Dead Rebels

tributes to cultural martyrs

Christopher Wallace a.k.a. Biggie Smalls: Good Catholic Boy turns Notorious Gangsta Rapper

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The only child to Voletta Wallace, a Jamaican pre-school teacher, and George Latore, a Jamaican welder was born on May 21, 1972; Christopher Wallace was raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant a Brooklyn neighborhood. Hardship found him at two years old when his father left and his mother had to work two jobs. He excelled in class, especially English where he won several awards. Before he turned 10-years-old, due to his size, he was nicknamed "Big". At the age of 12, he became an entrepreneur crack dealer, unknown to his mother. No longer interested in attending private Roman Catholic school; Big wanted to attend George Westinghouse Information Technology High School where he met Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes
his mother has stated that, “…still a good student, but developed a smart-ass attitude.” dropping out of high school at seventeen, Big became more involved in crime. In 1989and 1990, he was arrested to five years probation for a weapons charge; then one year later he was arrested for violation of probation. Another year later, a sojourn in a NC prison for nine-months ended his trip to North Carolina for a routine crack exchange.

Right out of prison, Christopher Wallace completed a demo tape under the name “Biggie Smalls”; referring to his childhood nickname and to his stature. Biggie Smalls, a charming, extremely dark and overweight man standing 6'3" and weighing 380 pounds, was not the best looking man in the crowd.

Shortly after, Biggie met Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs when he heard Biggie's early tapes. Bad Boy Records was impressed; Puffy signed Biggie to his new label. After, Puffy and Biggie, worked together on the first album, the Notorious B.I.G. was brought to life. First heard on a remix of a Mary J. Blige song, Biggie was also on the “Who's the Man” Soundtrack. After his few successes, the album went through final touches and was released in 1994, titled "Ready to Die.” Just three years before his untimely death in 1997.

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