The tale of two Biggies
is the tale of two rappers with the same name, and with one of them having to change his rap name. It dates to back to the early to mid 1990's when legendary Brooklyn rapper Biggie Smalls
of Puff Daddy
's Bad Boy Records
fame first arrived on the scene to some confusion among hip-hop fans at the time who were familiar with the other existing rapper named Biggy Smallz
who was Thug Life
affiliated. That Biggy started out a bit earlier in his rap career, beginning in 1991 at a young age.
Both rappers had drawn inspiration for their names from the 1975 movie Let's Do It Again
and its character Biggie Smalls that was played by Calvin Lockhart
. So by the time the Biggie born Christopher Wallace
arrived on the rap map the other Biggy Smallz was already out there releasing hip-hop singles including 1993's "Cruisin" which, like 1994's "Nobody Rides For Free," was also produced by Johnny "J"
who was also producing for 2Pac - an affiliation that he is best known for. Reportedly it was Tupac Shakur who asked Christopher Wallace to change his name from Biggie Smalls to avoid confusion with his Thug Life buddy Biggy. Hence Christopher Wallace officially
became The Notorious B.I.G.
before releasing his major label debut. Although since some have suggested that it was not Pac's request for the name change but rather fear of legal copyright infringement from the producers of the Let's Do It Again
movie that was the real reason for Wallace changing his name.