The Notorious B.I.G.
Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), better known by his stage names, The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls, or simply Biggie, was an American rapper, who grew up in Brooklyn, a borough of New York City. Wallace is considered by many music enthusiasts to be 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. Both his death and the death of his friend/rival Tupac Shakur, who died in September 1996, are still unsolved. He was murdered by drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, California on March 9, 1997 at age 24.
The Notorious B.I.G.
Christopher George Latore Wallace
May 21, 1972
New York City, U.S.
|Died||March 9, 1997 (aged 24)|
|Cause of death||Murder by drive-by shooting|
|Resting place||Cremated, ashes given to family members|
(m. 1994; sep. 1996)
|Partner(s)||Charli Baltimore (1995–1997)[a]|
|Children||2, including C. J.|
|Formerly of||The Commission|
The release of Wallace's first album Ready to Die in 1994 made him an East Coast hip hop icon. While recording his second album, Wallace was heavily involved in the East Coast/West Coast hip hop feud, through which record companies from both sides of the United States fostered a feud between New York-based and California-based artists.
Early life change
Christopher George Latore Wallace was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He was the only child of Jamaican parents Voletta Wallace and Selwyn George Latore. He excelled academically and received multiple awards in school for English.
He began selling drugs at the age of 12. As a teenager, he began rhyming to entertain people on street corners and in neighborhood groups.
He nicknamed himself "Biggie Smalls" after a gangster character in the 1975 crime comedy movie Let's Do It Again. It also because of his height and weight. He had a crook in his eye.
Musical career change
In 1991, he released a demo tape called Microphone Murderer. Sean Combs, a rapper and producer, heard Biggie's early songs. After Combs was fired from Uptown Records in 1993, he decided to sign Biggie to his record label, Bad Boy Records. In April 1993, his solo track, "Party and Bullshit", appeared on the soundtrack to the 1993 comedy movie Who's the Man?.
His first album Ready to Die was released on September 13, 1994. It debuted at number 13 on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified platinum. The album featured 3 singles "Juicy", "Big Poppa", and "One More Chance". That same year, he was named "Best New Artist," "Best Live Performer" and "Lyricist of the Year by the Source. He won a Billboard Music Award for Rap Artist of the Year in 1995.
He rapped on Michael Jackson's 1995 single "This Time Around".
A few weeks after Wallace’s death, his second album, Life After Death, was released on March 25, 1997. It quickly rose to number one on the US album charts. The album featured 3 singles: "Hypnotize", "Mo Money Mo Problems", and "Sky’s the Limit." Wallace became the first artist to have two number-one hits after death (“Hypnotize” and “Mo Money Mo Problems”). Life After Death was nominated for 3 Grammy Awards in 1998.
His posthumous albums, Born Again (1999) and Duets (2005), became number one hits.
Personal life change
On March 7, 1997, Wallace attended the Soul Train Music Awards where he presented an award to singer Toni Braxton. On March 8, he attended the after party for the Soul Train Music Awards at Petersen Automotive Museum. It was hosted by Qwest Records and Vibe magazine.
Wallace was driving a GMC Suburban. A man in a 1994-96 Chevy Impala SS stopped on side of Wallace's SUV and fired shots at the Suburban. Four bullets hit Wallace's chest. His murder is still unsolved.[source?]
Studio albums change
The Notorious B.I.G. released one studio album in his lifetime and three after his death:
|1994||Ready to Die|
|1997||Life After Death*|
|2005||Duets: The Final Chapter*|
|1995||One More Chance (Stay with Me Remix)|
|1997||Mo Money Mo Problems* (feat. Mase & Puff Daddy)|
|1997||Sky's The Limit (song)* (feat. 112)|
|1999||Notorious B.I.G.* (feat. Puff Daddy & Lil' Kim)|
|2000||Dead Wrong* (feat. Eminem)|
|2006||Spit Your Game* (feat. Twista, Krayzie Bone, Swizz Beatz, 8 Ball & MJG)|
- (*) albums and songs were released posthumously (after death).
- The Show (1995) as himself
- Rhyme & Reason (1997 documentary) as himself
- Biggie & Tupac (2002 documentary) archive footage
- Tupac Resurrection (2004 documentary) archive footage
- Notorious B.I.G. Bigger Than Life (2007 documentary) archive footage
- Notorious (2009) archive footage
- All Eyez on Me (2017) archive footage
- Quincy (2018 documentary) archive footage
- Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G. (2017 documentary) archive footage
- Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell (2021 documentary) archive footage
Television appearances change
Awards and nominations change
|Award||Year of ceremony||Nominee/work||Category||Result|
|The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards||1995||The Notorious B.I.G.||New Artist of the Year, Solo||Won|
|The Notorious B.I.G.||Lyricist of the Year||Won|
|The Notorious B.I.G.||Live Performer of the Year||Won|
|Ready To Die||Album of the Year||Won|
|Billboard Music Awards ||1995||The Notorious B.I.G.||Rap Artist of the Year||Won|
|"One More Chance/Stay with Me (Remix)" (with Faith Evans)||Rap Single of the Year||Won|
|1997||Life After Death||R&B Album||Won|
|Grammy Awards ||Template:Grammy||"Big Poppa"||Best Rap Solo Performance||Nominated|
|Template:Grammy||"Hypnotize"||Best Rap Solo Performance||Nominated|
|"Mo Money Mo Problems" (with Mase and Puff Daddy)||Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group||Nominated|
|Life After Death||Best Rap Album||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards ||1997||"Hypnotize"||Best Rap Video||Won|
|1998||"Mo Money Mo Problems" (with Mase and Puff Daddy)||Best Rap Video||Nominated|
|Soul Train Music Awards ||1996||"One More Chance/Stay With Me (Remix)" (with Faith Evans)||R&B/Soul or Rap Song of the Year||Won|
|1998||Life After Death||Best R&B/Soul Album - Male||Won|
|Life After Death||R&B/Soul or Rap Album of the Year||Nominated|
|"Mo Money Mo Problems" (with Mase and Puff Daddy)||Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video||Nominated|
|Black Reel Awards ||2004||"Runnin' (Dying to Live)" (with Tupac Shakur)||Best Original or Adapted Song||Nominated|
|ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards||2005||"Runnin' (Dying to Live)" (with Tupac Shakur)||Top Soundtrack Song of the Year||Won|
|2017||The Notorious B.I.G.||ASCAP Founders Award||Won|
|2020||"Sicko Mode"||Winning Rap and R&B/Hip-Hop Songs||Won|
|Rock and Roll Hall of Fame||2020||The Notorious B.I.G.||Performers||Won|
- "Rap's first lady". TheGuardian.com. July 10, 2005.
- "Biggie Smalls dating history: From Lil Kim to Faith Evans". Capital XTRA.
- The 10 Greatest Rappers of All Time (November 12, 2015). Billboard. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
- Huey, Steve. "Ready to Die > Overview". AllMusic. Retrieved October 7, 2006.
- 2nd Annual Source Awards
- 2005 ASCAP Awards
- 2017 ASCAP Awards
- 2020 ASCAP Awards
- "The Notorious B.I.G." rockhall.com.
- Until Wallace's death.