Chase The Clouds Away
The timelessness of his music and the reach of his influence make it hard to believe its been a decade since the short life and career of The Notorious B.I.G. came to a violent end on the streets of Los Angeles. While Biggie left behind a catalogue of classic material full of lasting memories, we often forget that sitting on the throne as the King of New York was just his day job. Christopher Wallace was, more importantly, a husband and a father. Biggie’s legacy is now being carried through his two children, 13-year-old T’yanna and 10-year-old CJ (Christopher Junior). With today marking the 10-year anniversary of his death, T’yanna — who Biggie mentioned in songs such as, “Juicy” and “My Downfall” — spoke with XXLMag.com about her father, his impact and how she coped with losing him at a young age.How has growing up without your father affected your life?
I can’t explain it. It’s not good but it’s not bad. Do you know what I’m trying to say? I guess it’s not bad because the fans support [me] a lot, but it’s not good because I wish he were here.
Do you have any memories of your father?
I don’t really have a lot of memories because I was really young, but I just know that he was always there with me and we hung out a lot. He loved me a lot.
How does it feel to be immortalized in some of your father’s most popular songs?
It feels good. That definitely lets me know that he really loved me. I know all parents love their kids, but that is real love right there.
Do you sing or rap? Would you ever consider going into the music business?
No. Maybe producing or writing, but not rapping or singing.
So you have don’t have an interest in the performance side of the business?
No, I just can’t sing or rap [laughs].
What is your favorite Biggie song?
I think I’m gonna have to choose “Warning.”
Any particular reason why?
I love it because the story is so entertaining. Every time I listen to that song I’m just like, ‘Wow, that was a great story.’
I’m sure you’re the No. 1 Biggie fan, but who is your favorite current rapper?
I can’t just pick one, but I like T.I., Young Jeezy, The Game and Jay-Z.
Your grandmother comes across as a very strong woman. Do you notice anything about her personality that was similar to your dad?
I honestly see more of my dad in me than in her. I act more like him than she does, as far as looks, and personality. Yeah, I’m more like him than she is.
Do people ever approach you and ask you if your Biggie’s daughter?
Yeah, some people. It’s different because I’m a girl and they’ll be like, “I think that’s her, but I don’t know.” But it happens.
Is there anything about your dad that the general public may not know?
He was a very jokey-jokey kind of guy. When you listen to him, you think he’s all tough, hard and rough. But he was sensitive, always sarcastic and just a funny person. He had a lot of charisma.