Charlie Baltimore, B.I.G.'s girlfriend at the time of his death, recently explained the significance of the car accident that stalled Life After Death and questioned the Notorious film's treatment of the event.
In this interview, Notorious actor Edwin Freeman talks about playing Mister Cee, the DJ who discovered the Notorious B.I.G.
Continue reading Special To SOHH: Mister Cee Actor Gives His Spin On Biggie Biopic .
Hip-Hop mogul Diddy has unveiled Biggie Smalls-based confession segments for the days leading up to today's Notorious release.
After playing Sean "Diddy" Combs in the film Notorious, Derek Luke gained a new perspective on the East Coast-West Coast rivalry of the '90s.
Jamal "Gravy" Woolard has announced plans to take a break from hip-hop to pursue his career in acting.
Continue reading Gravy Inspired By "Notorious," Puts Rap On Hold.
Continue reading Ms. Wallace Talks "Notorious" Movie Motivation.
Naturi Naughton, an original member of the R&B trio, 3LW, told SOHH that playing Lil' Kim in the upcoming film, Notorious was very stressful for her.
In honor of The Notorious B.I.G. on the 10th anniversary of his passing, New York City radio stations Hot 97 and Power 105 will be playing the rapper\'s music throughout the day, while SOHH.com hosts "One BIG Day," featuring an exclusive album listening and never-before-seen performance footage.
Power 105.1 FM is scheduled to play a Biggie Mix tribute tomorrow (March 9) on "The Morning Show with Ed Lover, Egypt and Ashy." The station also plans to play at least one Biggie song per hour, all day.
From 8 p.m. to midnight, Hot 97\'s DJ Mister Cee, who also discovered the Brooklyn MC and brought him to Bad Boy Records, will also offer his annual tribute to the late great rapper (born Christopher Wallace).
"It will be a celebration of his music," Mister Cee told the New York Post. "One thing about Biggie\'s songs that not everyone remembers is that even though he could be hardcore, he always did party records too, feel-good records. I\'ll be playing those on the show."
While much of the Hot 97 show will be dedicated to Biggie\'s music, friends of the late rapper will also join in to remember him.
"Most of the listeners know my history with Biggie, so I don\'t have to say too much about that. But I\'ll have people like Diddy calling in to talk about him," Mister Cee said.
Wallace was only 24-years-old on March 9, 1997, when he was shot to death leaving a party held at Los Angeles\' Petersen Automotive Museum. In 2002 his widow, Faith Evans and mother Voletta Wallace, filed a wrongful death suit against the LAPD and the City of Los Angeles. That lawsuit is still ongoing.
SOHH is honoring B.I.G. this week with "One Big Day" featuring daily coverage across the site. Site visitors get a preview of the Greatest Hits album - which hit stores on Tuesday (March 6) [Listen Here] - along with a never-before-seen live performance of "Juicy" [Watch Here], blog commentary, a candid interview with his children and a comical fan karoake video (airing March 9).
Just three days before the 11th anniversary of B.I.G.'s death a collection of unlikely collaborators are releasing a song paying homage to the late New York rapper.
The song, entitled "Can I Speak to Biggie," features 50 Cent, Bizzy Bone, Bobby Valentino, Chingy, Maino, R&B singer Chris Notez and New York rapper "Hav Boy" Monte. Produced by Monte, the track is the first of its kind not to be affiliated with Diddy's Bad Boy label. [Listen here.]
Monte said the inspiration for the track came from a conversation he had with Mase and Jadakiss, where the three discussed doing a song in honor of Biggie.
"The studio that I work out of is in Bed-Stuy where Biggie was raised, the block that he was on every day," Monte said. "That conversation between Mase and Jadakiss just kept running through my mind so I called a bunch of people that I thought would be great for the record, people who had meaning whether it meant past, present or future."
Monte said the response to this idea was a positive one.
"Everyone that I reached out to was happy to do it," he said. "Nobody even wanted any money for doing this."
Bizzy Bone called his participation a "no brainer."
"I didn't even have to think about it," Bizzy said. "How could I not want to pay tribute to such an amazing spirit and talent as Biggie. It is an honor to be a part of this."
Monte plans to release behind-the-scenes video footage from the recording of "Can I Speak to Biggie." He will also continue Biggie tribute songs each year but with different artists.
Monte hopes that the song will be linked to the upcoming Fox Searchlight biopic on the Notorious B.I.G., whose cast was coincidentally also released today.
"Can I Speak to Biggie" is being released nationwide to radio stations both today and tomorrow.
With this year marking the tenth anniversary of The Notorious B.I.G.\'s passing, director April Maiya has decided to document the aftermath and impact of his death on his Junior M.A.F.I.A. crew. SOHH recently caught up with Maiya to talk about the film, the void that B.I.G. left behind, and the demise of Brooklyn\'s "First Family."
