The Notorious B.I.G. was a beloved icon of hip-hop, and his status as a rap legend remains undisputed to this day. The Brooklyn-bred emcee’s sudden death in 1997 changed music forever, and it affected his close friends and family the hardest.
The Notorious B.I.G.’s death in 1997
The Notorious B.I.G.’s death in March 1997 has been one of music’s biggest mysteries for over two decades. His death came just six months after the death of his onetime friend Tupac Shakur. Tupac’s death led to conspiracy theories that Diddy, one of Biggie’s closest friends, hired a hitman to kill him.
When Biggie died six months later, many began to believe the same thing. After an escalating West Coast vs. East Coast hip-hop feud, Suge Knight allegedly took matters into his own hands by hiring a hitman to take out Diddy’s biggest artist.
Voletta Wallace is still upset about Biggie’s death
No one was more shaken by Biggie’s death than his mother, Voletta Wallace. She spoke to the Daily Mail in 2017, two decades after his death, and opened up about just how hard the grieving process continues to be.
“I get by, using religion to ease my pain. But that’s not easy,” she said honestly. “It helps a little, but it’s a far cry from bringing Christopher back to life.”
“I have had lots of support from friends at church, and I’m thankful for that over the years,” she continued. “People have been very nice to me, and that’s also because Christopher was such a glowing figure in their lives too.”
What pained Wallace the most is that she had a good idea of who killed her son, but the authorities failed her and have been withholding that information ever since. “I have a very good idea who murdered Christopher and I genuinely believe that the LAPD know exactly who did too,” she said. “They’ve done their investigation, but they just refuse to move forward. I don’t know why they haven’t arrested who was involved.”
“It seems to me that it’s one giant conspiracy, and someone is definitely being protected somewhere down the line,” she concluded.
“There’s no closure for me until that murderer is behind bars and sentenced.”
Voletta Wallace has worked to preserve Biggie’s legacy
In the years since his death, Wallace has been at the forefront of preserving her son’s legacy through ventures including a wax figure at Madame Tussaud’s, the renaming of the block she raised him on, and more.
The 2009 biopic Notorious showed the life and times of Biggie Smalls on screen. It gave fans a look into who he was as a person, which was more soft-spoken than his braggadocious rap persona.
Wallace continued to be the manager of his estate, and as a result, is in charge of keeping his memory alive. Her focus isn’t about his wealth, and is instead about preserving his legacy and ensure he retains his legendary status in the modern-day musical world. In 2021, she — along with Biggie’s close friend Diddy — were involved in the Netflix documentary Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell.
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