Can we say, “like father, like son”? Perhaps, as with the case of CJ Wallace who is the scion of slain East Coast hip hop icon, The Notorious B.I.G. CJ Wallace is currently working on his debut album, having formed a rap group with his half-brother Joshua Jahad Russaw. Wallace said, “At a young age I always knew I wanted to do music, it was inevitable. My family have always had my back, whatever I’ve wanted to do they’ve supported. They were always giving me advice on what to do and how to go about things.” Hopefully the kind of lyrics that he pens will be a reflection of the skill and finesse that Biggie Smalls, being noted for a loose and easy flow without sacrificing on semi-autobiographical lyrics and storytelling abilities.
The Evening Standard claimed that CJ Wallace, who played his father in 2009 biopic Notorious, as well as Russaw, have been holed up in a studio for the past few months. 2017 is going to be big for the hip hop scene in one sense, since the two intend to release the fruit of their vocal chords and penning skills in the form of an album some time later this year.
Apart from that, Wallace has plans to dive into filmmaking as well, working on a project that will concern autism. After all, this is a condition that is close to Wallace’s heart, having affected his youngest half brother. Wallace bared his heart, “I’d like to tell the story of what he is going through. A lot of people don’t understand the issue. I want to bring awareness to that and special needs in general.” Well, all the best to CJ Wallace, and we do hope that he will be able to find his very own rapping style that will help lead him out from under his late father’s shadow.
The Notorious B.I.G. is a rapper who is otherwise known as Christopher George Latore Wallace, and has been deemed by many to be one of the greatest as well as most influential rappers to date. He died a tragic death though, being killed by an anonymous assassin in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997. That brought and end to his life of less than a quarter of a century, which I am quite sure that the world of music would have been all the more rich if he had remained alive. Imagine the kind of lyrics that he would have penned if he emerged well and alive from that drive-by shooting.
Having been raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, The Notorious BI.G. rolled out his debut album in 1994, which was "Ready to Die". That was certainly strangely prophetic in a sense, and the way in which he broke onto the scene could not have happened in a timelier manner, with the East Coast hip hop scene on the rise to challenge the dominant West Coast hip hop scene. In 1995, The Notorious B.I.G. continued to assist his childhood friends in the form of a chart topping protégé group, Junior M.A.F.I.A.
No doubt that he gained far more fame after his death compared to while he was living, but the question remains. What would have happened to the hip hop scene had he not die? Would he have attained a degree of music immortality along the way, or would he have burned out and faded into the background? This is one particular question that has no answer, but one thing is for sure. His double-disc album, Life After Death, was released 16 days after he died and it promptly hit the No. 1 spot on the U.S. album charts, having been certified Diamond in 2000 by the Recording Industry Association of America.