The documentary entitled, Life After Death: The Movie hopes to shed light on the infamous shooting outside of New York\'s Hot 97 studios that lead to both Lil Kim and Damion "D-Roc" Butler serving prison sentences.
"Basically, it\'s a poorly kept secret that D-Roc always kept a video camera with him when he was with Big. It was kinda his own personal diary. I don\'t think he ever meant to release the tapes," said Maiya. "He contacted me and wanted to straighten out the story [concerning the shooting] because it was making Kim look dumb, like she lied for no reason and was making Gutter and D-Roc just look like criminals. To this day, nobody knows why [Lil\'] Cease took the stand against them. He was telling press that he didn\'t tell the police anything they didn\'t already know but D-Roc and Gutter are in jail for a shooting that there was no weapon for."
Having to sift through over 100 hours of never before seen footage that she received from D-Roc into a 90 minute film was no easy task. Along with footage of Biggie and the crew, the movie also features footage of others close to the slain rapper including Diddy, Jay-Z, Missy Elliot and Mary J. Blige.
"People have been basically recycling the same images and footage of Big for the last ten years and that\'s no accident. That\'s because D-Roc and Ms. Wallace never released anything else. They always felt that people exploited Big."
"I tried to show them as a crew, how they lived together, laughed together, made money together and the second half is the reality of what happened," she explained. "A lot of people saw them as like the first family of Brooklyn. I found that the way that the story ended in the movie, everybody\'s character came out in the footage through expressions, side comments, not really like here are your villains and here are your heroes. The story is a very tragic story but the footage is not. People ask, \'Is this something from Biggie?\' But it\'s literally supposed to be the life after his death and what the people left behind did over the years. It\'s really unique, the footage can\'t lie."
Fans of the late great Frank White can also expect another film, The Notorious B.I.G.: The Lost Tapes. Directed by Maiya and executive produced by Voletta Wallace, it\'s also on deck to be released in late 2008. That film, Maiya says, will be a celebration of the rapper\'s life and a candid, behind-the-scenes look at the person that not many got a chance to see.
"We\'ve all heard enough about his death, same as with Tupac, now it\'s time to celebrate his life. I think it will remind people in New York about what made hip-hop great in New York at that time."
Life After Death: The Movie hit shelves yesterday (July 3).
Jamie Hector, aka Marlo Stanfield from \'\'The Wire,\'\' narrates this documentary about the rise and fall of Biggie\'s Brooklyn crew.
In this week\'s Pulse Report, the streets are buzzing about the 10th anniversary of Biggie\'s Death, Young Buck and The Game making peace, and Juelz Santana and DJ Whoo Kid chilling together.
[Editor\'s Note: The views of this column don\'t necessarily reflect those of SOHH.com]
1. Celebrating Biggie ten years after his death. Finally a Pulse Report week with minimal negativity. Not that he isn\'t remembered year-round, but the past week has served as a celebration of The Notorious B.I.G.\'s life. First H.D. and the Young Hov Project director hit up the streets for B.I.G. Karaoke. Ha! Word is they got fools to stop and rhyme Biggie\'s "Juicy" in damn near teen-degree weather in New York City. [Watch Now] Elsewhere, B.I.G. collaborators like Styles P, Jadakiss and Mister Cee commemorated the emcee during a video tribute on AOL Music. [Watch Now] Why are Styles and Kiss all slouched into the couch like that? For more Biggie, check out this exclusive outtake of Big performing "Juicy." [Watch Now]
R.I.P. The Notorious B.I.G. aka Big Poppa aka Frank White aka Biggie Smalls aka Christoper Wallace... 1972-1997
2. Buck and Game make peace. Fi-na-lly! Only days before the anniversary of Big\'s death, Buck and Game have squashed their feud. Interestingly, 50 Cent and Game also "ended" their beef nearly two years ago on March 9. Let\'s just hope this one remains peaceful. Word is DJ Reflex and DJ Skee of Los Angeles\' Power 106 put Game and Buck on the phone earlier this week. The two were actually slated to meet at the station later that day, but Buck\'s legal team wouldn\'t let him go up due to cases he has pending. [Listen Now] "It basically went from Buck and Game coming to the studio tonight with me and you to let LA know that they\'re all good, everything is cool, they\'re moving on, to a phone call 30 minutes ago saying that Buck\'s legal wouldn\'t let him come up because there are cases that he has in D.C. and this and that," Skee revealed. "Great news that Buck and Game did get on the phone in LA today and they both came to a conclusion that it\'s time to move on, it\'s all good, that Vegas stuff, let\'s put it behind us. Let\'s keep it moving." How is Fif going to feel about this one?
