Christopher Wallace, A.K.A., Biggie Smalls (Image Source)
Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the death of rapper Biggie Smalls, the Notorious B.I.G. It’s bizarre to me that it’s been two decades already. Perhaps even more jarring is the fact I’ve outlived him by over a decade since he was only 24 when killed. His murder remains unsolved, and continues to generate controversy. From Complex:
The identity of the person who murdered Notorious B.I.G. is one of hip-hop’s greatest unsolved mysteries. Christopher Wallace was gunned down in a Los Angeles drive-by March 9, 1997 while sitting in a Chevy Suburban. He had performed earlier that night at the Soul Train Awards.
Four years ago, Complex reported that a retired detective who spent three years on the case, Greg Kading, was confident a man named Wardell Fouse—a.k.a Darnell Bolton a.k.a. “Poochie”—was the man behind the trigger. Fouse reportedly received $13,000 for committing the murder of the 24-year-old Wallace.
On the 20th anniversary of Biggie’s death, his mother, Voletta Wallace, 64, spoke with the Daily Mail. In a fascinating interview, she said she still hurts “every single day” about the death of her son.
“I have a very good idea who murdered Christopher and I genuinely believe that the LAPD know exactly who did too,” Wallace said. “As a family, we’ve collectedly grieved and it doesn’t ever get any better for us.”
Interestingly, she also questions why LAPD has not solved the case yet.
“They’ve done their investigation, but they just refuse to move forward,” she said. “I don’t know why they haven’t arrested who was involved. It seems to me that it’s one giant conspiracy, and someone is definitely being protected somewhere down the line.”
Conspiracy theories have surrounded the murders of both Biggie and his West Coast rival, Tupac Shakur, since they were killed six months apart. When it comes to Biggie’s death, the roles of Diddy and Suge Knight are frequently questioned.
Voletta was a single mom and worked as a preschool teacher.
“It hurts me every single day to know what happened to Christopher and that I won’t see him ever again,” she told Daily Mail.
She added that the family has “collectedly grieved and it doesn’t ever get any better for us.”
I always found Biggie’s album titles fascinating… and perhaps, prophetic: Ready to Die, released in 1994, and Life After Death, which was released just sixteen days after his death.
Part of my devotional reading for today came from “Lent with St. Francis” by Diane M. Houdek. From page 66:
We see it differently at different times in our life. When we’re young, death is an infrequent and scary interruption of our life. When we’re old, we sometimes feel like we’ve seen too much death over the course of a long life, and it seems almost unbearable in its familiarity.
The promis of resurrection at the heart of our faith allows us to celebrate our loved ones even in their passing, because we know that life, not death, is the final reality.
Life after death, indeed.
F.Y.I., although there are a ton of Biggie songs I love (I was definitely in a B.I.G. tee today, lol), I think the one I’ve played the most over the last few years, which for me have been the most heartbreakingly painful, is “Sky’s The Limit.” And I’ll include the video below, because where else will you get a Lenten post that mentions St. Francis and Biggie Smalls?