Notorious B.I.G.'s Son C.J. Wallace Says 'People Often Forget' Dad 'Was Human With a Good Heart'
Notorious B.I.G. will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday
On Saturday, the hip hop legend (né Christopher George Latore Wallace) will be posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to commemorate his more than 25 years of musical excellence. He was killed in 1997 at age 24.
C.J. Wallace — whose mother is singer Faith Evans — opened up to People (the TV Show!) about his father's legacy and the incredible feeling of seeing his receive such an esteemed honor. (The late star is also dad to one daughter, T'yanna Wallace.)
"It's a huge year and for it to end this way — if he were here, he would be delighted," the 24-year-old told the show's host Lawrence K. Jackson ahead of Saturday's induction ceremony. "It's about time. He deserves it. He's an icon in his own and he deserves to be mentioned among other icons."
Willie Mack; Getty Images C.J. Wallace, his dad Biggie Smalls
"People often forget that he was human. He was a regular guy," C.J. says of his father. "He loved to make people laugh. He loved to care for his people and do as much as he could for his friends and family. The Hip Hop Mount Rushmore — he is for sure on that list."
"He is this huge iconic figure and it's hard to separate the human from the icon sometimes," he adds "If the world doesn't know anything about Christopher Wallace, it's definitely that he had a good heart and he was a great spirit."
C.J. tells PEOPLE that his dad would have had an amazing reaction to his Rock Hall induction if he were alive today.
"Other than making a joke because he had the biggest sense of humor, he would be proud to see how far hip hop, Black culture and the inspiration of Black culture has come," he says.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Biggie Smalls - The Notorious B.I.G.
C.J. is ecstatic to see his dad memorialized alongside Houston, a late star who is also dear to his heart. She died in 2012.
"Whitney is close family to our family," he says. "It's beautiful to have almost two family members in the same class. He would be honored and happy to have this incredible class."
Willie Mack C.J. Wallace
Biggie, the original King of New York, was incredibly close to another music legend — Sean "Diddy" Combs (a.k.a. Puff Daddy) — who signed him to his label, Bad Boy Records, in 1993. C.J. says he'll always acknowledge Diddy's influence on his father's career.
Biggie Smalls and Diddy attend the 11th Annual Soul Train Music Awards
"Without Puff, there is no B.I.G., there really isn't," C.J. says. "I feel that Puff doesn't get a lot of credit when it comes to how he was able to build B.I.G.'s character."
"They were brothers. [My dad] didn't have a lot of people that he could trust at that time and they linked together, along with his Junior M.A.F.I.A. brothers, and they changed the world," he adds.
Biggie Smalls and Diddy
He also adds that his father always loved native Jamaican food and stayed in touch with his Caribbean roots.
"My grandma always tells me stories about him calling her at strange hours of the night asking for her rice and peas recipe," he recounts.
Biggie's son C.J. and daughter T'yanna hope to continue their father's important legacy.
Willie Mack C.J. Wallace
"It's important, especially for our family," he say. "It's why I started my company. It's why I'm doing Think BIG and all of these different things to really keep [his] name alive and continue to take it to new heights."
"It means everything [to us]. [Like] my sister's clothing line, Notoriouss Clothing, she's killing it and always doing really dope stuff and collaborating with really cool underground people," he adds. "There are a lot of great artists [and] painters. I have so many pieces that I need to frame, [like] dope Biggie art and collectible items."
The 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will air Saturday at 8 p.m. local time on HBO and stream on HBO Max. The celebration was originally scheduled for May 2, but plans changed due to the coronavirus pandemic.