3. Juelz and Whoo Kid defuse Dipset/G-Unit feud. Don\'t call it the Dipset/G-Unit feud again. Besides Fif and Cam, it turns out that nobody is really into it. Jones has repeatedly downplayed it, asserting that it\'s only fun while Buck said Fif can handle the matter on his own. Earlier this week, Juelz and DJ Whoo Kid appeared on BET\'s "Rap City" together, further proving that the beef isn\'t all it\'s cracked up to be. "I know what ya\'ll wondering, man. Juelz Santana and Whoo Kid. 50 Cent and Cam. Well, I feel like it\'s good for hip-hop. You got two bosses going at it, you dig," Santana explained. "You know what team I ride for, Dipset for life. And you know who he ride for, G-Unit. And if it ever stands a day where we can\'t stand on this couch together, then that\'s what it would be."
4. Timbo to CPR Britney Spears. There may be a light at the end of Miss Spears\' tunnel after all. After soaring to the top of the pop charts with Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado, Timberland now wants to help rekindle Spears\' failing career. Technically, it isn\'t failing at all. Didn\'t she at least sell 3 Mill last time out? Anyway, Timbo wants to work with Britney and he\'d even like to have her ex JT in on the project. "I asked Justin, \'How would you feel about me working with Britney?\' I had to ask him that," Timbo told Entertainment Weekly. "I said, \'Would you do it with me?\'" JT apparently said he\'d be willing to do it if Spears was "serious."
5. JR Writer and Dasit diss on. In case you\'re wondering, the ban stands. But, it wouldn\'t make sense not to cover Tru and Bleek and allow JR to have his say about them in this column. Achievements? Well, Writer has none. Cam is still breast-feeding him and he\'s still putting out volumes of his Writer\'s Block mixtapes. He\'s up to 4.5 or something. Anyway, he has a song going at the usual suspects. If you\'re a fan, find it yourself. It won\'t be on here. Sorry Dasit, the same goes for you buddy. The first reject from "ego trip\'s The (white) Rapper Show" has reportedly released a diss song against MC Serch. It\'s not like Serch is an icon as the VH1 titles suggest, and he did play himself several times on the show; but who the hell is Dasit to go at him or Haystak for that matter?
SOHH.com got together with some of The Notorious B.I.G.\'s friends and fans including Fat Joe, Junior Mafia and Lord Finesse, among others, to create the ultimate "What If Biggie Never Died?" list.
It\'s been nine years since the Biggie walked the Earth and his absence is most felt when looking at Hip-Hop\'s current landscape. Biggie was a true talent that raised the bar in Hip-Hop with the rare ability to rock any mic, any stage, any beat, and any crowd. He was blessed with skills that translated across state, cultural, and financial boundaries. Bigger than his name or frame, B.I.G. was larger than life. Imagine him here today and you can almost hear him say, "Man, things done changed!"
"His mother\'s heart [wouldn\'t be broken]." - Bonz Malone, hip-hop journalist
"People wouldn\'t be saying \'they\'re the best rappers since BIG died.\'" - DJ Beverly Bond, DJ/Model
"Junior Mafia\'s career would have gone a whole different way, and we\'d still be here together as one... one family like it was before." - Lil\' Cease, Junior Mafia
"There would\'ve been a Brooklyn Mint flagship store on 5th avenue, Notorious cologne, B.I.G.Bling watches by Jacob and Co., and Warning: The Video Game. There would have been Junior Mafia albums, volumes 2, 3, and 4; and "Ready to Live," the movie and so on and so on. " - Miss Info, hip-hop journalist
"Without competition, Jay-Z was allowed to build an empire... a monopoly, if you will. A Bad Boy label, with Biggie, would never have allowed that to happen so easily." - Adrian Vicente, fan
"Total would be back together." - Vita, Black Wall Street
"I probably would have worked with him more with Lil Kim and Junior Mafia." - Lord Finesse, DITC
"Jay-Z wouldn\'t have anyone to quote." - ibeblunt, SOHH
"There would more joints from my dog." - Mr. Cheeks, The Lost Boyz
"The Lox would still be signed to Bad Boy." - BK Mecca, SOHH
"Biggie and Faith celebrity makeover, just look at how incredible Fay looks now. Imagine if Hip-Hop\'s original royal couple had gone on some South Beach diet shit together? No disrespect to Faith\'s new beautiful family and her hubby Todd, but it would a been something to see." - Miss Info
"Big was the type of rapper that thrived off good music. He\'d hear something hot and be determined to make something hotter. So he\'d be at the top of his game right now. He lived off that energy to be the best." - Klepto, Junior Mafia
"I think the original Bad Boy roster would still be there cause Biggie was very influential on how things went down." - Kima, Total
"I\'d have one more friend in the world." - Bonz Malone
"Fat Joe and Biggie would have made a Twins album. I was gonna sign to Bad Boy when Biggie died and we was going do an album together. That\'s when Atlantic signed me; they gave me my own label and stole me from Puff Daddy. But I would have loved to work with BIG." - Fat Joe
