Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls, had a massive career despite losing his life at the young age of 24. The “Hypnotize” rapper was famously gunned down in a March 9, 1997, drive-by-shooting in Los Angeles. But his legacy lives on, both musically and personally. The close friend of Sean “Diddy” Combs had one son and one daughter, and they were his pride and joy. Here’s everything you should know about T’yanna and Christopher “CJ” Wallace, Jr.
Biggie Smalls’ first child, a daughter, was born on August 8, 1993 to his longtime girlfriend and high school sweetheart Jan Jackson when she was 22 and he was 21. The couple had already separated by the time T’yanna arrived, but the charming rapper‘s commitment to providing her a good life is well-documented. His massive 1994 hit “Juicy” referenced it with the lyrics, “To all the people that lived above the buildings that I was hustlin’ in front of called the police on me when I was just tryin’ to make some money to feed my daughter,” before rapping about better times. “Livin’ life without fear. Puttin’ five karats in my baby girl’s ear.” T’yanna herself made an appearance in the official music video, released in 1994.
She was just three when her rising star father was killed, and the murder remains officially unsolved. T’yanna, now 28, is a designer who runs a clothing boutique in Brooklyn, New York — aptly named Notoriouss. “I’ve always been into fashion, since high school…” the Penn State graduate, class of 2015, told iHeart Radio.
“My major was business and then around my sophomore year I was like I really want to start a clothing line and I really want to do something dedicated and kinda inspired by my dad,” she continued. “So that’s how the name Notoriouss came out and that’s how I started doing my clothing line straight from college. I wanted to do something where I could continue his legacy and I don’t do music, so it wasn’t going to be that. So, I wanted to do something that would keep his name alive and also have me included in it.”
Christopher Wallace Jr.
T’yanna’s little brother, Christopher “C.J.” Wallace Jr. , was born to Biggie and his new wife, R&B singer Faith Evans on October 29, 1996, only 5 months before the rapper lost his life. Also known as “Lil Biggie Smalls,” he graduated from Santa Monica High School in 2014 and the now 25-year old musician is pursuing his own recording and acting career. In fact, C.J. played his father as a youngster in the 2009 biopic Notorious. He didn’t want to play the role, but ultimately decided it was worthwhile. “It was actually fun, going out to New York, living like him, going into his old apartment, doing what he did,” he told Vibe in 2012. “It was cool.”
C.J. also explained to The Daily Beast in a 2016 interview that he didn’t always understand the massive impact of his father’s legacy in music — something that Faith’s second husband helped him to understand. “It took a while to really realize the impact he’d made,” he said. “But at an early age, my dad who raised me, Todd Russaw, schooled me that I needed to be aware of who my dad was and his impact, and to not be afraid of what I represent. He told me, ‘Don’t be ashamed of anything.’”