The Notorious B.I.G or just Biggie is one of the greatest and most infuential rappers of all time. Let’s see some amazing facts and trivia about him!
1.His full name is Christopher George Latore Wallace.
2.Wallace was born in St. Mary’s Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, New York, on May 21, 1972, as the only child of Voletta Wallace, a Jamaican preschool teacher, and Selwyn George Latore, a Jamaican welder and politician.
3. His father left the family when Wallace was two years old, and his mother worked two jobs while raising him. Wallace grew up in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn on 226 St. James Place near the border of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, considered at the time to be within the latter neighborhood’s boundaries.
4. At Queen of All Saints Middle School, Wallace excelled in class, winning several awards as an English student. He was nicknamed “Big” because of his overweight size by age 10.
5. He said he started dealing drugs when he was around the age of 12. His mother, often away at work, did not know of her son’s drug dealing until Wallace was an adult
6. At his request, Wallace transferred out of Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School to attend George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School, which future rappers DMX, Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes also attended at the time. According to his mother, Wallace was still a good student, but he developed a “smart-ass” attitude at the new school.
7. At age seventeen, Wallace dropped out of school and became further involved in crime.
8. In 1989, he was arrested on weapons charges in Brooklyn and sentenced to five years’ probation. In 1990, he was arrested on a violation of his probation.
9. A year later, Wallace was arrested in North Carolina for dealing crack cocaine. He spent nine months in jail before making bail.
10. Wallace began rapping when he was a teenager. He entertained people on the streets and performed with local groups the Old Gold Brothers and the Techniques
11. After being released from jail, Wallace made a demo tape under the name Biggie Smalls, a reference to a character in the 1975 film Let’s Do It Again as well as his stature; he stood at 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) and weighed 300 to 380 lb (140–170 kg) according to differing accounts.
12. The tape was reportedly made with no serious intent of getting a recording deal. However, it was promoted by New York-based DJ Mister Cee, who had previously worked with Big Daddy Kane, and it was heard by the editor of The Source.
13. In March 1992, Wallace was featured in The Source’s Unsigned Hype column, dedicated to aspiring rappers, and made a recording off the back of this success.
14. The demo tape was heard by Uptown Records A&R and record producer Sean Combs, who arranged for a meeting with Wallace. He was signed to Uptown immediately and made an appearance on label mates, Heavy D & the Boyz’ “A Buncha Niggas” (from the album Blue Funk).
15. Soon after signing his recording contract, Combs was fired from Uptown and started a new label.
16. Wallace followed and in mid-1992, signed to Combs’ new imprint label, Bad Boy Records.
17. On August 8, 1993, Wallace’s longtime girlfriend gave birth to his first child, T’yanna.
18. Wallace had split with the girlfriend for some time before T’yanna’s birth.
19. Wallace wanted his daughter to complete her education, despite being a high school dropout himself. Wallace said that if his mother had promised him what he promised his daughter, everything she wanted, Wallace would have been not only a graduate but also at the top of his class.
20. He continued selling drugs after the birth to support his daughter financially. Once Combs discovered this, he forced Wallace to quit.
21. Later in the year, Wallace gained exposure on a remix to Mary J. Blige’s single “Real Love”, under the pseudonym The Notorious B.I.G. He recorded under this name for the remainder of his career, after finding the original moniker “Biggie Smalls” was already in use.
22. “Real Love” peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was followed by a remix of Blige’s “What’s the 411?”. He continued this success, to a lesser extent, on remixes with Neneh Cherry (“Buddy X”) and reggae artist Super Cat (“Dolly My Baby”, also featuring Combs) in 1993.
23. In April 1993, his solo track, “Party and Bullshit”, appeared on the Who’s the Man? soundtrack.
24. In July 1994, he appeared alongside LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes on a remix to label mate Craig Mack’s “Flava in Ya Ear”, reaching No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100
25. On August 4, 1994, Wallace married R&B singer Faith Evans after they met at a Bad Boy photoshoot.
26. Five days later, Wallace had his first pop chart success as a solo artist with double A-side, “Juicy/Unbelievable”, which reached No. 27 as the lead single to his debut album.
27. Ready to Die was released on September 13, 1994, and reached No. 13 on the Billboard 200 chart, eventually being certified four times Platinum.
28. The album, released at a time when West Coast hip hop was prominent on US charts, according to Rolling Stone, “almost single-handedly… shifted the focus back to East Coast rap”.
29. In addition to “Juicy”, the record produced two hit singles: the Platinum-selling “Big Poppa”, which reached No. 1 on the U.S. rap chart,and “One More Chance” featuring Faith Evans, a loosely related remix of an album track and its best selling single.
30. Busta Rhymes claimed to have seen Wallace giving out free copies of Ready to Die from his home, which Rhymes reasoned as “his way of marketing himself.”
31. Around the time of the album’s release, Wallace became friends with Tupac Shakur, also a rapper. Cousin Lil’ Cease recalled the pair being close, often traveling together whenever they were not active in furthering their careers. According to him, Wallace was a frequent guest at Shakur’s home and they constantly spent time together when Shakur was in California or Washington, D.C.
32. It was claimed by Yukmouth, an Oakland emcee, that Wallace’s style was inspired by that of Shakur.
33. Wallace also formed a friendship with Shaquille O’Neal, O’Neal remembering his first time hearing Wallace, during listening to the song “Gimme the Loot”, where Wallace mentioned him in the lyrics and thereby attracted O’Neal to his music. O’Neal requested a collaboration with Wallace, which resulted in the song “You Can’t Stop the Reign”. Sean Combs related that Wallace would not do collaborations with “anybody he didn’t really respect”, adding that Wallace paid O’Neal “respect by shouting him out.”