"If he was still here he\'d be the realest nigga in Hip-Hop. Every time I saw him, he was so down-to-earth. No matter how big he was; no matter much he blew up, he\'d always stop and talk with you. He was never like a catty dude. He\'s still the realest nigga in the game I\'ve ever met." - Vita
"Homie would have gave people what they wanted, a whole lot of good music. Cause that\'s all Big was ever really about, he was a real humble dude who just wanted help out his people and make good music." - Banger, Junior Mafia
"Jay-Z and Cam\'ron would have been in The Commission." - Samm Wilson, fan
"He\'d see his clothing line blowing up like Puff Daddy\'s." - Mr. Cheeks
"I think that certain songs of his may not have been released. I think "Dead Wrong" would not have necessarily come out." - DJ Beverly Bond
"Lil Kim would still look like Lil Kim." - BK Mecca
"Shyne would have never signed to Bad Boy therefore making him a free man." - Samm Wilson
"The competition to be the King of New York would have been crazy. It would have been BIG, Jay, Nas, Jadakiss, 50 [Cent] ...Imagine what it would have looked like!" - Lord Finesse
Heads might grow tired of artists using and comparing themselves to The Notorious B.I.G., but Voletta Wallace isn\'t. It\'s all good as long as you ask first.
In the eight years since her son was killed, Miss Wallace has retired from teaching and is now dedicating her time to running the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation. She has also taken legal action against the LAPD, accusing the department of covering up evidence regarding her son\'s death. The killer has yet to be found and the case was declared a mistrial this past summer. Though the grief persists, Wallace has helped celebrate Big\'s life as of late. She released Biggie: Voletta Wallace Remembers Her Son in late October and co-signed Biggie Duets, which is hitting stores today. In this SOHH.com exclusive, Voletta Wallace remembers her son, and confirms both Diddy\'s support and Lil\' Kim\'s offense.
SOHH.com: As a Biggie fan, I always have issues with hearing posthumous stuff, but I was speaking to Afeni Shakur once and I realized that if anyone has a say on it, it\'s the artist\'s mother. How do you feel about hearing posthumous releases or hearing collaborations with people that didn\'t know Biggie?
Voletta Wallace: You know when I hear posthumous stuff that makes me feel good because it\'s telling me that they have a great deal of respect for my son. They love his work. They love his art. And they just want to be a part of Biggie, so it makes me feel closer to him. The only time I feel upset or violated is when they use it without asking. So when I hear something on the radio, I have to ask, "Did I give permission for that?" And sometimes they say yes, sometimes they say no. And if they say no, I really feel offended, not only offended but angry. Because I feel that it\'s downright disrespectful.
SOHH.com: Did you have a hand in Biggie Duets at all?
VW: I did give my utmost approval. The project was brought forth to me. Some of the friends I approved of and some of the friends I wanted to be on it. I know my son didn\'t have enough work for him to just have an album by himself, solo or alone. So when Puffy came up with the idea of duets, I thought it was a wonderful thing. I didn\'t know where it was going, but listening to it and the artists that came, that put their bars on it. They wanted to do it. They enjoyed doing it. This is a project that they all wanted to be a part of.
SOHH.com: I\'m assuming that Biggie\'s kids listen to his music.
VW: C.J., I don\'t know. Tyanna, my granddaughter does.
SOHH.com: How old is she?
VW: She\'s 12. I think C.J. does listen to it. They might have clean versions around. I get clean versions. I ask for clean versions.
SOHH.com: But even with the clean versions a lot of times it\'s easy to fill in the blanks.
VW: But if you have to think negative, you\'re gonna see and feel negative. If you hear a little blank put in a nice word in there. I always [used to] tell my students when I was teaching. Instead of using profanity, just say bottle. "You bottled head." "You book head." I always think positive, so I don\'t even foster the thought of the children or [that] anyone [is] gonna put in the blank with the nasty, nasty words.
SOHH.com: You said you\'ve listened to the album, is there a particular song that you like?
VW: There are a few of them that I like a lot. I like the Bob Marley piece, the Bob Marley joint. I\'m talking like you guys now. [Laughs] I always wanted Christopher to do something with Bob Marley and Jay-Z. I approached Jay-Z a few years ago and I told him that whenever I do a Biggie project I really would like to... actually I didn\'t tell him I wanted him to be on it. I told him Christopher would like for him to be on it and he said yes. Afeni [Shakur], she and I had a conversation. I gave her some of Biggie\'s work and off course. We just shared. You know you scratch my back and I scratch yours.
