Christopher George Latore Wallace (May 21, 1972 – March 9, 1997), popularly known as Biggie Smalls (after a gangster in the 1975 film Let's Do It Again), Big Poppa, Frank White (from the film King of New York), and his primary stage name, The Notorious B.I.G., was an American rapper.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Biggie grew up during the peak years of the 1980s' crack epidemic and started dealing drugs at an early age. When Biggie debuted with the 1994 record Ready to Die, he was a central figure in the East Coast and increased New York's viability at a time when hip hop was mostly dominated by West Coast artists. The following year, Biggie led his childhood friends to chart success through his protégé group, Junior M.A.F.I.A.
While recording his second album, Biggie was heavily involved in the East Coast-West Coast hip hop feud dominating the scene at the time. On March 9, 1997, he was killed by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, California. His double-disc set Life After Death, released fifteen days later, hit #1 on the U.S. album charts and was certified Diamond in 2000. Biggie was noted for his "loose, easy flow", dark semi-autobiographical lyrics and storytelling abilities.