The Notorious B.I.G. performing
Getty Images / Chris Walter / WireImage

Junior M.A.F.I.A. member and close friend of The Notorious B.I.G., Lil’ Cease revealed this week that Biggie thought JAY-Z was a better rapper than he was. Cease recalled one conversation in particular while participating in an Instagram Live session with Smoke DZA on Monday.

“Like, we really fuck with them,” Cease stated. “Like, once Big met [JAY-Z] at the Palladium and they bonded just on some G shit ’cause they respected each other as men and they respected each other as artists. Big wasn’t afraid to tell that — Big thought he was doper than him. Big used to say, ‘Yo, that n**** nicer than me.'”

Lil’ Cease went on to mention how JAY’s “Dead Presidents” really grabbed B.I.G.’s attention. “I swear to God on everything I love. Any n**** can vouch for it. I’m not lying. These are straight facts,” he said. “When JAY-Z said that line on ‘Dead Presidents,’ N***** take a freeze off my kneecap/N**** believe that. Big was like, ‘Yo, he got me.'”

JAY-Z and Biggie are widely regarded as two of the best rappers of all time. Their connection goes deeper than that, however, as they both hail from Brooklyn, and they also collaborated prior to B.I.G.’s passing in 1997. Often, however, the debate on the greatest rapper ever centers around Biggie and Tupac due to their East Coast versus West Coast rivalry, personal history, and early deaths.

Press play below to hear Lil’ Cease speak on The Notorious B.I.G. and JAY-Z.

Not NYC, not LA.