Who Is The Notorious B.I.G.? Career, Bad Boy Records, Feud with Tupac, Death, and More

Everything You Need to Know About Biggie Smalls, The Face of East Coast Gangsta Rap

Biggie Smalls' Breakthrough Journey with Bad Boy Records
In the annals of hip-hop history, few names resonate as profoundly as that of Biggie Smalls, known to the world as The Notorious B.I.G. 

A towering figure in the rap landscape, his meteoric rise, complex lyricism, and tragic demise continue to captivate audiences decades after his untimely passing.

Who Is Biggie Smalls?

Christopher Wallace, famously known as Biggie Smalls and The Notorious B.I.G., led a life marked by both triumphs and tragedies. 

His untimely death a the age of 24 in 1997 left an indelible mark on the world of hip-hop, forever solidifying his place as one of the genre's greatest icons. 

Born and bred in New York, Biggie reshaped East Coast hip-hop, reclaiming its prominence from the dominance of the West Coast sound.

Early Life

Christopher George Latore Wallace entered the world on May 21, 1972, in Brooklyn, New York, to Jamaican parents. 

Raised by his hardworking mother Voletta after his father's departure, Biggie's upbringing was a testament to resilience amidst adversity. 

Despite his tumultuous surroundings, he showed promise academically but eventually succumbed to the lure of the streets, embarking on a path of drug dealing and delinquency from a young age.

Rise Fame with Bad Boy Records

Biggie's journey into the spotlight began in the gritty streets of Brooklyn, where he first discovered his passion for rap. 

Following a stint behind bars, he decided to lay down some tracks, creating a demo tape under the moniker Biggie Smalls—a homage to a character from the film "Let's Do It Again" and a nod to his childhood alias. 
Little did he know, this tape would become his ticket to fame. The Source magazine, renowned for its keen eye on emerging talent, featured Biggie in their coveted Unsigned Hype column in March 1992. 

His raw talent caught the attention of none other than Sean "Diddy" Combs, then an A&R executive at Uptown Records. 

Combs, recognizing Biggie's potential, swiftly secured him a record deal. However, tensions at Uptown led to Combs departing and establishing his own label, Bad Boy Records. 

Biggie, undeterred by the chaos, followed Combs to his new venture, joining the ranks of Bad Boy Records by mid-1992. 

Although yet to release his own material under Bad Boy, Biggie's presence was felt through guest features on tracks like the remix of Mary J. Blige's "Real Love," showcasing his lyrical prowess. 

It wasn't long before he made his solo debut with the release of "Party and Bullshit" in June 1993, marking the beginning of his ascent to rap royalty.

Friendship With Tupac

Biggie's ascent to fame was not without its share of controversies, notably his complicated relationship with Tupac Shakur. 

Initially friends turned rivals, their feud would escalate to tragic proportions, forever altering the course of hip-hop history. 

Despite their differences, Tupac's influence on Biggie's life and career was profound, a testament to the complexities of their bond.

Feud With Tupac

The feud between Biggie and Tupac would ultimately culminate in unspeakable violence, leaving scars that would never fully heal. 

Accusations and retaliation only served to perpetuate the cycle of animosity, leading to an irreparable rift between two of rap's brightest stars.


Tragically, Biggie's life was cut short on March 9, 1997, in a hail of g*nfire that silenced his voice but not his legacy. 

His murder remains unsolved, a haunting reminder of the dangers lurking within the music industry. 

Yet, his impact endures, immortalized in his music and the hearts of fans worldwide.


Biggie Smalls, The Notorious B.I.G., lives on as a cultural icon, his influence transcending generations. 

From his gritty lyrics to his larger-than-life persona, he remains a towering figure in the annals of hip-hop history. 

Though gone too soon, his memory lives on, a testament to the enduring power of music to inspire and uplift.

Facts About Biggie Smalls

Biggie Smalls, The Notorious B.I.G., left an indelible mark on the world of hip-hop, but there are lesser-known facets to his legendary persona.

Savior of East Coast Hip Hop":

  •  Revered as the savior of East Coast hip-hop by All Music, Biggie's impact on the genre transcended regional boundaries.

Greatest Rapper of All Time:

  •  In 2002, The Source magazine hailed Biggie as the greatest rapper of all time in its historic 150th issue, cementing his status as a lyrical genius.

MTV Recognition:

  •  MTV ranked him third in its list of The Greatest MCs of All Time in 2006, further solidifying his legacy among the rap elite.

Biographical Film:

  •  The 2009 biographical film "Notorious" delved into Biggie's life and legacy, grossing $44.4 million globally. Produced by his mother Voletta Wallace and Sean Combs, the film provided an intimate glimpse into the man behind the music.

Billboard Accolade:

  • In 2015, Billboard bestowed upon Biggie the title of the greatest rapper of all time, a testament to his enduring influence and lyrical prowess.

Cross-Genre Influence:

  • Biggie's lyrical prowess transcended the confines of hip-hop, with his words quoted by icons across various genres, including Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, Usher, and Lil Wayne.

Philanthropic Legacy:

  • The Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation hosts an annual black-tie dinner to raise funds for children's supplies and school equipment, ensuring that Biggie's impact extends far beyond the realm of music.
Though Biggie Smalls' life was tragically cut short, his legacy endures as an icon of lyrical mastery and cultural influence. 

Through his music, he transcended boundaries, leaving an indelible mark on the world of hip-hop and beyond. 

As we reflect on his profound impact, we celebrate the enduring legacy of a true legend, The Notorious B.I.G.

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