Rapping about life in the streets of Brooklyn, New York, Christopher Wallace became one of the more popular rappers of all time. A former drug dealer, Wallace was shot to death on March 9, 1997. He would go on to sell millions of records and influence many other rappers while still alive. Wallace was 25 when he died.
Before his death, he achieved enormous success with his debut album “Ready to Die” which has since gone five times platinum (5 million copies). The album is full of tales about violence and sexual encounters not suitable for young listeners. Despite this fact, it’s seen as one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever by some critics although little compared to Nas’ Illmatic.
Top 10 Secrets Fan May Don’t Know About Notorious B.I.G.
1. Biggie’s first rap name was “Biggie Smalls” after seeing the movie “The Sandlot”. His close friend and rapper Lil Cease gave him his famous alias, Notorious B.I.G., as a play on words of the infamous gangster “Notorius” B.I.G
2. Before heading to California to work with the producer Sean Diddy Combs (then known as Puff Daddy), he stayed briefly in Miami and worked as a collections agent for local drug lords dealing with Haitian traffickers, learning more about the street life that would later be associated with his rap lyrics
3. To clear up claims that Christopher Wallace’s lyrics were written by ghost writers, Wallace stated in an interview: “I’m not an avid reader, but I like to read. And when I read, I get real inspired;” Wallace also said he liked using words that “you don’t hear in everyday conversation.”
4. Notorious B.I.G. was planning on signing female rapper Shyne if he didn’t pass away before his deal with Bad Boy records went through
5. Biggie actually wrote the verse for “Brooklyn’s Finest” in the back of Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s car while they were being chased by police after leaving a shooting outside of a night club where rappers Lil Kim and her then boyfriend The Notorious B-I-G were both shot at but escaped unharmed
6. Notorious B.I.G. studied drama in high school which may have attributed to his smooth flow and unique lyrics
7. Biggie worked with 112 on the album “Room 112” which was released in 1994 under the Bad Boy label, it only sold about 100,000 units though but is still recognized as one of his best albums because of its great production
8. The final words Wallace spoke before he died were “Buck! Buck! Buck!” indicating he may not have been alone when hit by the bullets that killed him
9. After his tragic death, rapper Jay Z recorded a song with R. Kelly called “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” about the murder of Notorious B.I.G., but it was never officially released
10. At the time of Wallace’s death he had more than 8 platinum records and sold over 17 million albums worldwide