SOHH.com: I definitely wanted to ask you about that. You two [Afeni and Voletta] first met at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. How was the experience? What did you guys talk about?
VW: We yapped backstage like there was no tomorrow. We talked as if we knew each other for years. We\'ve communicated since.
SOHH.com: How closely do you follow the Hip-Hop scene?
VW: Not as closely as I would want to. Hip-Hop is not my life. I have other things to do. But I have a great deal of respect for Hip-Hop and its artists. But as far as going to bed, sleeping Hip-Hop, waking up with Hip-Hop, no. It\'s a culture along with its music. Music is a big part of its culture, but I\'m not Hip-Hop. But my son\'s work is there, so I\'m gonna make sure it\'s being respected.
Continue reading Voletta Wallace: My Son, Biggie.
Bad Boy Entertainment has just revealed that Diddy, 50 Cent, R. Kelly and Eminem will be appearing on The Notorious B.I.G.'s upcoming The Notorious B.I.G. Duets: The Final Chapter.
As previously reported by SOHH.com, the late Bob Marley is featured on Duets' first single, "Hold Ya Hand" featuring Clinton Sparks. Missy Elliot, Mary J Blige, Eve, Q-Tip, Ludacris, Boyz N Da Hood, T.I., Mobb Deep, Slim Thug, New Edition frontman Ralph Tresvant, Styles P, Snoop Dogg, Obie Trice and others are also scheduled to appear on the CD.
Duets marks Big's second posthumous album. Bad Boy released Born Again back in 1999. The album featured guest appearances by Snoop, Em, Busta Rhymes, Lil' Kim, Method Man, Redman, Craig Mack, G. Dep, Nas, K-Ci and Jo Jo, Ice Cube, Beanie Sigel, Black Rob, Too Short and Hot Boys.
Notorious B.I.G. Duets: The Final Chapter is due in stores Nov. 29 via Bad Boy Records.
The Notorious B.I.G. and reggae icon, Bob Marley are revived for a posthumous duet called, "Hold Ya Hand."
The single [listen: real | windows], produced by Clinton Sparks, is the fist to be released from the forthcoming The Notorious B.I.G. Duets: The Final Chapter. The duet inspired Sparks, who said he was looking for a standout concept for this important Biggie album.
"It was an honor to work on Biggie\'s last and final album," Sparks, a well-known mixtape DJ, told SOHH.com. "Given that the album is a duets album, I tried to come up with a concept that would stick out on this album for whatever song that I got placed. Concepts are what make great producers. I decided to pair up all the vocals that were given to me with icons or legends in the music biz that had already passed on as well.
"What better artist to do a collabo with than Bob Marley," added Sparks. "His music will always be timeless. I have bunch of other records in the can with Biggie and other artists who have passed on, and there is still time to make the album so I\'m submitting them now."
"Hold Ya Hand" includes a sample of Marley\'s "Johnny Was" on the hook with classic verses from B.I.G. While the album is still in production as host of contributors have been making the rounds on the rumor mill, no other information has been released.Notorious B.I.G. Duets: The Final Chapter is due in stores Nov. 29 via Bad Boy Records.
P. Diddy, Voletta Wallace and Training Day director, Antoine Fuqua are working together to bring rap icon Biggie Smalls to a theater near you.
The three, along with Big's manager Wayne Barrow and partner Mark Pitts have recruited popular Hip-Hop journalist Cheo Hodari Coker to write the film's screenplay. Coker penned the tell-all biography, Unbelievable: The Life, Death and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G.
The movie will not be a documentary like Tupac: Resurrection, but will focus on the persona behind the rapper. It will give fans a glimpse at the things Biggie enjoyed. The script is expected to be completed by the summer of '05 and while production will begin by February 2006.
However, the crew seems to be stumped over who to get to play the role of Big. "It's going to be challenging to cast a B.I.G.," states Barrow. "We've thrown a few names around, like Big O [actor Waverly W. Alford II] from 8 Mile. Maybe Anthony Anderson...because he has the humor. A few people said Guerilla Black, but we don't know how that's going to play out."
Other artists that will be portrayed in the film include Lil' Kim, Faith Evans, and Junior M.A.F.I.A..
8 years since the Great Frank White was here to excite, his clan, The Junior M.A.F.I.A. have resurfaced with a new album. Listen in as JM sits with SOHH.com to clear the air on regrouping, the Lil Kim trial, and their legendary friend/mentor the glorious Notorious B-I-G.
In 1995, when The Notorious B.I.G. became King of New York, he made room for nine of his Brooklyn peeps to sit beside him on the throne -The Junior M.A.F.I.A. But, just when their career was about to take off, tragedy struck, and Big was taken away from us all. Without their leader, the family started to drift apart; and while lead member Lil Kim moved on to solo success, most of the others faded from view. Now, core members, Lil Cease, Klept and Banger (aka Larceny) are ready to release JM's much-anticipated second album, Riot Musik on their new label Mega Media Records. Re-energized, reshaped, and refocused... Junior M.A.F.I.A, the steelo -ya'll niggas the know half!
