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General information  

  • Real name : Christopher George Latore Wallace
  • Place of birth : New York City
  • Date of birth : 21/05/1972
  • Place of death : Los Angeles
  • Date of death : 09/03/1997

Alias  

  • Biggie Smalls
  • Big Poppa
  • The Black Frank White
  • Biggie
  • Frank White
  • B.I.G
  • Notorious
  • The "King of New York
  • Christopher George Latore Wallace
  • B.I.G. Notorious The

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The Notorious B.I.G. (1972)

Christopher George Latore Wallace

Type :  

  Summary  

Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 - March 9, 1997), best known as The Notorious B.I.G., was an American rapper. He was also known as Biggie Smalls (after a character in the 1975 film Let's Do It Again), Big Poppa, and The Black Frank White .

Wallace was raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. When Wallace released his debut album Ready to Die in 1994, he became a central figure in the East Coast hip-hop scene and increased New York's visibility at a time when West Coast artists were more common in the mainstream. The following year, Wallace led his childhood friends to chart success through his protégé group, Junior M.A.F.I.A. While recording his second album, Wallace was heavily involved in the East Coast/West Coast hip-hop feud, dominating the scene at the time.

On March 9, 1997, Wallace was killed by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. His double-disc set Life After Death, released 15 days later, hit #1 on the U.S. album charts and was certified Diamond in 2000 . Wallace was noted for his "loose, easy flow", dark semi-autobiographical lyrics and storytelling abilities. Since his death, a further two albums have been released. MTV ranked him at #3 on their list of The Greatest MCs of All Time.
He has certified sales of 17 million units in the United States.

  Biography  

 early life
Born in St. Mary's Hospital, despite later claiming to be raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, Wallace grew up in neighboring Clinton Hill. 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. At the Queen of All Saints Middle School, Wallace excelled in class, winning several awards as an English student. He was nicknamed "Big" because of his size before he turned 10. At the age of 12, he began selling drugs. His mother, often away at work, did not know that her son was selling drugs until Wallace was an adult.

At his request, Wallace transferred out of the private Roman Catholic Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School to attend the state-funded George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School. Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes were also students at that school. According to his mother, Wallace was still a good student, but developed a "smart-ass" attitude at the new school. At seventeen, Wallace dropped out of high school and became further involved in crime. 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. A year later, Wallace was arrested in North Carolina for dealing crack cocaine. He spent nine months behind bars until he made bail.

 legacy
Wallace is celebrated as one of the greatest rap artists and is described by Allmusic as "the savior of East Coast hip-hop". The Source and Blender named Wallace the greatest rapper of all time. 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. In 2006, he was ranked at #3 in MTV's The Greatest MC's of All Time.

Since his death, Wallace's lyrics have been sampled and quoted by a variety of hip hop, R&B and pop artists including Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Alicia Keys, Fat Joe, Nelly, Ja Rule, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Game, Clinton Sparks, Michael Jackson and Usher. On August 28, 2005, at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, Sean Combs (then using the rap alias "P. Diddy") and Snoop Dogg paid tribute to Wallace: an orchestra played while the vocals from "Juicy" and "Warning" played on the arena speakers. In September 2005, VH1 had its second annual "Hip Hop Honors", with a tribute to Wallace headlining the show.

Wallace had begun to promote a clothing line called Brooklyn Mint, which was to produce plus-sized clothing but fell dormant after he died. In 2004, his managers, Mark Pitts and Wayne Barrow, launched the clothing line, with help from Jay-Z, selling T-shirts with images of Wallace on them. A portion of the proceeds go to the Christopher Wallace Foundation and to Jay-Z's Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation. In 2005, Voletta Wallace hired branding and licensing agency Wicked Cow Entertainment to guide the Estate's licensing efforts. Wallace-branded products on the market include action figures, blankets, and cell phone content.

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".

