Biggie’s Mother Violetta Wallace Talks About Upholding Her Son’s Legacy

To celebrate the launch of hip-hop’s first interactive trading cards, Platinum League, VIBE sat down with the mother of one of its feature artists. In this candid conversation with Voletta Wallace, mother of the late, great Notorious B.I.G. explains how positive endeavors like this keep her son’s name alive.

(See the video interview with Voletta Wallace at Vibe.com!)

Today, We Salute the Notorious B.I.G.

Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace left this earth far too soon 15 years ago today. Biggie’s murder in Los Angeles remains one of hip-hop’s greatest losses, and his absence is still felt across hip-hop, the music world at large, and pretty much everyone who enjoys fun and good things. Like his spiritual other half/rival Tupac Shakur, Biggie is occasionally the subject of conspiracy theories and rumors about how he is still alive, most notably this elaborate hoax in which the PBS website was hacked last year, declaring Pac and Big both still alive and living in New Zealand. 

Today, and all days, we celebrate the big rhymesmith from Bed-Stuy, for no one in the game had greater personality, narrative flair and charm quite like him. Chicago hip-hop blog Fake Shore Drive has a Spotify playlist going of Biggie’s 50 greatest hits, and Fuse has a pretty good rundown of Big’s lesser-known verses, including guest appearances with Neneh "Buffalo Stance" Cherry and R. Kelly. 

Check out this one, from the soundtrack to the old-school video game greatness that was NBA Jam, featuring Big and another sizably named hip-hop legend who we unfortunately lost last year, Heavy D: 

Morning Links: Jonah Hill Slims Down, Lil Kim Beefs with Biggie’s Mom

● Jonah Hill showed off his svelt new at the Espy’s this week, admitting that his new diet and exercise regiment is “not fun” but “important.” [NYDN] ● From the annals of celebrity baby names: Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy have named their newborn Bing, not after the Microsoft search engine, but as in Bingham, Bellamy’s mother’s maiden name. [Us] ● Disturbia director D.J. Caruso is crowdsourcing his next horror movie, Inside, pulling plot twists and even actors from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels developed for the project. [Slate]

● Rihanna is the most popular girl on Facebook, racking up 2 million more “Likes” than even Gaga. [Glamour] ● Emmy-nominated Glee star Chris Colfer first heard that this season will be his last where most people hear things these days: on Twitter. [People] ● If Biggie’s mom want’s Lil Kim’s verse cut from Monica’s new “Who Shot Ya” sampling single, Lil Kim’s verse gets cut. Lil Kim just can’t win. [RapRadar]

Morning Links: Jonah Hill Slims Down, Lil Kim Beefs With Biggie’s Mom

● Jonah Hill showed off his svelt new at the Espy’s this week, admitting that his new diet and exercise regiment is “not fun” but “important.” [NYDN] ● From the annals of celebrity baby names: Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy have named their newborn Bing, not after the Microsoft search engine, but as in Bingham, Bellamy’s mother’s maiden name. [Us] ● Disturbia director D.J. Caruso is crowdsourcing his next horror movie, Inside, pulling plot twists and even actors from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels developed for the project. [Slate]

● Rihanna is the most popular girl on Facebook, racking up 2 million more “Likes” than even Gaga. [Glamour] ● Emmy-nominated Glee star Chris Colfer first hear that this season will be his last where most people hear things these days: on Twitter. [People] ● If Biggie’s mom want’s Lil Kim’s verse cut from Mya’s new “Who Shot Ya” sampling single, Lil Kim’s verse gets cut. Lil Kim just can’t win. [RapRadar]

Tweeters Remember the Notorious B.I.G. on #Biggie Day

14 years ago today, the Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down in Los Angeles. 14 years later, the Los Angeles police still have no answers (although, they’ve apparently “reinvigorated” the search with some help from the FBI). Devoted fans have been celebrating the memory of the legendary Brooklyn rapper — who released his first album, Ready to Die, in 1994, followed by Life After Death just days after his fatal shooting in 1997–on Twitter, with the hash tag #BiggieDay. Biggie’s ultimate fan, Diddy, set off the trending hashtag early this morning, requesting that fans broadcast their love for the slain rapper. Since then, Wiz Khalifa has rolled an extra joint in his memory, and everyone from Lupe Fiasco to Nicki Minaj have paid their Twitter respects.

