Christopher George Latore Wallace better known as The Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls, or Biggie, was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. He was noted for his loose and easy flow, dark and semi-autobiographical lyrics, and storytelling abilities which focused on crime and hardship.
Born and raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, Wallace signed to Sean "Puffy" Combs' label Bad Boy Records in 1993 and gained exposure with features on several singles the same year. His critically acclaimed debut album Ready to Die (1994), considered his magnum opus, made him a central figure in East Coast hip hop and increased New York City's visibility in the genre at a time when West Coast hip hop dominated the mainstream. The following year, he led Junior M.A.F.I.A.—a protégé group composed of his childhood friends—to chart success.