It’s been 25 years since the tragic murder of famed rapper Notorious B.I.G., who was shot to death in an SUV after leaving a party in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 7, 1997. At the time of his death, the late rapper, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, had just welcomed a son, C.J. Wallace, into the world with singer Faith Evans, 48. On Friday, May 20, Notorious B.I.G.’s son — along with Faith and a slew of other rappers who knew and loved the rap legend — got together to celebrate, what would have been, B.I.G.’s 50th birthday. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY to his C.J., 25, about his father’s legacy and what he would get him for a birthday present if he were still alive.
When asked how he continues to honor his dad, C.J. said, “I continue to celebrate him and tell a different story. I continue to honor his legacy in different ways.” C.J. went on to give his thoughts on why B.I.G.’s music has continued to live on long after his death. “That is what I want. It is supposed to continually reach all of the people it is supposed to reach. Every year it is just getting crazier and crazier,” he said. When asked if he had a favorite B.I.G. song, C.J. said that he cannot just pick one. “I can’t just pick one. I can never pick one, no matter how many times I am asked. Tonight I am thinking about ‘Mo Money Mo Problems.’ I am thinking about ‘Machine Gun Funk.’ I am thinking about the unheard remixes that no one knows about.”
When B.I.G. was murdered, C.J. was only four months old. Needless to say, he never really got a chance to know his father. Yet, C.J. said that he is constantly inspired by him. “He definitely keeps me sane. Sometimes I just listen to his music and I think about what he would have done in certain situations.” When asked by HollywoodLife what he would get B.I.G. for his 50th, which would have been on May 21, C.J. told us, “I would give him a hug. I would just want to be around him as much as possible and soak up as much as I could from him.”
Aside from Faith and C.J., a ton of other faces who are prominent in the rap community came out to show their respect, including Lil Kim, 47, Fat Joe, 51, and Lil’ Cease, 44, of Junior M.A.F.I.A., who was in the car with B.I.G. when the fatal shots were fired. HollywoodLife also spoke to Fat Joe, to ask what he would gift his fallen friend if he were here today. In an EXCLUSIVE interview, Fat Joe said that he would give B.I.G. love for his 50th birthday present. “Love. I would give him nothing but love,” he told us. The party — which was sponsored by Lexus and Pepsi — was held at Guastavino’s restaurant, in New York City.