Notorious B.I.G. will forever be known as one of the greatest rappers alive. While Biggie, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was shot and killed at the young age of 24, he changed the world of hip hop. But how much do you know about him?
For the first time ever, we’ll get to see the story of Biggie Smalls‘ life in a biography that was authorized by his estate, and produced by both his widow, Faith Evans, as well has his mother, Voletta Wallace. Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G. is set to air on Monday, Sept. 4 at 8PM on A&E, and will include never-before-heard audio of Biggie, as well as interviews with with JAY-Z, Nas and Diddy.
Biggie passed away on March 9, 1997, and the biography will not only narrate his life, but also give an up-close look at the people and places that impacted it. Expect to see a detailed recap of his relationships with both Lil Kim and Faith, his famous feud with Tupac Shakur, and his shocking murder.
Before watching, here are a few things you may not have known about B.I.G.:
He was much more than a rapper.
According to Voletta, Biggie had plans to become a graphic designer or a dentist before he got mixed up in the streets. He was a straight “A” student, and won many awards at a young age for his academics.
He wasn’t the first Biggie Smalls.
While Christopher Wallace made the name what it is, we first heard that moniker from the 1975 film Let’s Do It Again; actor Calvin Lockhurt played a character named Biggie Smalls. Calvin actually sued, and Biggie was forced to change his name to Notorious B.I.G.
Diddy discovered him.
In 2002, Diddy saw that Christopher was featured in The Source‘s “Unsigned Hype” column all about aspiring rappers; years later, The Source rated Ready to Die a nearly perfect score of 4.5.
Biggie was one of the few hip-hop artists that recorded with Michael Jackson.
B.I.G. joined Michael in 1995 on “This Time Around.” Six year later, he featured on MJ’s tenth album, Invincible.
B.I.G. went to high school with some of the biggest names in hip hop.
Yes, he went to the same school as JAY-Z and Busta Rhymes and DMX.
Tune in to Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G. on Monday, Sept. 4 at 8PM on A&E.