SOHH: You're about to drop the first Junior M.A.F.I.A album in ten years. Did you feel a need to approach the music differently than you did in 1995?
Cease: Not really, it's all about just making good music. But right now it's not like it was when Big was here, because people don't listen to lyrics no more.
Banger: They listen to beats and hooks. That's it.
Cease: As long as you got a good beat and a good hook the lyrics don't matter nowadays. But on our album people get a little bit of everything. We stepped our lyrical game up, and it's good music at the same time, good hook and good beats. We're making a new thing called riot music. Like, in the South they got crunk music - in New York, we're making riot music. Real loud, real uptempo a lot of guitars, Just that type of stuff that brings good energy.
Banger: It's like rap and rock and roll. Taking off your jewelry, slamdancing and not giving a fuck.
Cease: The album is called Riot Musik, and it comes out April 19th. People ain't seen us in a while, but we've been working non-stop since the last time you saw us, so it's like we never left.
Klept: We just had a lot of issues that we needed to rectify, and we had to wait until we got into the right situation. Now we've finally got that popping with the label Mega Media Records, we hooked up with them and got a team that knows how to get things done right.
Cease: And we got Jadakiss, Method Man, Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek and Prodigy from Mobb Deep on the album. So people are gonna be happy to hear from us, especially when they hear how much niggas stepped their game up since last time.
SOHH: A lot of people are talking about The Chronicles of Junior M.A.F.I.A. DVD you put out, how did that come together?
Cease: We just wanted to put all the stories from the past out there once and for all. So when we come back, people could focus on what we're doing now. Cuz there are so many questions people are always asking, "What's up with the Bad Boy situation, with the Tupac situation, with the Kim situation?" We wanted to address all that and nip that in the bud before we even come back around. We want people to focus on what we're doing now, so we made that DVD to clear the air of all the old bullshit.
Banger: We wanted to clear the air of all that, so we can focus on our creativity and get a chance to show that we're real artists who do good music.
Cease: And it was a good thing, it made people tune into us, and it showed that people are still interested in us. So that was a good start, and if people like the DVD you're gonna love the album, cause it's just like a soundtrack to what you see on the DVD.
SOHH: So to clear the air on what's happening right now, how do you answer people who say you were snitching by testifying in Lil Kim's perjury trial?
Lil Cease: None of us was there on our own behalf, we got subpoenaed. And this not the state police, this is the federal government.
Banger: We got subpoenaed by the government, and when the government sends you those papers, you got to show up or you get locked up. The government called in everybody involved in the case, not just us but 35 different people, and we all just went up and said what we saw. We didn't see nobody bust no guns or nothing, we didn't say we saw nobody doing nothing. So I couldn't sit there and point anybody out, to incriminate a person and get them locked up. That would be snitching, and we didn't do nothing resembling that.
Lil Cease: We wasn't in there telling on her, cause she didn't do nothing for us to tell on. The people that actually did things already copped out to it, they already got sent away. So this should have been over and done already, but now she's on trial for lying to the grand jury. She said she didn't know certain people, and they got evidence together that she did know them. So we got subpoenaed and had to come in and testify again to what was already on the record. The people she said she didn't know, we know those people too. So if we didn't go up there and tell the truth that just means we go to jail. Why would I go up there and jeopardize myself like that, for someone who's not even on good terms with me, who doesn't even mess with me?
Banger: Everything we said is already known and proven. They have videotapes, phone conversations, pictures, how am I gonna go against that and go with her story, when I don't even know her story? She don't fuck with me, I don't fuck with her, so I don't even know what she said. I can only go in there and say the truth of what I saw.
Lil Cease: She did that to herself. They subpoenaed her just like they subpoenaed all of us, and they decided she was lying. If 35 people went in there and said one thing, but she said something else, that's on her. You know in federal trial situations only 1% of people ever beat the case? The only one I know who ever beat it was Gotti, and even he died in jail. So I don't know why her people decided to put her in this situation, but I hope they have something up their sleeve for her, cause we don't wish that on her. We don't want to see nobody dead or in jail.
SOHH: So moving on from that, the anniversary of Big's passing is tomorrow.
Lil Cease: Yeah, we have an anniversary tribute tomorrow night at The Roxy. We're performing with Jadakiss, Sanchez, Mr. Cheeks, Mobb Deep. We're gonna pay our respects for Big, and at the same time celebrate us coming back out with our thing.
SOHH: How do you define Big's place in history?
