Born: May 21, 1972
Place of Birth: New York, NY
Died: March 9, 1997
Place of Death: Los Angeles, CA
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Christopher George Latore Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls, or Biggie, was an American rapper. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest rappers of all time.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York City, Wallace signed to Sean "Puffy" Combs' label Bad Boy Records as it launched in 1993, and gained exposure through features on several other artists' singles that year. His debut album Ready to Die (1994) was met with widespread critical acclaim, and included his signature songs "Juicy" and "Big Poppa". The album made him the central figure in East Coast hip hop, and restored New York's visibility at a time when the West Coast hip hop scene was dominating hip hop music. Wallace was awarded the 1995 Billboard Music Awards' Rapper of the Year. The following year, he led his protégé group Junior M.A.F.I.A., a team of himself and longtime friends, including Lil' Kim, to chart success.
During 1996, while recording his second album, Wallace became ensnarled in the escalating East Coast–West Coast hip hop feud. Following Tupac Shakur's death in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in September 1996, speculations of involvement in Shakur's murder by criminal elements orbiting the Bad Boy circle circulated as a result of Wallace's public feud with Shakur. On March 9, 1997, while visiting Los Angeles, Wallace was murdered in a drive-by shooting. The assailant remains unidentified. Wallace's second album Life After Death, a double album, was released two weeks later. It reached number one on the Billboard 200, and eventually achieved a Diamond certification in the US.
With two more posthumous albums released, Wallace has certified sales of over 28 million copies in the United States, including 21 million albums. Rolling Stone has called him the "greatest rapper that ever lived," and Billboard named him the greatest rapper of all time. The Source magazine named him the greatest rapper of all time in its 150th issue. In 2006, MTV ranked him at No. 3 on their list of The Greatest MCs of All Time, calling him possibly "the most skillful ever on the mic". In 2020, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Death and Funeral
In February 1997, Wallace traveled to California to promote Life After Death and record a music video for its lead single, "Hypnotize". On March 5, 1997, he gave a radio interview with The Dog House on KYLD in San Francisco. In the interview, he stated that he had hired a security detail, since he feared for his safety; this was because he was a celebrity figure in general, not because he was a rapper.
On March 8, 1997, Wallace presented an award to Toni Braxton at the 11th Annual Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles and was booed by some of the audience. After the ceremony, he attended an afterparty hosted by Vibe and Qwest Records at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Guests included Evans, Aaliyah, Combs, and members of the Crips and Bloods gangs.
On March 9, 1997, at 12:30 a.m. (PST), after the fire department closed the party early due to overcrowding, Wallace left with his entourage in two GMC Suburbans to return to his hotel. He traveled in the front passenger seat alongside his associates, Damion "D-Roc" Butler, Lil' Cease and driver Gregory "G-Money" Young. Combs traveled in the other vehicle with three bodyguards. The two trucks were trailed by a Chevrolet Blazer carrying Bad Boy's director of security, Paul Offord.
By 12:45 a.m. (PST), the streets were crowded with people leaving the party. Wallace's truck stopped at a red light 50 yards (46 m) from the museum. A black Chevy Impala pulled up alongside Wallace's truck. The driver of the Impala, an African-American male dressed in a blue suit and bow tie, rolled down his window, drew a 9 mm blue-steel pistol and fired at the GMC Suburban. Four bullets hit Wallace. His entourage rushed him to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, but he was pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m. (PST).
Wallace's funeral was held on March 18, 1997, at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel in Manhattan. There were among 350 mourners at the funeral, including Queen Latifah, Flava Flav, Mary J. Blige, Lil' Kim, Lil' Cease, Run–D.M.C., DJ Kool Herc, Treach from Naughty by Nature, Busta Rhymes, Salt-N-Pepa, DJ Spinderella, Foxy Brown, Sister Souljah and others. After the funeral, his body was cremated and the ashes were given to his family. Source.