34. Daz Dillinger said in 2015 that Wallace and he were “cool”. Wallace would travel to meet with him, and Dillinger recalled serving him cannabis and recording two songs with him
35. Wallace traveled to Los Angeles in February 1997, to promote his upcoming second studio album and film a music video for its lead single, “Hypnotize”. The album, Life After Death, was scheduled for release on March 25, 1997.
36. On March 7, he presented an award to Toni Braxton at the 1997 Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles and was booed by some of the audience.
37. The following evening, March 8, Wallace attended an after party hosted by Vibe magazine and Qwest Records at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Other guests included Faith Evans, Aaliyah, Sean Combs, and members of the Bloods and Crips gangs.
38. On March 9, Wallace left in a GMC Suburban SUV at 12:30 a.m. (PST). By 12:45 a.m. (PST), the streets were crowded with people leaving the event. Wallace’s SUV stopped at a red light at the corner of Wilshire Blvd & South Fairfax Ave 50 yards (46 m) from the museum. A dark colored Chevrolet Impala SS pulled up alongside Wallace’s SUV.
39. The driver of the Impala, a black male dressed in a blue suit and bow tie, rolled down his window, drew a 9mm blue-steel pistol and fired at the SUV. Four bullets hit Wallace. His entourage rushed him to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where doctors performed an emergency thoracotomy, but he was pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m. (PST), six months after Tupac Shakur was killed.
40. Wallace’s autopsy was released to the public in December 2012, over a decade after his death. According to the report, three of the four shots were not fatal. The first bullet hit in his left forearm and traveled down to his wrist; the second hit him in the back, missing all vital organs, and exited through his left shoulder; and the third hit his outer left thigh and left through his inner thigh.
41. The report said that the third bullet struck “the left side of the scrotum, causing a very shallow, 3⁄8 inch [10 mm] linear laceration.” The fourth bullet was fatal, entering through his right hip and striking several vital organs, before stopping in his left shoulder area. That bullet struck his colon, liver, heart and upper lobe of his left lung.
42. Wallace’s murder remains unsolved and there are many theories regarding the identities and motives of the murderers. Immediately after the shooting, reports surfaced linking Wallace’s murder to the murder of Tupac Shakur, because of the similarities in the drive-by shootings and the involvement of Shakur and Wallace in the East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry.
43. In 1997, Los Angeles Times authors Chuck Philips and Matt Laitt reported that the key suspect was a member of the Crips acting in service of a personal financial motive.
44. Biggie’s funeral was held on March 18, 1997, at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel in Manhattan.
45. There were among 350 mourners at the funeral, including Queen Latifah, Flava Flav, Mary J. Blige, Lil’ Kim, Lil’ Cease, Run–D.M.C., DJ Kool Herc, Busta Rhymes, Salt-N-Pepa, DJ Spinderella, Foxy Brown, Sister Souljah and others. After the funeral, his body was cremated and the ashes were given to his family
46. Sixteen days after his death, Wallace’s double-disc second album was released as planned with the shortened title of Life After Death and hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts, after making a premature appearance at No. 176 due to street-date violations.
47. The record album featured a much wider range of guests and producers than its predecessor.
48. It gained strong reviews and in 2000 was certified Diamond, the highest RIAA certification awarded to a solo hip hop album.
49. Its lead single, “Hypnotize”, was the last music video recording in which Wallace would participate. His biggest chart success was with its follow-up “Mo Money Mo Problems”, featuring Sean Combs (under the rap alias “Puff Daddy”) and Mase. Both singles reached No. 1 in the Hot 100, making Wallace the first artist to achieve this feat posthumously
50. The third single, “Sky’s The Limit”, featuring the band 112, was noted for its use of children in the music video, directed by Spike Jonze, who were used to portray Wallace and his contemporaries, including Sean Combs, Lil’ Kim, and Busta Rhymes.
51. Wallace was named Artist of the Year and “Hypnotize” Single of the Year by Spin magazine in December 1997.
52. In mid-1997, Combs released his debut album, No Way Out, which featured Wallace on five songs, notably on the third single “Victory”. The most prominent single from the record album was “I’ll Be Missing You”, featuring Combs, Faith Evans and 112, which was dedicated to Wallace’s memory.
53, At the 1998 Grammy Awards, Life After Death and its first two singles received nominations in the rap category. The album award was won by Combs’ No Way Out and “I’ll Be Missing You” won the award in the category of Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group in which “Mo Money Mo Problems” was nominated.
54. Wallace had founded a hip hop supergroup called The Commission, which consisted of Jay-Z, Lil’ Cease, Combs, Charli Baltimore and himself. The Commission was mentioned by Wallace in the lyrics of “What’s Beef” on Life After Death and “Victory” from No Way Out but never completed an album. A song on Duets: The Final Chapter titled “Whatchu Want (The Commission)” featuring Jay-Z was based on the group.
55.Wallace mostly rapped on his songs in a deep tone described by Rolling Stone as a “thick, jaunty grumble”, which went deeper on Life After Death. He was often accompanied on songs with ad libs from Sean “Puffy” Combs. On The Source’s Unsigned Hype, his style was described as “cool, nasal, and filtered, to bless his own material”.
56. Considered one of the best artists in hip hop music, Wallace was described by AllMusic as “the savior of East Coast hip-hop”
57. The Source magazine named Wallace the greatest rapper of all time in its 150th issue in 2002.
58. In 2003, when XXL magazine asked several hip hop artists to list their five favorite MCs, Wallace’s name appeared on more rappers’ lists than anyone else.
59. In 2006, MTV ranked him at No. 3 on their list of The Greatest MCs of All Time, calling him possibly “the most skillful ever on the mic”.
60. In 2015, Billboard named Wallace as the greatest rapper of all time.