Considered one of the greatest rappers of all time and a beacon of the East Coast hip hop scene, the Notorious B.I.G. rose to epic stardom during the 1990s and is still remembered today for how he changed the world of hip hop. Wallace is remembered for records that were “hilarious, incisive and insanely inventive as he [balanced] urban realism and playalistic excess,” according to Rolling Stone.
Known for his hits “Juicy” and “Big Poppa,” the Brooklyn native won three Billboard Music Awards and several nominations for Grammy Awards and other music industry accolades. Sadly, Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace passed away in 1997 only five years into his successful music career. A contemporary of Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Jay-Z, and Lil’ Kim, Wallace, also known as Biggie Smalls, was on his way to creating an even bigger rap catalogue before his untimely death. Even with his short-lived musical success, Wallace left behind another kind of legacy after dying in a fatal shooting in Los Angeles when he was 24 years old.
Biggie Smalls had two kids
Not only was Biggie Smalls the next big thing in rap, he was also the father of two children. His first child, T’yanna Dream Wallace, was born in August 1993 to Wallace’s high school girlfriend, Jan Jackson. Wallace’s relationship had turned rocky with Jackson by the time T’yanna was born. By the time Wallace had finished recording his chart-topping Ready to Die album, Jackson and Wallace had broken up. Their daughter, T’yanna, was just eight months old at the time, according to XXL.
Three months later, Wallace had met and married R&B artist Faith Evans after knowing her for eight days. Three years later, the couple had their son, Christopher “CJ” Wallace Jr., in October 1996, just five months before Wallace Sr. would be gunned down, per Capital Xtra.
But what would happen to Biggie Smalls’ two kids after losing their father at such young ages? Where are they now?
C.J. and T'yanna Wallace pay tribute to their dad
Even though Biggie Smalls’ kids had very little time with him before the “Hypnotize” rapper’s still-unsolved murder, both T’yanna and Christopher Wallace Jr. have taken to honoring their late father’s legacy in their own ways. T’yanna is an entrepreneur. She owns a clothing boutique in Brooklyn called Notoriouss — a nod to her late father.
“I’ve always been into fashion since high school,” T’yanna told iHeart Radio, adding, “So, I went to Penn State. My major was business. And then around my sophomore year, I was like, ‘I really want to start a clothing line, and I really want to do something dedicated and kind of inspired by my dad.” T’yanna Wallace found her own method of continuing her father’s legacy outside of the music industry, telling the outlet, “I wanted to do something where I could keep his name alive and also have me included in it.” But she knows her dad didn’t just lend his nickname to the boutique. T’yanna thinks Biggie pioneered hip hop fashion in a way that made her vision possible. “I would say these big guys out here definitely got confidence from him,” she said, adding, “He definitely gave people the confidence to wear high fashion brands like Versace.”
C.J. Wallace is fighting for change in his father's name
While Christopher “CJ” Wallace also wanted to contribute to his dad’s legacy, he steered away from music like his half-sister, and went towards acting instead. CJ Wallace, 24, is an upcoming actor and business owner. He even played a young version of his father in the 2009 Biggie Smalls biopic, Notorious. CJ initially didn’t want the role, but after reading for it with an acting coach, he found that it was a great way to get to know about his father’s past, according to Vibe.
After starring in Will Ferrell’s 2010 film Everything Must Go and in MTV’s Scream, Wallace turned to running his own cannabis business called Think BIG that also serves to advocate for marijuana legalization, criminal justice reform, and community reinvestment.
Wallace Jr. also owns Frank White, a lifestyle brand that celebrates Black culture, creativity, self-expression, and freedom, he told Forbes in May 2020. Wallace Jr. always wanted to create something to honor his dad, but it couldn’t be music. Wallace wanted to make “more specifically creative, content to tell [his dad’s] story.” He continued, “It would also fill in missing gaps of who my dad was for me and my sister and I would like to create some new things that honors his impact on the culture in new ways.”
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