Martin Lawrence Remembers The Notorious B.I.G.

Martin Lawrence thought he heard a familiar voice right over his shoulder.

“I heard you was running things,” the husky, deep voice rang out from behind a corridor. “I see you’re still running your mouth.”

“Man, say what?” Lawrence shot back, looking to see who was talking slick to him.

Just then, The Notorious B.I.G. came walking out, as Lawrence instantly matched the face to the name.

“Biggie Smalls in the house!” Lawrence shrieked. “What’s happenin,’ babay, babay!”

The sequence was part of an episode entitled, “Blow, Baby, Blow” on the comedian’s hit sitcom, Martin, which ran five seasons from 1992-1997. The episode, which had Martin’s wife Gina [played by Tisha Campbell] and her best friend Pam [portrayed by Tichina Arnold] hilariously trying to audition to be Biggie’s background singers, aired on Sept. 23, 1995.

Of course, B.I.G. was tragically murdered in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997. With March marking 15 years since the legendary rapper’s death, XXL caught up with Martin Lawrence to reminisce on meeting Biggie, how the guest appearance came about, B.I.G.’s humor and legacy. Life after death. —Mark Lelinwalla

XXLMag.com: How did B.I.G.’s cameo on Martin come about?

Martin Lawrence: The writers came up with it.  They thought it would be a cool show and they asked me if we could get him, would I be open to it? And I said yes. The rest is history.

Did you know B.I.G. before the show?

No, but I was already a big fan of his music.  I would listen to his tracks when I would drive to work.

How big of a Biggie fan were you? What’s your favorite song of his?

I was a B.I.G. fan. I like all of his stuff. I don’t really have a favorite song. They all are good and each brings different memories to me. And you can still listen to it to this day and it means something.

What do you remember about your interactions with him while shooting the episode?

He was super cool.  He came to my house before and after we shot the episode. We smoked together, laughed and talked about all things life.

Those close to him spoke highly of his sense of humor as a comedian what was his humor like?

He had a real sense of humor. It showed in the episode like he didn’t even have to try. It came really natural to him. He was having fun and you could see in the episode it came off that way. He wasn’t tripping at all. He just came in and did his thing and he was good.  We had a great time.

Of course, March marks the 15-year anniversary of Biggie’s passing. Fifteen years later, what’s his legacy in your opinion?

His legacy to me is that arguably he is one of the greatest rappers of all time.

  • drancis nasim

    dr. dre welcome to delaware and swishahouse music.welcome to the d.

  • Josh

    “I’m a fan of all his music” is pretty much what you say when you have no idea what any of someone’s music sounds like…

    • cease

      lol very true indeed. come on man,..u couldnt even say ‘big poppa’ or something? weak ass interview

    • James

      Nope! That’s what grown folk say b/c this are more complex than that.

      If you asked anyone what’s their favorite artist and you can only pick one. Or song. You’re gonna say it depends on my mood or where I’m at.

      Thing are all do simple when you a youth.

      Do some more living and keep an open mind.

  • http://xxlmag JR

    I remember Martin using a few of B.I.G. rhymes on the show. I’m sure he was familiar with his work. Larenz Tate is also said to be a B.I.G fan.

  • Diverse47

    Martin Lawrence is without a doubt the best comedian ever. Although there are a few comedians right behind him.

    • Realnigga

      Pryor????? Murphy???? Rock???? Chappelle????……come on now I love Martin like the next man but he’s definitely not the best ever….but he is a legendary comedian…..if you said he had the best show, now that definitely is arguable because everyone on that show had their own moments….probably the best black cast ever….

  • LettuceHeadGangsta

    What’s with this bullshiit about a Biggie month??? The nigga only put out 2 albums… I don’t even think 2Pac or Jay-Z has a month.

    • Biggie Fanatic

      Man fuck that. Jay-Z? His ass practically learned from Biggie. Biggie might have put out 2 albums, but he worked on 3 other albums: Lil’ Kim’s debut, Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s debut, and Puff Daddy’s “No Way Out,” so he worked on 5 different albums in a 3 year time period, that’s a lot. Not to mention the material he had planned for his third album which was supposed to be a 3 disk album. Biggie might have dropped to albums, but he was already on Pac’s level, if not above, who had 5 albums since his debut in ’91. So for a nigga to get on 2pac’s level, who was already active for 3 years, in just 2 years, I think Biggie deserves a month. B.I.G. > 2Pac anyday.

  • http://xxl Casey Sparxx

    The Notorius B.I.G was by far the best on the mic,

  • http://www.xxlmag.com TDemmi

    I always felt that the “money green leather sofa” line from Juicy was a nod to Martins bachelor pad sofa.