Notorious B.I.G. Biography

Review The Artist (52)

Notorious B.I.G.-photo
Name: Christopher G. L. Wallace
Stage Name: The Notorious B.I.G.
Alias: Biggie Smalls, Frank White
Birth: May 21, 1972 Brooklyn, New York
Death: March 9th, 1997 Los Angeles, Ca
Occupation: Musician/Father/Entrepreneur

Born May 21, 1972, the only child of Voletta Wallace, Christopher was special from the beginning. "He was singing and talking before he could walk," his mother remembers. "Writing before he attended school, the biggest most beautiful handwriting. And everyone loved Christopher, everyone."

Raised by a single parent in Brooklyn's Bedford Stuyvesant, young Christopher found himself pulled in two different directions. He dreamed of being a graphic artist and was an honor student ("and I have the awards to prove it," beams Mrs. Wallace). On the other hand, there was the peer pressure from the neighborhood, young men who were famous for being junior outlaws.

Though he became known as "Big Chris" in the neighborhood and could be found holding down the corner on his block, the neighborhood knew that he had more than a nice dice game. He could rhyme. "He would just show up at a house party, something local, spit a rhyme, tear the place down and bounce," says Lil' Cease. "He was just nice. It was his God-given gift."

A tape he made with Big Daddy Kane's DJ, Mister Cee, was submitted to The Source Magazine for their "Unsigned Hype" competition. It won. The tape, a basement production of B.I.G. rhyming with authority over "Half-Steppin," was forwarded to Bad Boy founder and CEO, Sean "Puffy" Combs, who was looking for a hardcore rapper. He was blown away. "I just kept rewinding and rewinding it. I had to meet him," remembers Puffy.

Within weeks of signing Biggie, Puffy put him to work, placing him on re-mixes for Mary J. Blige, Super cat and Neneh Cherry. "Party and Bullshit," an anthemic club hit from the 1989 soundtrack Who's the Man? added to the street buzz. By September 13, 1994, the anticipation for Notorious B.I.G,'s debut, Ready to Die was electric. Ready to Die, with its immediacy, honest first person autobiographical narrative, superior writing, relentless deliver and cinematic style quite simply changed hip hop.

The album was an overwhelming success; the first single, "Juicy" went gold within weeks and by the end of the year the album was triple platinum. "Juicy" was a Billboard Top 5 Rap Single. His second single, "Big Poppa/Warning" reached #1, and his third, the classic "One More Chance," debuted at #1 on every format. In June of 1995, the single "One More Chance" debuted at number five in the pop singles chart, tying Michael Jackson's "Scream / Childhood" as the highest-debuting single of all time. Ready to Die continued to gain popularity throughout 1995, eventually selling two million copies. With its success, the Notorious B.I.G. became the most visible figure in hip-hop. The perfect mix of commercial materialism and realistic thuggery, Notorious B.I.G.'s 1994 debut, the multi-platinum "Ready to Die," made him an immediate hip-hop superstar.

Spreading love the Brooklyn way, B.I.G. ushered long-time friends Li'l Kim and Li'l Cease into the spotlight, forming Junior M.A.F.I.A. The crew's 1995 "Conspiracy" went gold and Li'l Kim's subsequent solo album, 1996's "Hardcore" went platinum and B.I.G. became a rap institution.

Biggie won three awards at the 1995 Source Music Awards ceremony, including Best New Artist. At that year's Billboard Music Awards, his single "Big Poppa" was named "Single of the Year" and, in 1997, Life After Death won Billboard's "R and B Album of the Year," an MTV Video Music Award for "Best Rap Video," and two ASCAP Awards. But the album's impact cannot be measured by mere chart placements and platinum certifications, or even awards. "The stakes were raised," says Wu-Tang founder and producer RZA. "Before B.I.G., you might put out anything, now you knew, okay, it's real out there, you gotta come correct, 'cause this cat is spending time on his shit."

New York embraced him as if he were mayor and Brooklyn treated Biggie like an ambassador. His success reached beyond the tri-state area, bridging regional gaps and unifying hip hop audiences across the country. Because B.I.G. had been influenced by everyone from Kool G Rap to NWA, Too Short to Slick Rick, he had national appeal. More importantly, his stories, a literal guide to understanding his generation, were universal.

