Notorious (2009)

“Whatever you say, Big Poppa.”
— Lil’ Kim

Despite the rash of Hollywood’s dependency of making countless biopics, I wanted to see Notorious. Based on the shortened life of Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace, Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace hands were in this film except for the sequences of Biggie’s death. She was on set except the scenes in the end.

Notorious retells Christopher’s early days with Biggie’s actual son, Christopher Jordan Wallace, but it mainly focuses on Biggie when he was seventeen (Jamal Woolard) until his death at twenty-four.

He is a drug dealer when he was in high school. There are a couple of sequences that were a little heavy-handed. The scene when he sold drugs to a pregnant woman and then the pay off at the end of the film.

Jamal Woolard is an actual rapper. When he flows to his fellow pushers or when he is in rap battle, that is actually him rapping. That was quite good.

It lays out Biggie meeting Puff Daddy (Derek Luke) and the founding of Bad Boy Records. His sexual relationship with Lil’ Kim (Naturi Naughton) — which I heard that the real Lil’ Kim did not like her portrayal in the film and his rushed marriage to Faith Evans (Antonique Smith).

It touches on the supposed “feud” between Biggie and Tupac Shakur (Anthony Mackie). The misunderstanding about the time that Tupac was shot in the first time and blaming it on Biggie. Suge Knight (Sean Ringgold) instigating the rivalry between Death Row Records and Bad Boy Entertainment.

It ends with the shooting of Biggie in LA, a couple of months after the slaying of Tupac in Las Vegas.

I remember back when the West Coast/East Coast beef was happening in ’97. I thought that it was silly. I loved the music of both Tupac and Biggie. Great talents. I think that the media blown a situation out of proportion until it spiraled out and nobody could stop the inevitable outcome. It led to two great artists gunned down in their prime. Their murders are still unsolved.

It was a solid movie. Go for Jamal Woolard and Antonique Smith. They were fantastic.

My judgment: If you are looking for an entertaining biopic about musician, go see this.

My rating: ***1/2


About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on January 21, 2009, in 2009, Biopic, Crime, Drama, Musical and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m looking forward to this one, especially because of my love of hip/hop and rap it looks a little cliche, but pretty enjoyable

  2. You should see it. It’s not an Oscar contender, but it was good. The music is the best thing in the movie.

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