#9. The Notorious B.I.G. (VIBE, 1997)
Issue: April 1997
Art Direction: Lee Ellen Fanning
Photography: Guy Aroch
When VIBE photographer, Guy Aroch, shot Biggie in the classic Alfred Hitchcock pose for a fashion spread in the September 1996 issue, the tone was half-jokey, playing off Hitch's film, Notorious. Big liked the flick so much that he ran with the comparison, officially dubbing himself the "Rap Alfred Hitchcock" on "What's Beef?" But just months later the context of some very different shots turned the photos somber. The flick and the cover now stands as a reverent tribute to Big Poppa, hip-hop's own Master of Suspense.