Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. Biggie Smalls, was born in Brooklyn, New York, May 21, 1972. He was raised in the poor Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant as the son of a preschool teacher. Dropping out of high school at the age of seventeen, Biggie became a crack dealer, which he proclaimed was his only source of income. Hustlin' one's way was a common life for a young Black man trying to make a living in the ghetto. His career choices involved certain risks. However, a trip to North Carolina for a routine drug exchange ended being the soon-to-be MC a nine-month stay behind bars. Once released, Biggie borrowed a friend's four-track tape recorder and laid down some hip-hop tracks in a basement. The tapes were then passed around and played at local radio station in New York.
Not extremely attractive, Wallace named himself Biggie, for his weight. Biggie was a Black man who was overweight, extremely dark skinned, and had a crook in his eye, yet he was a charmer. A young impresario and sometime producer by the name of Sean Combs heard Biggie's early tapes. Impressed, Puffy went to sign Biggie to his new label, Bad Boy Records.
Puffy and Biggie worked on the artist's first album, and the Notorious B.I.G. was born. Biggie was first heard on a remix of a Mary J. Blige song and a track on the _Who's the Man? (1991)_ soundtrack. After these successes, the album worked on earlier went through its final touches and was released in 1994, titled "Ready to Die." The record was certified platinum quickly, and the Notorious B.I.G. was named MC of the Year at the 1995 Billboard Music Awards. After the quick success of the album, Biggie went back to get his friends, some who didn't even rhyme. He had several run-ins with the law, on charges that ranged from beatings, to drugs and to weapons, while all claimed that Biggie was a gentle person. He soon met an MC from the west coast named Tupac Shakur, and the two became good friends. Tupac supported Biggie and was often giving him advice. However, their friendship turned into the most violent era of hip-hop music on November 30, 1994. While Biggie and Puffy were at a recording session at Quad Recording Studios in Manhattan, Tupac went there to record with another MC for his third studio album, "Me Against The World" at the same time, but in the lobby, Tupac was held at gunpoint and robbed of $40,000 worth of jewelry. Tupac was shot five times. Biggie rushed down just in time to see Tupac being loaded into an ambulance. Extending a middle finger while dying, Pac blamed Biggie for the shooting and said that Biggie knew about it and failed to warn him. This sparked the East Coast ,West Coast rivalry. Tupac later recovered from his injuries. During this encounter, Biggie admitted that he was scared for his life. Biggie never responded to any of Tupac's disses. Tupac attacked Biggie in every way he could, even starting strong rumors that there was a love affair between Tupac and Biggie's wife, Faith Evans.
Later, The entire country became divided into two groups, the west side and the east side, which became Death Row Records versus Bad Boy Records, 'Marion 'Suge' Knight' versus Puff Daddy, and Tupac versus Biggie. The two of them finally met again late in 1995, and Tupac secretly said to Biggie, "I'm just tryin' to sell some records." Unfortunately, it became very real when on September 7, 1996, Tupac was shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting off the Las Vegas strip after he left a fight he was involved in inside of the MGM Grand Hotel after a Mike Tyson boxing match. He died six days later on September 13, 1996 as a result of those gun shot wounds at the age of 25. The case is still unsolved. Biggie was scared for his life, but he wanted to put an end to the rivalry between the two coasts. Biggie went to the west coast for several events, to support for his next release album, "Life After Death," but also to make a statement that the rivalry was over. On March 8, 1997, he attended the Soul Train Music Awards and went to the after party hosted by Vibe magazine and Qwest Records on March 9. After he left, Biggie was sitting in an SUV on the street when he was shot multiple times by an unknown assailant. He died almost instantly. Hip-Hop faced its greatest tragedy when both Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. were killed. Biggie was only 24 years old.
|Faith Evans||(4 August 1994 - 9 March 1997) (his death) 2 children|
Towering Height and heavy Girth
Fedoras and Kangol Hats
He had a top 10 hit in the UK with "Mo Money, Mo Problems", which featured Sean Combs and Mase, in August 1997. His solo song was the other top 10 success he had in the UK later that year.
Mother and father are Jamaican. Has a son named Christopher Junior By Faith Evans and a daughter named T'Yonna by an ex girlfriend named Jan.
Was killed in a still-unsolved drive-by shooting. He was an MC who had released two albums before his death, plus another released posthumously.
Awarded the 1995 Billboard Magazine Award for hip-hop artist of the year.
Despite being one of the most popular and well-known artists in the hip-hop industry, he only saw one album released while alive. He recorded and released "Ready to Die" in 1994. He recorded his sophomore album, "Life After Death" while alive. but it was released a mere two weeks after his murder in March of 1997. "Born Again" was released in December 1999, nearly three years after his death. The album featured unreleased songs as well as remixes of old songs, some featuring other rap and R&B artists.
Could not be billed officially as "Biggie Smalls" because someone else trademarked the name "Biggy Smalls" years before. Thus he became The Notorious B.I.G.
He also made a little known song with Michael Jackson, entitled "This Time Around."
Married his wife 9 days after meeting her!
Released a song called "Who Shot Ya?" just after Tupac Shakur was shot. Although Wallace insisted the song was recorded before the shooting and had nothing to do with it, Shakur saw it differently. As such, 2Pac released one of the most bitter, vindictive, and ingenious hip-hop answer records ever, called "Hit em up," which despite its violent background, was very popular.
Unlike Tupac Shakur, Biggie never got a chance to star or appear in a movie, but he was confined to music videos and an early episode of New York Undercover. He was writing a screenplay at the time of his death.
Was in fact originally good friends with Tupac Shakur. He would call Tupac, 'Duke' and Tupac would call him 'Christopher'. However when Tupac was shot five times and robbed by gang members linked to Biggie's Bad Boy records, the two had a fatal falling out.
Ironically on the night he got shot, he was in California for the Soul Train Music awards, so he could promote peace between east and west. However when on stage, he got booed by the Californian crowd (a response to the Shakur murder, the previous year) and an embarrassed Biggie left the stage. He was killed hours later
During his early years, he opened for Tupac Shakur on shows. He impressed Shakur for his ability to flow his rhymes right on the beat.
His clothing line, Brooklyn Mint, was launched in 1996. He also had plans to open a fast food chain called "Big Poppa's" which was going to be served in his old neighborhood 24 hours a day.
His posthumous album, Life After Death, is certified Diamond. This means it sold more than 10 million copies.
His first recording deal was with Uptown Records in 1993.
B.I.G. stands for "Business Instead of Game".
Weighs over 400 Pounds
Was Rapping for only 2 years when signed
Died exactly one year after George Burns.
Attended George Westinghouse High School in Brooklyn, New York, With fellow rappers Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes.
Kimberly 'Lil' Kim' Jones was his girlfriend at the time of his death.
At first he refused to sing the song "Juicy" because of the way the song sounded, it later became one of his most famous songs.
(On Tupac Shakur's death) I was more shocked than anything, you know what I'm sayin? I wasn't shocked at him dyin I was more shocked at him...Pac'a a strong dude, ya know I know dude, ya know what I'm sayin. He's real strong. So when they was like he got shot, I was just more like 'Again?' Heh. You know what I'm sayin, he's always gettin shot or shot at, he gon' pull through this one again, make a few of records about it, and its gon' be over, you know what I'm sayin? But when he, when he died, I was just 'whoa!' You know what I'm sayin, kinda took me by...and even though we was goin through our drama, I would never with death on nobody, you know what I'm sayin, cause ain't no coming back from that.
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