Today would have been The Notorious B.I.G.’s 40th birthday, so to celebrate his life we decided to compile 10 things you may have not know about the musical genius.
Be intrigued below.
10. The Actor
He was asked to appear in a movie casted as a drug lord with Robert Deniro and Christopher Walken, but never got the chance because of his death.
9. Big Poppa’s Soul Food Restaurant?
Biggie had plans to open a restaurant that served soul food in his Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvestant. He was planning on naming it “Big Poppa’s.”
8. Straight “A” Student
Biggie Smalls’ mom, Voletta Wallace, claimed that the rapper was a straight “A” student growing up, and wanted to become a dentist or graphic designer before he got caught up in the streets. He won several awards in middle school in his favorite subject, English.
7. Locked Up
Biggie was arrested in 1989, 1990 and 1991 — at which point he spent nine months in prison in North Carolina for dealing crack cocaine.
6. Where Did The Name Biggie Smalls Come From?
The name Biggie Smalls came from a 1975 movie called “Let’s Do It Again.” In the movie, there were a group of gangsters lead by Biggie Smalls (Calvin Lockhart) who was hustling a boxer into thinking he was winning prize fights when he really wasn’t. When Christopher Wallace chose Biggie Smalls as a rap name, he was sued by Lockhart and forced to change the name to Notorious B.I.G.
5. Car Crash
While he was recording his second album “Life After Death,” Biggie suffered a shattered left leg in a car crash that temporarily confined him to a wheelchair. The injury forced him to use a cane for the rest of his life.
4. They Love You B.I.G.
Since his death, Biggie’s lyrics have been sampled and quoted by a variety of hip hop, R&B and pop artists including Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Nas, Fat Joe, Nelly, Pharrell Williams, Lil’ Wayne, Ludacris, Big Pun, Beanie Sigel, Juelz Santana, Usher, Ashanti, Alicia Keys and Nelly Furtado.
3. Fatherless Child
Wallace was the only child of Voletta Wallace, a Jamaican preschool teacher, and George Latore, a welder and small-time Jamaican politician. His father left the family when Wallace was two years old, leaving his mother to work two jobs while raising him. Biggie talked about his dad in many of his lyrics releasing many of his negative feelings about him.
2. Rap Legends High School
Biggie, Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes. They attended the same school in downtown Brooklyn.
1. The Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation
The Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation holds an annual black-tie dinner (“B.I.G. Night Out”) to raise funds for children’s school equipment and supplies and to honor the memory of the late rapper. For this particular event, because it is a children’s schools’ charity, “B.I.G.” is also said to stand for “Books Instead of Guns”.