Fact Check: Biggie Smalls Did NOT Predict COVID-19 In 1994

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Biggie Smalls Did NOT Predict COVID-19 In 1994 Not In Rap

Did Biggie Smalls predict the COVID-19 pandemic in his 1994 song lyrics? No, that's not true: The rapper, real name Christopher Wallace, did not write about the SARS-CoV-2 virus outbreak decades before it occurred. The video claiming to show the Notorious B.I.G. singing about COVID uses altered lyrics to his song "Juicy." He never mentioned COVID or the word "pandemic" in the song released on his 1994 debut album "Ready to Die."

The claim appeared as a video (archived here) where it was published on Instagram on March 13, 2023. It opened with sound in the video:

It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up! magazine. There will be a global pandemic in 2019.

This is what the video looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:

image - 2023-04-10T112230.217.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Fri Apr 7 17:55:23 2023 UTC)

The video posted on Instagram shows the text "Biggie Smalls predicted COVID-19 in 1994," with a crying emoji. The sound, while footage from a Biggie video rolls, says, "It was all a dream I used to read Word Up! magazine. There will be a global pandemic in 2019," with the last part altered to add the "global pandemic" reference. The video uses footage from Biggie's real "Juicy" video, as seen on YouTube beginning at :21:

However, according to Genius.com, the real lyrics of the song "Juicy" do not mention the words COVID or global or pandemic. They are:

It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up! magazine

Salt-n-Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine

Biggie Smalls was shot to death in Los Angeles in 1997.

Lead Stories has debunked claims of pop culture predicting the coronavirus pandemic here, here and here.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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