Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997) was an American rapper and songwriter, better known by his stage names the Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls, or simply Biggie. Rooted in the New York rap scene and gangsta rap traditions, he is widely considered one of the greatest rappers of all time. Wallace became known for his distinctive laid-back lyrical delivery, offsetting the lyrics’ often grim content. His music was often semi-autobiographical, telling of hardship and criminality, but also of debauchery and celebration.
The Notorious B.I.G remains, for many, the best rapper that ever lived. The music world was forever shifted in 1997 when he was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in LA. To this day, his murder remains unsolved, and many aspects of the rap icon’s identity remain a mystery.
He is, as legendary selector Theo Parrish says in The Wire magazine, the master of “eloquent aggression.” But there’s plenty more to him than you might think. If you’re a Biggie Stan, you may know all of the below, but there’s definitely some surprises for even the biggest Big Poppa fans in the mix. Here are some facts you may not have known about the real Biggie smalls.
1. Started out as M.C Quest.
Started his rapping career under the name of ‘M.C Quest’ before he was Biggie Smalls or The Norotiours B.I.G, Biggie, real name Christopher Wallace.
2. Nicknamed Chrissy-Pooh by his mum.
Biggie’s real name Christopher – was given his name after the Winnie The Pooh character. His mum confirmed she called her Chrissy-Pooh when he was a kid as a nickname.
3. The reason why Biggie Smalls became The Notorious B.I.G.
In a 1975 movie called ‘Let’s Do It Again,’ have a name – Biggie Smalls, played by Calvin Lockhart, was the leader of a gang. Biggie was forced to change his official name to Notorious B.I.G not long after Lockhart sued.
4. Tupac and Biggie were actually friends
Tupac and Biggie were the main agents in the notorious East Coast – West Coast beef. But before it started they were actually friends. The two rap stars collaborated several times, including on a 1994 track called “Let’s Get It On”. The two even freestyled together in 1993. Pac also bought Big his first Rolex – highlighting how tight they once were. The issues started when Biggie released ‘Who Shot Ya?’ – a song that Tupac interpreted as a dis song towards him. The track was the beginning of what went on to become the infamous hip-hop coastal war and shaped the music Tupac made from that moment on.
5. Biggie have two kids
Before his untimely death in 1997, Biggie Smalls fathered two children . His daughter ‘s T’yanna, born August 8, 1993, and son Christopher George Latore “C. J.” Wallace Jr., born October 29, 1996. T’yanna’s mother is Biggie’s ex Jan Jackson, while C. J.’s mother is Biggie’s ex-wife Faith Evans.
6. P Diddy discovered Biggie in The Source
Wallace was featured in The Source‘s Unsigned Hype column dedicated to aspiring rappers in March 1992, and made a recording off the back of this success. The Source would later give his album Ready to Die a near perfect 4.5 mic score. Stating “Big weaves tales like a cinematographer,” The Source heaped praise on Biggie’s album, giving it a near-perfect rating.
7. All Up In His Head
Listeners might assume that Biggie’s archive would be filled with heavily marked-up drafts of his songs, but this isn’t the case. He composed and edited all of his lyrics in his head without writing them down.
8. Biggie & Michael Jackson
They worked together on a track called “This Time Around.” The lyrics deal with fame and stardom, something both artists were intimately familiar with. Michael Jackson didn’t work with a lot of rappers, but he did request for a chance to work with Biggie for his 1995 track.
9. The first and only wife – Faith Evans
Biggie said; “I married her after knowing her eight days and I was happy. That was my baby. At the same time, with us being so spontaneous, we did it backwards. Maybe she won’t admit it, but I will. We should have got to know each other and then got married. The relationship kind of dissolved, but we’re still going to be friends.”
10.Date Lil’ Kim?
They met when they were teenagers growing up in New York City. He played a huge role in her personal life and musical career. Kim was part of the Junior M.A.F.I.A., the Brooklyn-based group assembled by Biggie. He wrote “Queen Bitch” for Lil’ Kim, making the ‘reference track’ to show Lil’ Kim how to find her flow. According to NME, quite a few of Lil’ Kim’s rhymes were ghostwritten by her former lover and mentor.. The pair became involved in an infamous love triangle with Biggie’s wife, Faith Evans.
11. Four Shots
Biggie was murdered in a drive-by shooting on March 9, 1997, while visiting Los Angeles. The rapper had just left an after-party for the 11th Annual Soul Train Awards when he was shot four times while sitting in the front passenger seat of one of his entourage’s cars. Only the fourth and final bullet was fatal. He was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center but was pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m. He was 24 years old.
12. Notorious B.I.G was not supposed to be in the LA on the night of his death.
Biggie was suppose to be on a plane to London on the night he died, but instead went to a party in LA to celebrate finishing his second album ‘Life After Death.’ Diddy recalls; “That morning I got a call from Biggie. … He was supposed to go to London. He called me and said, ‘I’m not going to London’.” Diddy continued: “The call just plays over and over in my head… What if he would have just got on the plane?”
13. Have two #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 After Death
Biggie is the only artist on the Billboard Hot 100 to have two #1 hits posthumously: “Mo Money Mo Problems” and “Hypnotize,” both off his album Life After Death.