The Notorious B.I.G. Biggie Smalls. Big Poppa. These were some of the names Christopher Wallace went by. No matter how people refer to him, his impact on hip-hop is felt to this day.
March 9, 2022, marked 25 years since Wallace, 24, was shot and killed in Los Angeles during an ambush at an intersection. Many people wondered who was responsible and why Biggie was targeted, and some have theorized that it was retaliation for the fatal shooting of Tupac Shakur months earlier. None of these claims were substantial, and the person who shot and killed Wallace is still not known.
Wallace, a Brooklyn native, rose to the top of the hip-hop world with his 1994 debut album, Ready to Die, which featured songs such as “Big Poppa,” “Juicy,” and “Warning.” The album is iconic, and some of its tracks received several accolades, such as a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance for “Big Poppa.” Recently, Rolling Stone ranked it at No. 22 on its list of the top 500 albums of all time. Ready to Die was the only solo album he released while he was alive. Two weeks after he was killed, his second album, Life After Death, was released. At his funeral on March 18, 1997, thousands gathered in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill, the neighborhood where Wallace grew up, to catch a glimpse of the hearse carrying the rapper.
These photos look at Biggie's life and tragic death.