contract Combs was fired from Uptown Records and started his own label. Biggie Smalls followed suit. In 1992 Smalls was signed to Combs’ new imprint label Bad Boy Records. While producing his first album he had his first child T'yanna Wallace born on August 8, 1993. Pressured by Combs’ to leave the street life, Biggie focused on his new career in Hip Hop. Later that year he was featured on the remix of Mary J. Blige’s single “Real Love” getting major exposure to hip hop audiences. The Notorious B.I.G was born. “Real Love” hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at #7. What’s the 411? was right behind Real love. In 1993 Biggie Smalls collaborated with artists Neneh Cherry (Buddy X) and reggae artist Super Cat (Dolly My Baby ft. Puffy). Also in 1992 his solo track Party and Bullshit landed on the track listing for the Who’s The Man soundtrack. July of 1994 Biggie Smalls appeared along with LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes on the remix to label mate Craig Mack “Flava In Ya Ear which reached #9 on the Hot 100. On August 4, 1994 Biggie Smalls married Faith Evans (R&B singer) ten days after they met at a BadBoy photo shoot. A couple of days later his first pop chart double A-side, Juicy hit #27 as
times and left for dead in the lobby of Quad Studios in NYC where B.I.G. was recording that evening. When Biggie went downstairs to investigate, a wounded Tupac raised his middle finger to BIG while EMT workers loaded him into the ambulance. Tupac recovered from his injuries and started a smear campaign against BadBoy Records. His suspicions caused him to believe B.I.G was involved in the murder attempt against his life. He started dissing Biggie and rumors ensued of an affair between Shakur and Biggie’s wife Faith Evans. Tupac released a diss song called Hit Em’ Up. The country and Hip Hop community was now being divided into two groups the east coast and the west coast through media exploitation. In 1995 Tupac and Biggie met again and Tupac admitted to Biggie that he was just trying to sell records. After a Mike Tyson boxing match on September 7, 1996 Tupac got into a fight at the MGM Grand Hotel with a member of the Crips gang. While driving on the Las Vegas strip Tupac Shakur was gunned down in a drive by shooting while riding with Suge Knight. Six days later Tupac Shakur (age 25) was pronounced dead. On October 29, 1996 Faith Evan gave birth to Biggie Smalls second child named Christopher “C.J” Wallace Jr.
Notorious B.I.G. and Sean Puffy Combs
Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur
the lead to his single debut album. Biggie Smalls first album Ready to Die was released September 13, 1994. Ready to Die reached #13 on the Billboard 200 chart and it went Platinum. After Juicy two more single hits went platinum selling: “Big Poppa “reached #1 on the U.S rap charts, And “One More Chance” ft. Faith Evans was the best selling yet. In August of 1995 Biggie’s group Junior M.A.F.I.A (“Junior Masters At Finding Intelligent Attitudes”) released there album titled Conspiracy. The group contains Biggie’s numerous childhood friends and rappers including Lil’ Kim, Lil’ Cease, Bugsy, Capone, Chico, and Nino Brown. “Players Anthem” and “Get Money” ft. Biggie Smalls went Gold and Platinum making Junior Mafia an instant success. Biggie Smalls worked with R&B artist and groups signed to Bad Boy including 112 (“Only You”) and Totals’ ( “Cant You See”). Both songs reaching top 20 on the Hot 100 chart. By the end of the year of 1995 Biggie Smalls was the top-selling male solo artist and rapper in the U.S. r&b and pop charts. He appeared on the cover of The Source with the title “The King of New York Takes Over”. In August 1995 at the Source Awards Biggie Smalls was named Best New Artist (Solo), Lyricist of the Year, Live Performer of the Year, and his debut Album of the Year. At the Billboard Awards he was named Rap Artist of the Year. He soon became good friends with west coast MC Tupac Shakur. Shakur supported Biggie and was influential earlier on in his career unbeknownst to many Hip Hop fans. November 30, 1994 their friendship came to an end when Tupac Shakur was held at gun point, robbed for $40,000 worth of jewelry, shot five
The next month Junior M.A.F.I.A’s own Lil’ Kim dropped her first debut album titled Hard Core. Rumors spread that Biggie smalls and Lil’ Kim were having a love affair. Biggie Smalls traveled to California January of 1997 to promote his up and coming album Life After Death. He also was making a video for his hit single Hypnotize. His album Life After Death was scheduled to be released on March 25, 1997. Biggie Smalls and Puffy made a video for the song “What’s Beef.” On March 8, 1997 Biggie presented an award to Toni Braxton at the 11th Annual Soul Train Music Awards and was booed by some of the audience. After the awards Biggie Smalls attended an after party hosted by Vibe Magazine and Qwest Records. He mingled with other guests including members of the Crips and Blood gangs. On March 9, 1997 Biggie and his crew was leaving the after party around 12:30 a.m to go back to his hotel after the party got shut down by the fire department. Biggie Smalls traveled in a GMC Suburban accompanied by Damion "D-Roc" Butler, Junior M.A.F.I.A. member Lil' Cease and driver, Gregory "G-Money" Young. After the party was cleared out, the streets of Los Angeles filled with people leaving the event. At 12:45 a Black Chevrolet Impala SS pulled up along the side of Biggie’s SVU while waiting at a red light and an African American male dressed in a bow tie and suit rolled down his window and pulled out a 9 mm blue-steel pistol and started firing shots toward the Suburban where Biggie was. Four bullets hit Biggie Smalls in the chest. He was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. By the time they got to the hospital Christopher George Latore Wallace Sr. was pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m on the early morning of March 9, 1997. WANTED MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER, 2011