Malvina Conlon

Written by Malvina Conlon

Modified & Updated: 02 Jun 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


The Notorious B.I.G., also known as Biggie Smalls, was one of the most influential figures in the history of hip hop. With his distinctive flow, powerful lyrics, and larger-than-life persona, Biggie left an indelible mark on the music industry during his short but impactful career. Born Christopher Wallace on May 21, 1972, in Brooklyn, New York, Biggie rose to fame in the mid-1990s and became a symbol of East Coast rap. His tragic and untimely death on March 9, 1997, at the age of 24 only solidified his status as a legend.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Notorious B.I.G., also known as Biggie Smalls, was a legendary rapper from Brooklyn, New York, known for his smooth flow, storytelling, and iconic catchphrases like “It was all a dream.”
  • Despite his tragic death, Biggie’s influence on hip-hop continues to inspire artists today, and his music remains timeless, captivating new generations and solidifying his status as a true icon.
Table of Contents

The Notorious B.I.G. was born on May 21, 1972, in Brooklyn, New York.

Christopher Wallace, famously known as The Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. His birthdate marked the beginning of a legendary hip-hop career that continues to influence artists today.

The Notorious B.I.G. was known for his distinctive flow and lyrical prowess.

Biggie’s unique rap style, characterized by his smooth delivery and vivid storytelling, captivated audiences worldwide. His ability to seamlessly blend street tales with introspective lyrics solidified him as one of the greatest rappers of all time.

He released his debut album, “Ready to Die,” in 1994.

Ready to Die” marked Biggie’s arrival on the hip-hop scene with a bang. The album showcased his storytelling ability and featured iconic tracks such as “Juicy” and “Big Poppa,” establishing him as a force to be reckoned with.

The Notorious B.I.G. collaborated with numerous artists throughout his career.

Biggie’s collaborative efforts with artists like Jay-Z, Lil’ Kim, and Puff Daddy (now known as Diddy) resulted in chart-topping hits and solidified his status as a sought-after collaborator in the music industry.

He was embroiled in a widely publicized feud with rapper Tupac Shakur.

The feud between Biggie and Tupac Shakur, known as the East Coast-West Coast rivalry, dominated headlines and contributed to the intense atmosphere in the hip-hop community during the mid-1990s.

The Notorious B.I.G.’s second album, “Life After Death,” was released posthumously in 1997.

Tragically, Biggie’s life was cut short when he was fatally shot in Los Angeles in “Life After Death” was released just weeks after his death and became one of the best-selling hip-hop albums of all time.

Biggie Smalls was affiliated with the hip-hop collective Junior M.A.F.I.A.

Junior M.A.F.I.A., a group formed by Biggie, included artists such as Lil’ Kim and Lil’ Cease. Their collaborations resulted in memorable tracks that showcased their camaraderie and talent.

He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.

In recognition of his immense impact on the music industry, The Notorious B.I.G. was posthumously inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, solidifying his legacy as an influential artist.

Biggie’s iconic catchphrase was “It was all a dream.”

One of Biggie’s most memorable lines in the song “Juicy” became a catchphrase, resonating with fans and encapsulating his rise to success despite challenging circumstances.

The Notorious B.I.G.’s mother released a documentary about his life titled “Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell.”

The documentary provides an intimate look into Biggie’s life, upbringing, and musical journey, featuring rare footage and interviews with his closest family and friends.

He was known for his entrepreneurial endeavors.

Outside of his music career, Biggie ventured into entrepreneurship, launching his record label, clothing line, and even his own brand of malt liquor.

Biggie’s influence can be felt in contemporary hip-hop.

His impact on the genre is undeniable, as his style and lyrical influence continue to inspire and shape the sound of hip-hop artists today.

The Notorious B.I.G. had a son named Christopher Jordan Wallace, who has ventured into acting.

Christopher Jordan Wallace, also known as C.J., has followed in his father’s footsteps and pursued a career in acting, making appearances in films and television shows.

Biggie’s murder remains unsolved, leading to various conspiracy theories.

The circumstances surrounding Biggie’s death have sparked numerous conspiracy theories, with investigations and speculations continuing to this day.

His legacy lives on through his posthumous releases and the continued celebration of his music.

Despite his untimely death, The Notorious B.I.G.’s impact endures, with new generations discovering his music and celebrating his contribution to the world of hip-hop.

He was known for his larger-than-life persona and charismatic stage presence.

Biggie’s magnetic personality and commanding presence on stage further solidified him as a legendary figure in the music industry.

The Notorious B.I.G.’s music continues to inspire and resonate with fans worldwide.

From his powerful storytelling to his infectious beats, Biggie’s music transcends time and continues to captivate audiences, proving his status as a true icon.


In conclusion, The Notorious B.I.G. was an influential and legendary figure in the world of hip-hop. His life and career were cut tragically short, but his impact continues to resonate to this day. With his unique flow, gripping storytelling, and charismatic presence, he captivated audiences and solidified his place as one of the greatest rappers of all time. From his iconic debut album “Ready to Die” to his posthumous releases, Biggie’s music has left an indelible mark on the genre.Through his music, The Notorious B.I.G. painted a vivid picture of life on the streets of Brooklyn. He brought a raw and authentic perspective, sharing tales of struggle, ambition, and the hustle to survive. His lyrical prowess and ability to craft memorable hooks set him apart from his peers. Biggie’s music transcended boundaries, resonating with audiences worldwide and solidifying his status as a hip-hop icon.Despite his untimely passing, Biggie’s legacy lives on. His influence can be heard in the work of countless artists who continue to be inspired by his artistry. The Notorious B.I.G. will forever be remembered as a true legend whose impact on music and culture is immeasurable.


Q: When did The Notorious B.I.G. start his music career?

A: The Notorious B.I.G. began his music career in the early 1990s when he gained recognition by appearing on tracks by other artists and releasing mixtapes.

Q: What were The Notorious B.I.G.’s most popular songs?

A: Some of The Notorious B.I.G.’s most popular songs include “Juicy,” “Hypnotize,” “Big Poppa,” and “Mo Money Mo Problems.

Q: What is The Notorious B.I.G.’s real name?

A: The Notorious B.I.G.’s real name was Christopher Wallace.

Q: How did The Notorious B.I.G. die?

A: The Notorious B.I.G. was tragically shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997.

Q: What is The Notorious B.I.G.’s legacy?

A: The Notorious B.I.G.’s legacy is his impact on the hip-hop genre, his status as one of the greatest rappers of all time, and his influence on subsequent artists.

Q: How many albums did The Notorious B.I.G. release?

A: The Notorious B.I.G. released two studio albums during his lifetime: “Ready to Die” (1994) and “Life After Death” (1997). Several posthumous albums were also released.

The Notorious B.I.G.'s impact on hip-hop culture remains unparalleled, much like the influence of Brooklyn's vibrant music scene. Fans of Biggie's music might also enjoy exploring the rich history of the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, which celebrates the borough's contributions to the genre. Brooklyn's cultural significance extends beyond music, as evidenced by the Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival, showcasing diverse artistic talents. For those interested in delving deeper into the Bad Boy Records roster, discovering the enigmatic facts about Craig Mack, one of the label's early stars, offers a fascinating glimpse into the era that shaped Biggie's career.

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