ARTIST PROFILE

Notorious B.I.G.

Name: Christopher George Latore Wallace

Birthday: May 21 1972

Fav Dish: steak

Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), better known by his stage names The Notorious B.I.G, Biggie, or Biggie Smalls,was an American rapper. Murdered at age 24, Wallace is consistently ranked as one of the greatest and most influential rappers of all time.

Wallace was raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. When he 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 in the genre at a time when West Coast hip hop was dominant 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 growing East Coast – West Coast hip hop feud.

On March 9, 1997, Wallace was killed by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. His double-disc album Life After Death, released 16 days later, rose to No. 1 on the U.S. album charts and was certified Diamond in 2000, one of the few hip hop albums to receive this certification.Wallace was noted for his “loose, easy flow”,dark semi-autobiographical lyrics and storytelling abilities. Two more albums have been released since his death. He has certified sales of 17 million units in the United States.

Born in St. Mary’s Hospital in Brooklyn on May 21, 1972, as the only child of Voletta Wallace, a Jamaican preschool teacher, and Selwyn George Latore, a welder and small-time Jamaican politician.His father left the family when Wallace was two years old, and his mother worked two jobs while raising him. Wallace grew up in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn, New York City on 226 St. James Place near the border of Bedford-Stuyvesant, considered at the time to be within the latter neighborhood’s boundaries.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 overweight size by age 10.He said he started dealing when he was around the age of 12. His mother, often away at work, did not know of her son’s drug sales until Wallace was an adult.

At his request, Wallace transferred out of the Roman Catholic Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School to attend the state-funded George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School, which future rappers DMX, Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes also attended at the time. According to his mother, Wallace was still a good student, but he developed a “smart-ass” attitude at the new school.At seventeen, Wallace dropped out of 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 in jail before making bail.

Wallace began rapping when he was a teenager. He entertained people on the streets and performed with local groups the Old Gold Brothers and the Techniques.After being released from jail, Wallace made a demo tape under the name Biggie Smalls, a reference to a character in the 1975 film Let’s Do It Again as well as his stature; he stood at 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) and weighed as much as 300 to 380 pounds (140–170 kg) according to differing accounts.The tape was reportedly made with no serious intent of getting a recording deal, but was promoted by New York-based DJ Mister Cee, who had previously worked with Big Daddy Kane, and was heard by the editor of The Source.

Close