The Notorious B.I.G.

American rapper from New York (1972–1997)

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.[3] 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.[4] 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.
Mural of notorios b.i.g. in Brooklyn NY (cropped).jpg
A mural of the Notorious B.I.G.
Christopher George Latore Wallace

(1972-05-21)May 21, 1972
DiedMarch 9, 1997(1997-03-09) (aged 24)
Cause of deathMurder by drive-by shooting
Resting placeCremated, ashes given to family members
Other names
  • Biggie Smalls
  • Biggie
  • Big
  • Frank White
  • Big Poppa
  • MC CWest
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active1992–1997
Faith Evans
(m. 1994; sep. 1996)
Partner(s)Charli Baltimore (1995–1997)[a][2]
Children2, including C. J.
AwardsFull list
Musical career
Formerly ofThe 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 lifeEdit

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 careerEdit

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 lifeEdit

He had two children: C. J. (born 1996) and T'yanna (born 1993). He was married to R&B singer Faith Evans from 1994 until 1997.


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.

On March 9, Wallace left the party to return to his hotel after the Los Angeles Fire Department closed the party early because of overcrowding.

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 albumsEdit

The Notorious B.I.G. released one studio album in his lifetime and three after his death:

Year Album
1994 Ready to Die
1997 Life After Death*
1999 Born Again*
2005 Duets: The Final Chapter*


Year Album
1994 Juicy
1995 Big Poppa
1995 One More Chance (Stay with Me Remix)
1997 Hypnotize
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)
2005 Nasty Girl*
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 appearancesEdit

  • New York Undercover (1995) as himself
  • Martin (1995) as himself
  • Who Shot Biggie & Tupac? (2017) archive footage
  • Unsolved (2018), played by Wavy Jones

Awards and nominationsEdit

Award Year of ceremony Nominee/work Category Result
The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards[5] 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 [1][2] 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 [3][4] 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 [5][6] 1997 "Hypnotize" Best Rap Video Won
1998 "Mo Money Mo Problems" (with Mase and Puff Daddy) Best Rap Video Nominated
Soul Train Music Awards [7][8] 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 [9] 2004 "Runnin' (Dying to Live)" (with Tupac Shakur) Best Original or Adapted Song Nominated
ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards[6][7][8] 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[9] 2020 The Notorious B.I.G. Performers Won


  1. "Rap's first lady". July 10, 2005.
  2. "Biggie Smalls dating history: From Lil Kim to Faith Evans". Capital XTRA.
  3. The 10 Greatest Rappers of All Time (November 12, 2015). Billboard. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  4. Huey, Steve. "Ready to Die > Overview". AllMusic. Retrieved October 7, 2006.
  5. 2nd Annual Source Awards
  6. 2005 ASCAP Awards
  7. 2017 ASCAP Awards
  8. 2020 ASCAP Awards
  9. "The Notorious B.I.G."

Other websitesEdit