|Full Name||Christopher George Latore Wallace|
|Birthday||May 21, 1972|
|Death Date||March 9, 1997|
|Social Media||Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube|
Notorious B.I.G., born Christopher George Latore Wallace, is one of the most celebrated American rappers of all time, with multiple Grammy Awards and a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. With his laidback flow, vivid storytelling, and sharp lyricism, Biggie Smalls, as he was also called, left an indelible mark on hip hop despite his short career.
Upbringing in Brooklyn
Biggie was born in 1972 and grew up in the rough neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. His parents were Jamaican immigrants. As a teen, he dealt drugs and had run-ins with the law, but he also stood out for his talent in language arts. Biggie attended the same high school as future rappers DMX and Jay-Z, where he started honing his rap skills.
Rise to Fame with Ready to Die
Biggie burst onto the rap scene in 1994 with his debut album Ready to Die, released by Sean "Puffy" Combs‘ Bad Boy Records. Propelled by hits like "Juicy," "Big Poppa," and "One More Chance," the album went double platinum and showcased Biggie‘s dexterous flow and autobiographical lyrics. Songs like "Things Done Changed" poignantly captured the danger and stress of street life in Brooklyn.
Feud with Tupac Shakur
On the heels of his debut album‘s success, Biggie became embroiled in the heated East Coast-West Coast rivalry in rap, trading disses with Tupac Shakur. Their feud grew intensely personal in the mid-90s before Tupac‘s murder in 1996. Biggie‘s own death in 1997 has spawned theories linking the two murders.
Posthumous Releases & Lasting Legacy
Biggie only released two albums before his tragic murder at age 24, but posthumous releases like Born Again (1999) and Duets: The Final Chapter (2005) contained previously unheard material. Twenty years after his death, Biggie‘s music remains influential due to his lyricism, laidback flow, authentic perspective, and timeless hits. His confident persona also endures in hip hop iconography.