'Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell' Lifts Back the Curtain on One of Rap's All-Time Greats Directed by Emmett Malloy
Featuring Christopher Wallace, Sean Combs, Faith Evans, Voletta Wallace, Lil' Cease
Published Mar 29, 2021The Netflix documentary Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell follows Christopher Wallace — known to the world as the Notorious B.I.G., or Biggie Smalls — from his childhood living in crime-ridden Brooklyn to his brief career as a big-name rapper to his tragic unsolved murder.
Smalls was born in 1972 to single mother Voletta Wallace, who emigrated from Jamaica in pursuit of a better life for her family in America, ending up around the corner from one of the most dangerous streets in Brooklyn. Despite multiple musical mentors, like his Jamaican uncle who first introduced him to hip-hop, and his Brooklyn jazz playing neighbour, poverty led Smalls to dealing crack in '88 — when he was still only in his mid-teens.
The latter half of the film documents his rise to fame after the release of Ready to Die, his dedication to fatherhood, and supporting his ill mother — all ramping up to the mysterious late-night shoot-out that left Smalls dead at 24.
Interviews with Smalls' mother, close family friends, and fellow music industry partners paints the portrait of a shy, quiet boy growing up in a city that decided who he would become before he could choose that for himself. Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell showcases Small's immense talent and charm that ultimately cemented his influence in modern day hip-hop history, in spite of his untimely murder. (Netflix)