Hip Hop Musician. He was large and imposing; at 6 ft 3 inches Christopher Wallace weighted close to three hundred pounds. He was born in Brooklyn to Jamaican parents growing up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area and raised by his mother Voletta Wallace a preschool teacher. He was singing and talking before he could walk. At 17, he was a high school dropout and soon in trouble with the law resulting in a nine month incarceration. He was a product of his seedy neighborhood where, crime, drugs and decadence prevailed. Christopher was known locally for his rapping abilities. Upon release, he made a rap recording which landed in the hands of a young producer Sean 'Puffy' Combs. Under his tutelage, Christopher first performed on albums with established artists then made his first solo album at the age of twenty one, 'Ready to Die' on Bad Boy Records. He rapped in a deep baritone voice about the usual gangster subjects and then unexpectedly changed to love and family responsibilities. The recording sold over 2 million copies. A year later 'Billboard' magazine selected him rap artist of the year. He became friends with fellow rapper Tupac Shakur but they became bitter enemies which culminated in both their deaths. Shakur was shot while sitting in his car in Los Vegas after attending a boxing match. Christopher was blamed. However, police exonerated him due to lack of evidence. The police have never found the killer. Six months later, in Los Angeles, Wallace himself was gunned down while sitting in his automobile after leaving a music industry party. As with the Shakur shooting, a car pulled up to the Wallace's vehicle and a barrage of gunshots found the mark and struck their target. An ambulance rushed him to nearby Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He was gone 45 minutes later at the age of 24. His killer has never been found. His body was flown home to New York and taken to the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel on Madison Avenue for disposition. Christopher was placed in a an oversized African mahogany casket dressed in a white double breasted suit complete with a white 'playa' hat. A final audience was held for some three hundred invited guests including David Dinkins, Mayor of New York City. At the conclusion of the brief service, Christopher was placed in a funeral coach and along with a cortege of cars was taken by procession to a nearby crematorium. But first...they passed through the Brooklyn neighborhood where he was born and grew up. After cremation, his ashes were placed in two separate urns and remain today in the hands of family members. Postscript: After his death, his former wife and artist Faith Evans released her tribute to B.I.G; a recording entitled 'I'll be Missing You' which sold more than three hundred thousand copies and was number one on the 'Billboard' magazine 'Hot 100 Singles' chart.
Bio by: Donald Greyfield