This Father’s Day, we honor Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace by remembering his legacy as an artist, visionary, and father.
An Icon With Heart
The world knows Christopher Wallace as “Biggie Smalls,” the iconic East Coast rapper with an enduring legacy and an inspiring origin story. To our founder C.J. Wallace, son of Christopher Wallace and singer Faith Evans, his father is much more than a visionary artist. According to C.J., his father’s kindness and humor is something too few people remember when they reflect on his impact on the world.
“People often forget that he was human. He was a regular guy,” says C.J. “He loved to make people laugh. He loved to care for his people and do as much as he could for his friends and family.”
“The Hip Hop Mount Rushmore–he is for sure on that list,” he continued. “He is this huge iconic figure and it’s hard to separate the human from the icon sometimes,” he continued. “If the world doesn’t know anything about Christopher Wallace, it’s definitely that he had a good heart and he was a great spirit.”
An Artist With Impact
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York City, Christopher Wallace began rapping in his teen years and had signed to Sean “Puffy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records by 1993. Wallace began gaining exposure with his features on remix singles for Bad Boy artists like Mary J. Blige and Puff Daddy. His first solo hit came in 1994 with the release of “Juicy / Unbelievable,” the lead single for his debut album Ready to Die. Thanks to the hit singles “Juicy,” “Big Poppa,” and “One More Chance,” Ready to Die was a smash success. His posthumously released second album Life After Death, featuring the singles “Hypnotize” and “Mo Money Mo Problems,” would go on to hit number one on the Billboard 200.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time, it’s hard to overstate the impact Christopher Wallace has had on modern music. The work of “The Notorious B.I.G.” was not only commercially successful, but also critically acclaimed and culturally influential. Earning everything from Grammy nominations to MTV Music Video Awards, Wallace’s music was loved by critics and the public alike.
The list of artists who cite Wallace as an influence is expansive. In addition to influencing peers like Jay-Z, Nas, Mase, and Diddy, he influenced artists he mentored, like Jadakiss and Junior M.A.F.I.A. members Lil’ Kim and Lil’ Cease. He also influenced countless musicians through his music alone. Artists who cite “Biggie” as an influence include Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Megan Thee Stallion.
Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace was not only the voice of his generation, but an influence on each generation of artists and songwriters that followed. The impact of his unmistakable flow and unparalleled storytelling ability can still be felt in new releases today.