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About The Production
The extraordinary life and legacy of Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace, along with his untimely death at the age of 24 at the height of his creative power just as he was getting started, have long made him one of music's most enigmatic icons. Known as a raw, impassioned poet of the streets who gave a resounding baritone voice to the inner city voiceless and whose powerful influence continues to be heard across the whole spectrum of contemporary hip-hop music, Notorious B.I.G. (also known as Biggie and Biggie Smalls) has become a lasting legend. More than a decade after his death, kids are still memorizing every word on his records, artists are still inspired by his swagger, style and ability to capture the drama of urban city life in whiplash wordplay, and the world is still riveted by a story rife with music, glamour, danger and improbable dreams realized.

But who was the real man – the son, father, husband, friend and artist – behind that legend? NOTORIOUS, a film sparked by a trio of producers who knew Christopher Wallace intimately – his mother, Voletta Wallace, and his former managers, Wayne Barrow and Mark Pitts -- tackles that compelling question and explores the profound importance of Biggie's music at the same time getting to the heart of his humanity. In the decade following Biggie's still unsolved murder, numerous people approached Voletta Wallace, as well as Barrow and Pitts, with plans for making a movie about the rapper's volatile and vibrant life. For all those years they said "no” – wanting to assure that any film about him would be as authentic and true to raw reality as The Notorious B.I.G. was in his own storytelling.

Their hope was that one day they would be able to make a movie that would not censor or sensationalize Christopher Wallace's life, but rather unfold the full complexity of the man – the good and the bad, the beauty and the brutality – and ensure that the whole scope of his journey from the streets to manhood was preserved respectfully and artistically. Wallace, Barrow, and Pitts were finally able to do that by producing NOTORIOUS themselves.

"People listen to his music and that's what they know, but that's not the only thing we wanted people to walk away from with this movie,” Barrow says of the threesome's hopes for the film. "We wanted audiences to walk away with a picture of exactly what Ms. Wallace raised her son to be: Christopher Wallace, the man.”

Wallace was born on May 21, 1972 and grew up in one of Brooklyn's poorest and toughest neighborhoods, Bedford Stuysvesant. He revealed a talent for rapping at a very young age and was already recording by the time he was a teenager. Although he was a smart and accomplished student, at the age of 17, attracted to the fast cash and high lifestyles of the drug dealers he saw around him, he dropped out to lead a life on the streets. Becoming a father only heightened his ambition to make ends meet by whatever means necessary. But when a demo tape he made fell into the hands of rap's rapidly rising producer, Sean "Puffy” Combs, those means changed radically. Combs signed Biggie instantly and made his rocketing success the cornerstone of his new Bad Boy Records.

First known as "Biggie Smalls,” then as "The Notorious B.I.G.,” Wallace won a massive following by spinning funny, gritty tales of the real violence he'd encountered on the streets, painting a sometimes shocking, but always deeply true, portrait of inner city America. His rare mix of complete street credibility and undeniable commercial appeal reinvigorated the entire hip-hop world, raising the bar on its lyrics and helping to make the culture profoundly relevant again. After racking up a number of hits and becoming the biggest solo male act on both the pop and R&B charts, it seemed that The Notorious B.I.G. was just beginning an incredible and unprecedent

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