In the days leading up to March 9, Biggie’s protégé Lil Kim reminisced about her personal and professional relationship with the Junior Mafia rapper, and declared that the government probably killed him because “they did not want two hood dudes [Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac] with this much power running for mayor or something like that and winning,” Arnold Schwarzenegger style.

Besides that, the most memorable new Biggie-related footage was ESPN’s interview with baller Shaquille O’Neal, who collaborated with the Brooklyn emcee on the 1997 track “You Can’t Stop The Reign.” Shaq relives details of the night Biggie was shot, and wonders whether he could have changed the course of one particularly messy night in hip-hop history.

Have you wished your loved ones a Happy Biggie Day yet?

(video courtesy of RapRadar)

Notorious B.I.G’s ‘Ten Crack Commandments’ Inspired by Magazine Feature

In 1997, before the Clipse and Young Jeezy were delivering their brand of popular coke rap, the Notorious B.I.G. laid out the “Ten Crack Commandments”– the infamous, step-by-step guide to achieving success as a drug dealer, on his Life After Death album. It turns out that Biggie drew inspiration for the popular song from a magazine feature. In the July 1994 issue of The Source, a feature titled “On The Rocks: From 1984 to 1994, Ten Years of Crack” included a side-bar, which broke down the basic rules of surviving in the game. Check out “A Crack Dealer’s Ten Crack Commandments” and compare them to Biggie’s “Ten Crack Commandments.” Disclaimer: We don’t recommend trying any of this at home.

A Crack Dealer’s Ten Crack Commandments:

1. Never Let anyone know how much money you have 2. Never let anyone know what your next move will be. 3. Trust no one. 4. Never use what you sell. 5. Never Give Credit. 6. Never sell out of your own home. 7. Keep family and business separate. 8. Never pack your stash on your person 9. If you’re not being arrested, never be seen communication with police. 10. G.C.G.C. Great Consignment, Grave confinement.

Biggie’s “Ten Crack Commandments” (verbatim):

1. Never let know one know how much dough you hold. 2. Never let them know your next move. 3. Never trust nobody. 4. Never get high on your own supply. 5. Never sell [no] crack where you rest at. 6. That goddamn credit, dead it. 7. Keep your family and business completely separated. 8. Never keep [no] weight on you. 9. If you ain’t getting bagged, stay the fuck from police 10. If you ain’t got the clientele, say hell no.

See the video at RapRadar.

New Leads on Notorious B.I.G. Murder

13 years ago, the greatest rapper of all-time (sorry, Lil Wayne) was murdered while riding in a car on the way home from a party. Everyone thought Death Row Records chief Suge Knight was behind the killing because a) he is one scary-looking dude and b) he wanted payback for the unsolved death of Tupac Shakur, which he blamed on Biggie and his Bad Boy Records cronies. There were also claims of a police cover up, frame jobs, and conspiracy — and no one was ever tried in the case. Well, now it looks like the Biggie case has been “reinvigorated” due to new leads.

It’s unclear what, exactly, these new leads are, or why they’ve suddenly popped up now. But it would be nice to finally have some resolution. Plus, no case since the JFK assassination has been theorized on more than the B.I.G./Tupac killings. Maybe if the cops can solve this one, they’ll be willing to take another crack at Dallas, 1963.

Where’s Biggie?

