March 09, 2021

Voletta Wallace Is Notorious BIG's Mother — Who She Is and Her Life after the Rapper's Death

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Voletta Wallace is the mother of one of the most influential rappers in the industry: Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls or Notorious B.I.G. She’s been working hard to keep her son’s name alive.

Even if you’re not a fan of rap music, you’ve probably listened to one or two songs of Biggie Smalls and are very likely to know that he was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in 1997.

If you are actually a fan of his music, you definitely know that the crime is still unsolved, although it’s been rumored that it might have been related to a war between East Coast and West Coast rappers.

Voletta Wallace next to the Notorious BIG's wax figure, at Madame Tussauds on October 25, 2007 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images



Ever since his passing, Voletta Wallace has been running his estate with “principles, morality, honesty,” and one thing in mind: she wouldn’t do anything that could belittle his integrity or memory.

A couple of years after Biggie Smalls’ passing, Voletta, who used to work as a schoolteacher, told The Guardian that not all of her son’s lyrics were rooted in real-life experience.


Voletta, who moved to the States from Jamaica when she was a teenager and had her son at 24, described herself as a strict mom who worked hard so that they were never in need of food or clothing.

She sent her son to a catholic school and set some ground rules in her household that included no smoking and profanity. When Biggie Smalls was 16 years old, he asked for a stereo radio box, and he’d take it everywhere.


By the time he was 21, he had already signed a deal with rap mogul Sean Combs and was one of the world's biggest rappers with a triple-platinum debut album. Sadly, his career was cut short.

With a team that includes Biggie Smalls’ widow Faith Evans and his former manager Wayne Barrow, Voletta has partnered with companies like Sprite, Mezco Toyz, and Taco Bell.

Biggie used to ask her not to listen to his music.



However, the most significant things that the Notorious B.I.G.’s mother and her team have achieved are the 2009 film “Notorious” and the 2017 documentary “Biggie: The Life of Notorious BIG.”

“Notorious” told the rapper's story, who grew up in Brooklyn and became an icon worldwide. “Biggie” included interviews with Nas and Jay-Z, who talked about the late rapper’s impact on hip-hop culture.


Most recently, Voletta Wallace approved (and worked as an executive producer of) the Netflix documentary “Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell,” which is giving fans a never-before-seen view of the late rapper’s life.

It is important to point out that the Notorious BIG’s mom and her team have plans to release another documentary and a companion album with duets, remixes, and unreleased verses.



While Voletta Wallace is now very much involved in her late son’s legacy, she admitted during an interview with the Associated Press that Biggie used to ask her not to listen to his music.

At the time, she didn’t think much of it either, as she even called it just “noise.” However, after his passing, she connected with his songs, which were therapeutic for her.


Biggie Smalls’ mom recalled crying “like a baby” the day she finally listened to her son’s music, adding that he was a talented young man for putting all his songs together.

Now, she does her best to keep fans up-to-date on everything related to Biggie through her Instagram account. This includes thanking everyone for voting for him when he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in November 2020. Way to go!


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