Memphis newcomer Don Trip, might have gotten his rap moniker from Friends’ character Joey Tribbianni (he told XXL, Trip is actually a short version of Joey’s last name) but when it comes to his government name, he coincidently shares the same John Hancock as The Notorious B.I.G. That’s right, it says Christopher Wallace on Trip’s birth certificate. In celebration of Biggie Month, XXL caught up with the “Letter to My Son” hitmaker to find out what it’s like to share the same name as the beloved rap legend.—Chanel Clark
XXL: When did you find out that you and B.I.G. had the same names? Where were you?
Don Trip: I was watching TV when he died. They announced his full name.
What was your reaction?
It was spooky. Of course because I wasn’t actually watching the TV when I heard it. I actually ran in to see what was going on. I don’t know how old I was but I wasn’t aware of anybody having my name that was famous.
So how old are you now?
I’m 26 now.
So at that time you were a youngster?
Are you a big fan of B.I.G.? How has his music influenced you coming up?
Actually I was more of fan of Tupac than B.I.G.
The anniversary of Big’s death is coming up on March 9. It’ll be 15 years. I know you love ‘Pac, but do you feel that Big has inspired you in any kind of way as an artist? What was his influence on the whole game?
I think he made the game more lyrical. I think Tupac gave a lot of emotion. I think Biggie gave a lot of lyrical game to the music. I think people started using punch lines and metaphors more often after B.I.G.
Have you announced this publicly (what your real name is) or you haven’t yet? Like your fans and the people in the industry; they just know you as Don Trip? Or do they even know you’re Chris Wallace?
Hmmm, the people I have to negotiate with involving lawyers are aware. Other than that, I don’t know. I’m not ashamed of my name. I don’t hide it. If they know it, then they know it. If not, then so be it. I don’t offer it.
Could you see yourself doing a song in the future with the concept of tying yourself to B.I.G.? Doing something metaphorically?
I never thought of it. That don’t sound half bad.
Do you have any other stories you wanna share in regards to your name? Anything ironic or special happen?
Not quite. Actually now, you know when I catch flights, people tend to assume that I am Biggie’s son. I don’t know how that would be anatomically possible. But that tends to be what they ask.