Bored at work? Here’s a fun game to play: find Biggie Smalls in this giant picture of the inaguration. You can zoom around within inches of people’s faces in this Gigapan 59,783 X 24,658 pixel, ultra hi-res snapshot – close enough to see Hillary’s laser eyes boring through the back of Obama’s neck. What – you thought the Crooklyn Don would stay in Cuba with Tupac and miss history in the making? Like Obama, he’s not only a client, he’s the player president…

BlackBook Liveblog: The B.I.G. Tour Of Brooklyn

Today, our own Ben Barna was invited on a press tour promoting the new Notorious B.I.G. biopic Notorious. The junk(et)? Ben gets to sit on a bus with a bunch of other reporters as they take a tour through notable Brooklyn spots relevant to the deceased rapper’s history before making his way to a screening of the film. It gets better: leading the tour, according to the release, will be Mama B.I.G. herself, Violetta Wallace. Let us repeat this: a bunch of reporters, on a bus tour, through Bed-Stuy (Do or Die!), with B.I.G.’s mom. Impish macabre fun! Ben’s live-texting his updates, and we’ll throw them below the jump as the day goes on.

1:49 p.m.: So much for the “clueless white reporter angle” (Ed. That was my idea. FAIL!); I’m just about the only white guy on the bus. Although if HuffPo writer Brad Balfour can weasel his way in, that’ll make about four of us. He’s standing on Lex, waiting for extra spots. I wonder if he’ll sit next to me.

1:59 p.m.: Balfour is on the bus. He did not sit next to me, and I’m actually hurt. The only empty seat on the entire bus is next to me. Recollections of high school.

2:10 p.m.: A white guy from WNYC named Siddartha just stopped the bus and climbed on. He took the last seat (i.e. next to me). Just left to Brooklyn, “to see where it all began,” according to (Notorious producer) Wayne Barrow. She’s in the front, and there’s a camera crew shooting.

2:14 p.m.: Someone just shouted to turn the heat off. Siddartha is sweating profusely. People are fanning themselves with press releases. (Ed. You know who else sweat profusely, right? Maybe this is part of the experience!)

2:26 p.m.: Wayne Barrow just went person by person to introduce himself. He chatted up everyone but me. Didn’t get past “nice to meet you.”

2:27 p.m. Dude, honestly, I hate to say this, but Sid is not smelling too good now, and is killing this for me.

2:33 p.m.: We are on the Manhattan Bridge. 3,000 Feet from Brooklyn. Going to his high school, where he met Jay-Z and Busta. They used to battle in the hallway. “This is where it all happened,” apparently.

2:35 p.m.: People are taking pics of his high school like it’s some shrine.

2:42 p.m.: Some local Brooklyn kids (at said high school) just gave me/the bus the finger. Cute.

2:49 p.m.: Heading to the infamous Junior’s restaurant in Brooklyn. Home of the best cheesecake in the world. Not a word from (B.I.G.’s mom) yet. Dozing off. Very awkward silence with Sid.

3:05 p.m.: There was a “shot” outside of B.I.G.’s old middle school. It was a kid, throwing a rock at the bus. “Welcome to Brooklyn,” said Barrow, for the 100th time.

3:10 p.m.: Getting off in front of his house. 226 St. James Place, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

3:21 p.m.: We’re going to the corner where Biggie used to hustle; apparently, this will be (his mom’s) first time seeing it. Brooklyn residents seem naturally confused by the hoopla.

3:25 p.m.: Without this neighborhood there would be no B.I.G. With all this gentrification, there’ll be no more either.

3:27 p.m.: Balfour is hogging Biggie’s mom. Just invited himself over for dinner.

3:31 p.m.: Lunch at Golden Krust! Sixty people in line!

3:35 p.m.: Beef patty and Ginger Beer. Two girls tried to score freebies but were sent off. Were told “sorry: patties for journalists only.”

4:03 p.m.: Balfour keeps insisting on getting Ms. Wallace a soda. She keeps refusing.

4:45 p.m.: All in all: weak. Could’ve gone without.