Biggie's success provided his children with a secure future and changed his own life irreversibly, but it was not without a price. By the time he began work on his second, mammoth, landmark album, Life After Death (released in 1997), he had learned hard lessons about success, fame, notoriety, excess and greed. "I'm so excited to be getting back into the studio away from the drama, the things that don't have anything to do with the music," B.I.G. said the first week he began recording his sophomore opus. And indeed, he put his very heart and soul into the recording of that project. A 24-song, double disc collection that was breathtaking in its scope. Featuring lush production by Sean "Puffy" Combs, RZA and DJ Premier among others, the album established B.I.G. as one of the greatest MCs ever. Released posthumously, mere weeks after his tragic death, the album provided a way for his mourning fans to celebrate their beloved Biggie. Life After Death debuted at #1, breaking records for first-week sales and remained on the charts for months with singles like "Mo Money, Mo Problems" and "Sky's the Limit." Spin magazine named him "Artist of the Year" and he topped critics lists worldwide for "Album of the Year." Life After Death sold past 10X platinum and dominated radio and jeep rotation alike for two whole years.

Early on the morning of March 9th, The Notorious B.I.G. was returning to his hotel in Los Angeles after a Soul Train Award party when another car pulled up aside his G.M.C. Suburban in front of the Peterson Automobile Museum and opened four shot's past through the side door where Notorious B.I.G. was seated and left the world wide loved rapper un-conscious and tragically dying upon arrival to a near by hospital.

Biggie's death was a vicious shock to the entire music industry and sent shock waves around the world. The Notorious B.I.G.'s public funeral, however, was anything but peaceful. Thousands flooded into his Brooklyn neighborhood to catch a glimpse of his hearse, jumping on cars and clashing with police; ten people were arrested. A private funeral held earlier was more cordial, with Queen Latifah and members of Public Enemy and Naughty by Nature in attendance. The casket was open from the waist up, and the rapper had been fitted in a double- breasted white suit and matching hat.

Many artist have paid homage to The Notorious B.I.G. especially his own label mates who dedicated and released the mournful song "I'll be Missing You" as their gratitude and respect's to Biggie's short but very bright life. May 14 was declared Notorious B.I.G. Day, with over two hundred radio stations nationwide playing the single, followed by a thirty- second moment of silence. This single itself went onto sell more than three millions copies and funds from the single went to his children he left behind.

When clubs and concert's featured B.I.G., he always blew up the show with his lyrical tales of his life experiences and voyage into the realms of stardom and fame. Biggie said in an interview that his major role models while growing up in the streets of New York were the local drug dealers of the block and added that they gave him a view of what life was about on the streets.

Two years later after his death, the posthumous album "Born Again" is released and debut's at #1 on the charts knocking off Celine Dion from the spot. The album featured Lil' Kim, Lil' Cease, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Ice Cube and other well known rappers paying their respect's in a celebration of the late great rappers life and legacy.

Born Again, was not a memorial or tribute, it was a celebration of life. In faith, the phrase "born again" is largely symbolic, meaning a surrendering of one's soul to a higher will, faith in the unseen, a belief in the afterlife. Here, we employ the phrase to breathe life into a legacy that was cut tragically short. Born Again is more than archival material unearthed to fill some void. Members of Biggie's own "family," including Lil' Kim, Lil' Cease and Puff Daddy, add verses too, given one more opportunity to flow with their hero and friend. Missing him is made that much more bearable because of the lasting legacy he's bequeathed-his music, his unmatched talent, and his inimitable voice.

Christopher Wallace was undoubtedly one of the greatest rappers of all time and is a legend in his own right. B.I.G. survived by his wife and two children. Still today, many want to learn more about the late great rapper. Many remember what he accomplished as well as gained in his very young bright successful career. Notorious B.I.G. might be physically gone but spiritually he will always be alive thru his works. Nevertheless he was larger than life. The murder investigation of The Notorious B.I.G is still active to this day but there has still been no arrest's in the murder...

P.S P.Diddy Is Currently Working On The Biggie Duets Album. It Is Set To Drop In The Summer Of 2004

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Angels cry | Reviewer: Rubiano as B.I.G | 9/19/13

hey its been along time da queen b lil kim reminds me alot of her latest notorious kim ..i am big biggies fan i love nd mic da legend alot i wish hs son c.j wallace wos born with his dadys talent so that he can take over nd ymcmb wil loose nd also thanx 4 kim she tried alot.i love hr new music listn 2 hr lirics its powerfull exp encore thanx 4 lil kim 2 keep da brooklyn shit update.lil kim *B.i.G. King nd queen 4evr .rip popa

Skills is a gift | Reviewer: Kelechi nwoke | 4/27/13

Dis is my homage..know matter any tin big/ 2pac shall never be forgotten in my mind....cos de saY christainity is between u and ur God. So l get it twisted wen some see dem or dir occupation as de worst attitude...first remove de log in ur eyes befor another person.

nothing last forever | Reviewer: spaac | 3/15/13

well; its not suprise how da so call death come about remember man was odaind to die since after the disobedient of our first parents ADAM and EVE besides only a fool that says there is no GOD and instead of his words not to come true the heaven and earth is nothing but a by gone history, dont get me wrong reader or listiner aint try na preach yo all no gospel but the fact is that we all are gonna die and the big question is were are we going afeter that dont forget heaven is real and hail is real as well.

