Who was Biggie’s friend, Roland Young? The 2021 Netflix documentary touches upon the rapper’s friendship with Olie.
Who is your favourite rapper of all time?
While you may be sat there racking your brains of masterful MCs, conjuring up plenty of names that deserve to be considered, many hip hop fans won’t even have to think for a second…
“It’s Biggie” will roll off their tongues effortlessly, and perhaps it’s hardly difficult to comprehend why fans still celebrate him as the king of New York and the best rapper that ever lived.
Christopher George Latore Wallace sadly died at the age of 24 in 1997 and numerous documentaries have explored his passing. However, Netflix’s latest documentary – Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell – takes a different approach, fusing rare footage and interviews with friends and family to paint a more intimate portrait of The Notorious B.I.G.
It touches upon Biggie’s relationship with Roland Young too. So, who was he?
Who was Roland ‘Olie’ Young to Biggie?
Roland Young – also known as Olie – was Biggie’s childhood friend and running pal who was killed in 1992.
This was the same year that Christopher earned his big break, after clashing in a street rap battle with Supreme. His performance led to Fifty Grand, a local celebrity, offering B.I.G. the chance to record a demo tape
The project landed significant praise in the likes of hip hop magazine The Source and P. Diddy swiftly recruited the rising talent to his label, Uptown.
Speaking of his first experience encountering the Biggie tape, P. Diddy said: “I heard it and I was like ‘Thank you, God. This is one of the greatest MCs I ever heard’. This was the era of LL Cool J, everyone looking pretty, lips moisturised. BIG’s lips were cracked, like he’d been out in the street hustling.”
Unfortunately, Olie’s tragic death hurt Biggie considerably. He was shot and killed by I-God; not only was his murderer a gang boss, but he was also his uncle.
Interviewees explain that Roland pushed and encouraged Biggie to pursue his music dreams, and he felt that, if his friend B.I.G. made it, then they all did.
Biggie addresses Roland Young’s death
B.I.G. reflected on Olie’s passing in an interview and explained his thoughts on the shoot-out:
“I was supposed to be with him. When I got the call that Olie was killed, it shook me up. Fulton Street right now is bad luck avenue. You might start off prosperous, it might look good for a long time but believe me, something will happen wrong.”
His unfortunate loss and life experiences in the immediate years were channelled into his debut studio album, 1994’s Ready to Die.
Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell is now available to stream on Netflix.
In other news, no, Lil Nas X is not dead.