How The Notorious B.I.G.’s Parenting Skills Affected His Son’s Approach to Fatherhood

The Notorious B.I.G. is widely regarded as a rap legend — a status often bestowed for elder statesmen of hip-hop, despite Biggie himself only living to be 24 years old. In his young life, Christopher Wallace not only was a rapper and a leader in his community, but a father to two small children. Now, a quarter century after his death, his two children are grown adults, and carry their father’s legacy through their veins.

The Notorious B.I.G., who had a son in 1996 before his death, performing on stage in a colorful shirt
The Notorious B.I.G. | Chris Walter/WireImage

The Notorious B.I.G. had 2 children, a daughter and a son

When Biggie was in high school, he was in an on-again, off-again relationship with Jan Jackson from his neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. In 1993, as Biggie’s career was on the verge of exploding, Jackson became pregnant with their daughter, T’yanna Wallace. She was born in August 1993.

In the mid-1990s, The Notorious B.I.G. entered into a whirlwind relationship — and quickly, marriage — with up-and-coming R&B singer Faith Evans. Together, they had a son, C.J. Wallace, who took on his father’s same name: Christopher George Latore Wallace.

“He was a dedicated father; not time-wise,” Jackson said of Biggie’s parenting skills in a 2008 oral history with Blender. “But what he wanted for [T’yanna’s] future.” 

The Notorious B.I.G.’s approach to fatherhood affected his son

Biggie’s verv for parenting has since been an inspiration for C.J., who played a young version of his father in the 2008 biopic Notorious. Now 26 years, old, he hopes to have the same love of parenting one day as his dad did.

“It makes me really sad that I don’t have any memory of him,” he reflected, as written in Justin Tinsley’s 2022 book It Was All a Dream: Biggie and the World That Made Him. “But it also makes me really excited to be a father as well. I wanna have that same passion for it . . . be that happy when that moment comes.” 

“[My dad’s commitment to fatherhood] used to really kinda f*** with me. But now it’s the biggest inspiration and drive for me,” he said.

He admitted that he wasn’t sure how to discuss how it affected him for a long time. “I just didn’t know because I never talked to anybody about it,” he said. “He’s my guardian angel at the end of the day. Even when I’m somewhere I know I shouldn’t be, I still feel like he’s watching me and protecting me.” 

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In the years since his death, C.J. has worked as an actor, appearing in movies such as 2010’s Everything Must Go and 2018’s Monsters and Men as well as MTV’s Scream: Resurrection series in 2019. He also launched his own cannabis company, bonding with his father across time through their mutual love of cannabis products.

T’yanna, meanwhile, has made a name for herself as a fashion designer and as a restaurateur. In 2013, she launched her own clothing line, fittingly named Notoriouss; her father created his own fashion brand, Brooklyn Mint, in 1996. “People don’t know that side of him; he could also draw,” T’yanna said of her father’s creative tendencies in a 2019 interview with Bushwick Daily. “I got the artistic side of him, not the music side.”

In 2021, a quarter century after Biggie’s death, T’yanna joined forces with Tyra Myricks, the daughter of Run-D.M.C.’s Jam Master Jay, to launch Juicy Pizza in Los Angeles. The pizza shop was designed to celebrate New York and Biggie’s legacy, so it was only natural to have Biggie’s own daughter involved.

“The more I thought about how to bring that New York theme to Los Angeles, I felt, who represents New York more than Biggie Smalls?” Myricks said in an interview with Business Insider. “She loved it.”