Christopher Wallace — known by his stage name, Biggie Smalls or the Notorious B.I.G. — was born in Brooklyn in 1972 and would be 46 years old today. The rap icon put his hometown of Bed-Stuy on the map during his short lived career, and was one of the most acclaimed artists of his time. His 1994 full length debut album, Ready to Die, is widely regarded as the greatest hip hop record of all time.
He was also a pioneer of the hard street style of rap that was becoming increasingly popular during his short lived career. His death in 1997 at 24 was tragic.
His legacy was immense. He had a huge following and influenced a generation of aspiring rappers. The gravity of the moment wasn’t lost on the straight A student, who was living with his back against the wall. The only way out of his situation was through bars, and the pressure to perform weighed heavily on him.
He was a symbol of the hustle and grind that many people had to go through to achieve success in the early 90s. During his life, he made it clear that he wanted to do more than just rap. He was also a businessman and had his own company. He was married to R&B singer Faith Evans and they had a child together. In addition, he was an activist for the community and had his own charity. He had a lot of potential and would have been doing bigger things if he was still alive.