  Style


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 Sources Unsigned Hype, they described his style as "cool, nasal, and filtered, to bless his own material".

Allmusic describe Wallace as having "a loose, easy flow" with "a talent for piling multiple rhymes on top of one another in quick succession". Time magazine wrote Wallace rapped with an ability to "make multi-syllabic rhymes sound... smooth", while Krims describes Wallace's rhythmic style as "effusive". Before starting a verse, Wallace sometimes used onomatopoeic vocables to "warm up" (for example "uhhh" at the beginning of "Hypnotize" and "Big Poppa" and "whaat" after certain rhymes in songs such as "My Downfall").

Lateef of Latyrx notes that Wallace had, “intense and complex flows”, Fredro Starr of Onyx says, “Biggie was a master of the flow”, and Bishop Lamont states that Wallace mastered “all the hemispheres of the music”. “Notorious B.I.G. also often used the single-line rhyme scheme to add variety and interest to his flow”. Big Daddy Kane suggests that Wallace didn’t need a large vocabulary to impress listeners – “he just put his words together a slick way and it worked real good for him”. Wallace was known to compose lyrics in his head, rather than write them down on paper, in a similar way to Jay-Z.

Wallace would occasionally vary from his usual style. On "Playa Hater" from his second album, he sang in a slow-falsetto. On his collaboration with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, "Notorious Thugs", he modified his style to match the rapid rhyme flow of the group.

  Themes and lyrical content
Wallace's lyrical topics and themes included mafioso tales ("Niggas Bleed"), his drug dealing past ("10 Crack Commandments"), materialistic bragging ("Hypnotize"), as well as humor ("Just Playing "), and romance ("Me & My Bitch"). Rolling Stone named Wallace in 2004 as "one of the few young male songwriters in any pop style writing credible love songs".

Guerilla Black, in the book How to Rap, describes how Wallace was able to both “glorify the upper echelon” and “ you feel his struggle”. According to Touré of The New York Times in 1994, Wallace's lyrics " autobiographical details about crime and violence with emotional honesty". Marriott of The New York Times believed his lyrics were not strictly autobiographical and wrote he "had a knack for exaggeration that increased sales". Wallace described his debut as "a big pie, with each slice indicating a different point in my life involving bitches and niggaz... from the beginning to the end".

Ready to Die is described by Rolling Stone as a contrast of "bleak" street visions and being "full of high-spirited fun, bringing the pleasure principle back to hip-hop". Allmusic write of "a sense of doom" in some of his songs and the NY Times note some being "laced with paranoia"; Wallace described himself as feeling "broke and depressed" when he made his debut. The final song on the album, "Suicidal Thoughts", featured Wallace contemplating suicide and concluded with him committing the act.

On Life After Death, Wallace's lyrics went "deeper". Krims explains how upbeat, dance-oriented tracks alternate with "reality rap" songs on the record and suggests that he was "going pimp" through some of the lyrical topics of the former. XXL magazine wrote that Wallace "revamped his image" through the portrayal of himself between the albums, going from "midlevel hustler" on his debut to "drug lord".

Allmusic wrote that the success of Ready to Die is "mostly due to Wallace's skill as a storyteller"; In 1994, Rolling Stone described Wallace's ability in this technique as painting "a sonic picture so vibrant that you're transported right to the scene". On Life After Death Wallace notably demonstrated this skill on "I Got a Story to Tell" telling a story as a rap for the first half of the song and then as a story "for his boys" in conversation form.

  Biopic
Notorious is a 2009 biographical film about Wallace and his life that starred rapper Jamal "Gravy" Woolard as Wallace. The film was directed by George Tillman, Jr. and distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures. Producers included Sean "Diddy" Combs, Wallace's former managers Wayne Barrow and Mark Pitts, as well as Voletta Wallace. On January 16, 2009, the movie's debut at the Grand 18 theater in Greensboro, North Carolina was postponed after a man was shot in the parking lot before the show. Ultimately, the film grossed over $43,000,000 worldwide.

