.I.G. called the dealership and was told to pick up a loaner, a Chevy Lumina van, while his car was being fixed. Big, who didn’t know how to drive, had 16-year-old Cease man the steering wheel. Immediately Cease knew that the brakes in the van were faulty as he ran into the back of Big’s salesperson pulling out. He alerted Big Papa.

“Just drive,” Big said, according to Cease.

Related: The Legend of the Biggie Belt

Not long after getting on the New Jersey Turnpike, Cease crashed into the rail and ended up on the other side of the highway. The van hydroplaned. Cease, whose head slammed into the steering wheel, was bleeding from his mouth. Big’s leg was pinned and couldn’t move. Charli Baltmore, who had been seated in the middle of the back row, was flown to the front of the vehicle.

“Big just sat there and was like ‘yo I can’t move’,” said Cease. “He couldn’t shift out the car…he wasn’t in pain [though].”

As a clever follow-up question, Angie asks Cease if he and BIG has ever argued over any altercations. He’s reluctant to answer, but eventually tells Angie a hilarious tale of Charli Baltimore finding a bag of photos of B.I.G. with another woman at the Four Seasons. Cease was asked to remove the bag from the room by B.I.G. four days prior to her arrival. It slipped his mind.

Here’s Charli Baltimore’s recollection of that story.

You can watch episode 7 on Roku right now or catch it tomorrow on Notorious B.I.G.’s YouTube channel. New episodes drop every Monday at noon ET. While there you can binge the previous six episodes, which were written and directed by Bonsu Thompson and hosted by Angie Martinez.