Banger: Big played a major part in hip-hop, he completely changed the game in such a short period of time. But for me, he was also just my nigga from the block, that I just miss and have genuine love for. Even if there was never any rap going on, I would've still been cool with him and kicked it with him, so I miss him on that level.
Cease: Big was just that dude. I want him to be remembered as that real Hip-Hop dude, that had all the success in the world, but still stayed like that, stayed as humble as possible. A real cool nigga that would do anything for anybody. You can look back on it now, look around right here, and see that he put a lot of people in positive situations.
Banger: He was so much of a good dude. Whenever you came by the crib and had a fucked up day, he would crack a joke and make you happy, buy you liquor, even have you take his bank card and get something for yourself. Whatever was the problem he had the remedy. He was just such a good, genuine dude. So I always had love for him and I still miss him.
Cease: That's how I want him to be remembered, just as that real cool, genuine dude.
SOHH: And how do you view your own legacy as Junior M.A.F.I.A?
Banger: I feel like our legacy is to carry on for Biggie and represent for him through our music. And I think now is our chance to really fulfill Big's dream for us and fulfill the opportunities he gave us. Because when Big put us on, we wasn't ready at the time; we was just little kids. We were caught up with driving big cars, making money we never seen before, and weren't really ready to make the most of what Big gave us. But this time we're gonna show you that we don't have to piggyback on nobody else, we're doing this ourselves, me, Cease and Klept. We're gonna show the world that we're serious about this craft, we're serious about making good music.
SOHH.com got together with some of The Notorious B.I.G.'s friends and fans including Junior Mafia, Total's Kima, Vita, Lord Finesse, Mr. Cheeks, Fat Joe, Bonz Malone, Miss Info, and DJ Beverly Bond to create the ultimate "What If Biggie Never Died? list."
It's been 8 years since the The Notorious B.I.G. walked the Earth and his absence is most felt when looking at Hip-Hop's current landscape. Biggie was a true talent that raised the bar in Hip-Hop with the rare ability to rock any mic, any stage, any beat, and any crowd. He was blessed with skills that translated across state, cultural, and financial boundaries. Bigger than his name or frame, B.I.G. was larger than life. Imagine him here today and you can almost hear him say, -"Man, things done changed!"
This Wednesday (Mar. 9) at New York's The Roxy, Junior Mafia will celebrate the 8th anniversary of the late great Notorious BIG's passing. Next month, JM drops their long-anticipated album, Riot Musik on their new label, Mega Media Records.
This year on the fateful day of March 9th, Junior Mafia and Mega Media Records will present The Official Tribute To The Notorious B.I.G in NYC at The Roxy. The event, hosted by comedian Michael Blackson (The African King of Comedy), will feature performances by Junior Mafia, Jadakiss, Mobb Deep and Mr. Cheeks with Busta Rhymes and Method Man as special guests. DJ Clark Kent and Big Kap will be on the wheels of steel.
Fans can grab tickets at the www.ticketalternative.com or at the box office. Advance tickets will cost $40 and heads will be charged $60 at the door -with the first 300 girls in free. A portion of the concert's proceeds will be donated to the Christopher Wallace Foundation.
Finally, BIG's Bed-Stuy homies and protégé rap group, Junior Mafia -now comprised of Lil Cease, Klept and Banger, are ready to drop their sophomore LP, Riot Musik. The album will be release on the group's own Mega Media Records on April 19th.
This week, celebrate BIG's legacy at The Official Tribute To The Notorious B.I.G at The Roxy. Next month, pick up Junior Mafia's Riot Musik in stores April 19th.
P. Diddy's Bad Boy Records will be releasing a digitally re-mastered version of The Notorious B.I.G's Ready To Die next month.
The CD/DVD is being released as a gift from Biggie to his fans and as a special thank you from Diddy to Big's mother, Ms. Volletta Wallace. The CD features a cleaner sound of classic songs like "The What" featuring Method Man, "Big Poppa," "Juicy" and "One More Chance" while the DVD contains an exclusive outdoor performance of "Unbelievable" at Outkast's Atlanta barbecue. The CD also includes unreleased classics like "Who Shot Ya" and "Dreams."
Ready To Die's re-release marks the first time "Dreams" will be available commercially.
READY TO DIE (RE-MASTERED) CD TRACKLISTING:
One of the hottest mixtapes on the streets, besides Green Lantern's Conspiracy mixtape, is DJ Vlad and Dirty Harry's collaborative effort, The Notorious B.I.G.: Rap Phenomenon. The mixtape features hot blends of classic Biggie verses over new millennium beats such as 50 Cent's "What's Up Gangsta" and the Nas' "Oochie Wally". Also included on the tape is almost Big's entire catalog featuring classic appearances and freestyles.
