The Notorious B.I.G. Included a Small Part of His Romantic History In the Background of His ‘Juicy’ Video
The Notorious B.I.G., like many other rappers, often rapped about women and sexual adventures in his music. In the music video for his hit single “Juicy,” Biggie made direct reference to his real-life love life — though with images on the screen, rather than words coming out of his mouth.
The Notorious B.I.G.’s song ‘Juicy’ was personal
In much of his music, Biggie was known for sampling other songs that he loved. His 1994 hit single “Juicy” sampled Mtume’s 1983 song “Juicy Fruit,” and contained some of the original song’s vocals. The song was the lead single off his smash debut album Ready to Die.
“This album is dedicated to all the teachers that told me I’d never amount to nothin’, to all the people that lived above the buildings that I was hustlin’ in front of [and] called the police on me when I was just tryin’ to make some money to feed my daughter,” Biggie said in the opening lines of the iconic song.
At the time of “Juicy”‘s release, Biggie was a new father with a one-year-old daughter, T’yanna Wallace. According to his friend Sean “Diddy” Combs, Biggie continued to sell drugs to support his daughter even after his career took off with his debut single “Party & Bulls—” the year prior. His relationship with his longtime girlfriend and the mother of his child, Jan Jackson, was over by the time T’yanna was born.
The Notorious B.I.G.’s baby mother Jan Jackson was alluded to in the ‘Juicy’ video
Jackson has remained largely out of the spotlight over the past three decades, and has only given a handful of interviews. In 2004, she spoke with XXL magazine about her relationship with Biggie. She even mentioned how he included a subtle nod to her in the music video for “Juicy.”
“There’s a part in the ‘Juicy” video where he’s talking on the phone and his friend is doing push-ups,” she recalled. “I met him right at that phone. We grew up a block apart in Bed-Stuy, but we never met until January of 1990.”
“I came out of the subway from work and I stopped to use the phone and he approached, ‘I always see you getting off the train, you always so serious — why don’t you smile?'” she continued. “He came in the telephone booth with me, and I’m like, ‘Can you please leave? I don’t know you!'”
Biggie didn’t give up, and Jackson was soon flattered by his gestures. “After that, every day when I got off the train, he would walk me up the block to my house. It was really sweet.”
The ‘Juicy’ video contained other Easter eggs
Today, “Juicy” remains one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time, and the music video is a timeless snapshot into the life of The Notorious B.I.G. as his career had finally taken off. It was more than bragging about where he’d arrived; it was a neighborhood-wide celebration of their boy who had made it.
The inclusion of the specific phone booth where Biggie met the mother of his first child wasn’t the only subtle shoutout in the video. At one point, his mother, Voletta Wallace, is seen holding the July 1994 copy of The Source magazine, a popular hip-hop publication at the time.
Biggie was featured in the “Unsigned Hype” section of the July 1994 issue of The Source, which spotlighted up-and-coming talent without a record deal. It was here where Biggie caught the eye of record executive and soon-to-be best friend, Sean “Diddy” Combs.