! | Reviewer: jeffrey | 2/7/13


Still my nigga | Reviewer: Ntsi a.k.a. Katsino | 1/5/13

Ill always remember u,as Diddy said "till da day will meet again,in my heart is where i keep u FRND" yr soul still with us, luv u to da bit, 2greatest rappers in da world Biggie n Pac,

Biggie Smalls BornTo Rap R.I.P. | Reviewer: Daddy Devo aka Roger S | 12/19/12

I understand what made Biggie Smalls the rapper he was. I live in the Carribbean, Trinidad. I been rapping everyday for the past 30 years. If Biggie was alive he'd be doing the same thing too. Believe it or not Oratory skills is a gift. Some of us are born with the skills to talk, to ryhme, to rap. Where you come from doesnt matter, making use your gift is whats important. Freedom of speech is not just our earthly right, it's also a Gift of life. I know Biggie's soul understood the time he had to work with. His soul will come again as a different person. When is unknown. I thank the collective Soul world for sending him during our time and we will not stop playing his music on earth.

truth | Reviewer: the real | 11/8/12

Well its sad how those dudes ended if u c it 4 wat it is u undrstnd that the illuminati aint just a conspiracy theory. No 1 will stand up after reading this situation accurately to say that that aint the case..pac n big were setup by the cia a part of the illuminati crews..they musta felt insecur that black folk r gettin richer they come and getcha like pac said in hellrazor. .so we got 2 pray and ask JEHOVAH for help. #RealTalk

still B.I.G | Reviewer: magulyati, mihayo.TZ | 5/14/12

B.I.G is still living in my soul, mind, and i still alot to learn from his works. HE WAS and STILL an inspirantional figure to me, and others of my kind. REMEMBER YOU BRO n R.I.P

how they changed the world | Reviewer: lil chris aka ghetto boy | 4/6/12

two of the best rappes gone and fa what only they and god know but when its all said and done its about love n the end music just ant tha same any more i caught the very end of the 80's 89 and i realize how much you all changed the world just buy your greatness i thank u all so much for helping me when i was younger how to keep my head up and live the phrase skies tha limit we know time waits 4 noone but i think u all have a speical impact on us today but na new music and new things we need that real talk we need that true honesty life alone yea we live in it and it is what we make of it but u all help me through my hurt my pain and u all not being here just ant right but i never question and let all tha lies games and stress live fonny i love you all may u rest in peace from yours truly ghetto boy oh yea i have a brother up there jamie gilbert tell him we miss him dearly u all were angles here on earth and i know now u all have no mo worries sojas gone but i promise never forgotn

Chris c | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/1/12

Biggie n pac were n still are the best forever fuck what anyone says. Shame they fel out n died but there music will live on forever. They both better than any rapper now n ever to be. R.I.P big n pac love yous always see you up there boys

The legend B.I.G | Reviewer: albron | 2/20/12

I listen his music everytime , he was a great rapper damn how people like much more the music of fucking DRAKE CHRIS BROWN LIL WAYNE and they call it best rappers , 2Pac and B.I.G are the best till the rest re5pect from KOSOVO.

fuck the rest biggie is the best | Reviewer: joey | 1/19/12

I dont care what people say about these rappers now and back then bt what i know is that their will never be a better rapper than B.I.G he is something else and please get that in your heads. this go's out to all you YMCMB fans that niggas aint got shit on BIGGIE...

Never forget u | Reviewer: | 6/11/11

Biggie small the best rhymer & rapper that no body can disrespect hime til world ends that why i love bronx niggis coz they know really how hip hop is how they flow with the beats esp notorious big. I will still luv no matter what! R.I.P. Biggie small

Perfect genius buddies | Reviewer: Eddie tams | 6/2/11

Its too bad they (B.I.G and PAC) had to fall out. They were crucified by the media and money hungry CEOs & misundastndin. A perfect combination of musical genius friends who were not given the chance in a white man's world.

BIGGIE | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/6/11

this be yo boy stevn biggie waz off the chian its sad that he had to listen to his shit all the tim and 2pac i cant believe you nigga why would you think yo boy would trune one you well much love biggie and 2pac

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