Being that DJ Vlad is a SOHH.com member, there was no doubt that we could get the DJ on the horn with his partner, Dirty Harry to talk about the collaboration, their history and the current status of the mixtape scene.
How did you and Dirty Harry meet?
DJ Vlad: We met through a mutual friend. I had been a big fan of Dirty Harry's work for a long time - so when we met I gave him one of my mixtape and we exchanged numbers. He liked my work also, so we started talking about doing a collabo.
What inspired you and Dirty to connect and work this Biggie mixtape?
Dirty Harry: We had the same vision for making an ultimate Biggie CD, paying tribute to him. I always try to play a Biggie track on every mixtape that I've done, and I had accumulated a few Biggie acapellas that no one else had. DJ Vlad approached me on the idea of making this mixtape and we started work on it.
DJ Vlad: My manager, Animal Steele, was connected with a bunch of magazines and TV stations. The anniversary of Biggie's death was coming up, and we figured that if we created a classic Biggie mixtape, we could get a lot of media exposure. It was a good move, because the mixtape was shown on MTV's Direct Effect, The Source, XXL and now SOHH.com.
How did it feel to be nominated in the Mixtape Awards last year?
Both: Big shout-out to Justo.
DJ Vlad: I got nominated as 'Best Reggae DJ' last year. This was the biggest 'Hip-Hop moment' I've had in my life. I had moved to NY a couple of months before to pursue my mixtape career. I had never been around all these rappers and DJ's before, and suddenly I'm sitting in the front row at the Mixtape Awards, as a nominee, around all these legendary cats I had been listing to all my life. That shit blew my mind, I still think about it all the time.
Dirty Harry: I won the Brucie B / Starchild award - a lifetime achievement award. I never thought I would win, because I had been nominated in several other categories in previous year - but had never won. It came as a big surprise to me. It was a big moment for me, and was definitely the biggest recognition I've received for doing mixtapes.
How did you get into DJing?
Dirty Harry: My uncle was a DJ, and he passed his records down to me. I started DJ when I was about 14.
DJ Vlad: I grew up a hip-hop kid, originally into break dancing. I then moved into music production, but got too frustrated working with rappers. One day I decided to make a mixtape, and I realized I found my niche.
What kind of struggles have you had to go through to get to where you're at now?
Dirty Harry: The bootlegging in NY is crazy.
DJ Vlad: No doubt - I've seen my CD's with black and white photocopied covers, with 2 second gaps between all the songs. It's the worst.
Continue reading DJ Vlad & Dirty Harry Connect for Notorius B.I.G..
Since 1999, the mother of rap legend Biggie Smalls p.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G. and The Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation have presented "A B.I.G. Night Out", a benefit dinner that raises money for the foundation and recognizes those who try to make a change in the community. This year, the event will make a special presentation to honor the mothers of slain rappers.
On March 11, the B.I.G. Heart Award will be presented to rap mothers who've lost their loved ones through tragedy including Afeni Shakur (mother of Tupac Shakur), Diane Haughton (mother of Aaliyah), Wanda Lopes (mother of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes), Connie Mizell (mother of Jam Master Jay), Gail Tirado (mother of Big Pun), Herminia Rogers (mother of Freaky Tah) and Gilda Terry (mother of Big L).
The awards will be followed by a performance by Faith Evans and special surprise guests. The B.I.G. Heart Award is given to an individual(s) or organization that exemplifies the goodwill and kindness that mirrors the Foundation's mission of giving back to the community.
For more info on The Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation and B.I.G. Night Out, check out the official website at www.cwmfonline.org.
This Sunday July 8, VH1 Emmy-nominated series Behind the Music will premiere its episode on one of the greatest Hip-Hop artists of all time, The Notorious B.I.G.. The episode will include interviews with Sean 'Puffy' Combs, Faith Evans, Voletta Wallace, Russell Simmons, Mister Cee and an exclusive first time television interview with Russell Poole, the former LAPD officer who was investigating Biggie's murder. The episode will look at Biggie's life growing up in Brooklyn, his rise to rap stardom to his tragic death in Los Angeles.
"Clearly, the department covered this whole thing up, because to reveal that LAPD officers were involved in the killing of a superstar ... it wouldn't look good for the Los Angeles department," Russell Poole said in the episode regarding his investigation.
For fans who miss the Sunday night premiere at 9pm EST, the show will also air on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Check your local listings.
On March 30, The Christopher Wallace Memorial Fund, founded by Biggie's mom Voletta Wallace, will be holding their inaugural benefit gala dinner in honor of her first and only child, The Notorious B.I.G..
Faith Evans, Biggie's widow, is scheduled to perform while other artists will be announced later. The dinner will be taking place at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, plates are tentatively going for $1,000, with a full-table going for $10,000.
The Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation helps to provide educational tools to schools and community centers in all five boroughs of New York City.