In early October 2007, open casting calls for the role of Wallace began. Actors, rappers and unknowns all tried out. Beanie Sigel auditioned for the role, but was not picked. Sean Kingston claimed that he would play the role of Wallace, but producers denied he would be in the film. Eventually it was announced that rapper Jamal "Gravy" Woolard was cast as Wallace while Wallace's son, Christopher Wallace, Jr. was cast to play Wallace as a child. Other cast members include Angela Bassett as Voletta Wallace, Derek Luke as Sean Combs, Antonique Smith as Faith Evans, Naturi Naughton formerly of 3LW as Lil' Kim, and Anthony Mackie as Tupac Shakur. Bad Boy released a soundtrack album to the film on January 13, 2009; the album contains hit singles of B.I.G. such as "Hypnotize", "Juicy", and "Warning" as well as rarities.

Show more

  Played movies  

  Albums 

  Tracks  

Name Duration Released
Brooklyn Go Hard 03:58 13/01/2009
Guaranteed Raw 03:41 13/01/2009
Party and Bullshit 03:37 13/01/2009
Microphone Murderer 02:04 13/01/2009
Hypnotize 03:49 13/01/2009
The Notorious Theme 02:07 13/01/2009
Notorious Thugs 06:05 13/01/2009
One More Chance / The Legacy Remix 04:30 13/01/2009
The World Is Filled... 04:55 13/01/2009
What's Beef 05:12 13/01/2009
Kick in the Door 03:34 13/01/2009
Letter to B.I.G. 04:00 13/01/2009
Love No Hoe 03:55 2009
Niggas Bleed 00:00 2007
Nasty Girl 00:00 2007
Ten Crack Commandments 00:00 2007
Get Money 00:00 2007
Fuck You Tonight 00:00 2007
Want That Old Thing Back 00:00 2007
Running Your Mouth 00:00 2007
Born Again 01:28 07/12/1999
Niggas 03:48 07/12/1999
Who Shot Ya? 03:48 07/12/1999
Biggie 05:22 07/12/1999
If I Should Die Before I Wake 04:51 07/12/1999
Dangerous MC's 05:15 07/12/1999
Tonight 06:08 07/12/1999
Hope You Niggas Sleep 04:10 07/12/1999
Let Me Get Down 04:33 07/12/1999
Dead Wrong 04:57 07/12/1999
Rap Phenomenon 04:02 07/12/1999
Prestige 00:00 07/12/1999
Come On 04:37 07/12/1999
Ms. Wallace 03:18 07/12/1999
Notorious B.I.G. 03:11 07/12/1999
Would You Die for Me? 03:36 07/12/1999
I Really Want to Show You 05:09 07/12/1999
Joe Hooker 00:00 07/12/1999
Big Booty Hoes 03:27 07/12/1999
Can I Get Witcha 03:36 07/12/1999
Lovin You Tonight 05:07 1997
Mo Money Mo Problems 04:12 1997
Warning 03:40 13/09/1994
Big Poppa 04:13 13/09/1994
Machine Gun Funk 04:17 13/09/1994
Me & My Bitch 04:00 13/09/1994
Gimme the Loot 05:04 13/09/1994
Everyday Struggle 05:19 13/09/1994
Things Done Changed 03:58 13/09/1994
Juicy 05:02 13/09/1994
Intro 03:24 13/09/1994
The What 03:57 13/09/1994
Suicidal Thoughts 02:50 13/09/1994
Fuck Me 01:31 13/09/1994
Unbelievable 03:43 13/09/1994
One More Chance 04:43 13/09/1994
Friend of Mine 03:28 13/09/1994
Ready to Die 04:24 13/09/1994
Respect 05:21 13/09/1994
Going Back to Cali 03:57
Sky's the Limit 04:12

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "The Notorious B.I.G.", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.