Jamal Woolard heavily prepared for his role for months, which includes listening and remembering lyrics to a variety of songs by Biggie, gaining weight and vocal lessons at Juilliard School to get the voice right.
When Biggie is rapping right before he lays the vocals down for "Juicy" he is reciting the first verse from "Unbelievable" and is told to stop messing around. The song "Unbelievable" was one of the very last added to the album Ready to Die and according to the producer DJ Premier, he never even wrote anything down, just went in the booth and laid the track down on the spot.
When a teenage Biggie is explaining how his rapping was initially a side-hustle to his drug dealing, the shot shows him rapping in a black and red lumberjack shirt with a hunting cap. This outfit, in fact, matches the one described in the lyrics of the song 'Juicy': 'way back, when I had the red and black/ lumberjack/ with the hat to match'.
The car that is used in the drive-by when Biggie is shot, 2BAI222, is the same plate number that is featured in the first episode of Numb3rs (2005), as well as the same plate number that Ian Watkins, lead singer in the band Lostprophets, uses in the music video for their song "Last Summer" in the car he is driving.
Angela Bassett portrays Biggie's mother Voletta Wallace in this film. She has also portrayed Michael Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson in the mini-series The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992). Both artists have collaborated twice on two of Michael's songs/albums: "This Time Around" from HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995), and "Unbreakable" from Invincible (2001). The latter was released 4 years after Biggie's death, and his rap contribution was originally for the 1996 release "You Can't Stop the Reign" by Shaquille O'Neal.
The original choice to play Biggie was S.G. aka Surgeon General, a dj/producer from East Orange, NJ. He was chosen from 400 hopefuls in an online campaign to find an unknown to portray Biggie; which was supposed to become a VH1 special. At 6 foot 4, 400 lbs; SG physically embodied B.I.G. & encapsulated the essence of the Brooklyn emcee-- down to the lisp. However after a comment was made by Jamal Mallard, that "Brooklyn would be mad if I don't get the role", producers seemed unsure which direction to go. Ultimately it was left up to Voletta Wallace to choose which actor got the role. She chose Mallard, stating that his smile reminded her of her son.
When seventeen-year-old Biggie is having a rap battle on the street corner in 1989, a poster promoting the film "Juice" can be seen in the background. This is an anachronism, as Juice wasn't released until 1992.
In 1992, when trying to persuade Biggie to sign a record deal with him, Puffy says "the West Coast, they got Dre they got Snoop, they killin' it!". However, Snoop Doggy Dogg wasn't actually well known at that point.