When the world thinks about the icon and legend that is the Notorious B.I.G. — they may call him a storyteller, trend-setter, and arguably one of the greatest rappers to ever grace the Earth. Then, there are two blessed individuals that get to call him “dad.”
Not only does Christopher George Latore Wallace, Jr. bear his father’s name, but he has also been told how much he reflects a lot of what made the Brooklyn-native who he was. From charm to style and the ability to execute everything he puts his mind to, C.J. Wallace is the embodiment of the renowned lyrics his father once spit — “the sky is the limit.”
As the visionary behind Frank White, a purpose-driven wellness and lifestyle company created in honor of his father, Wallace continues to be one step ahead of the game with a commitment to empowering and celebrating Black culture.
“Having the ability to work closely with my grandma on the stage and building my own brand has been very insightful,” beamed Wallace during an interview with AfroTech. “For me, it’s really just realizing that my dad has really touched all corners of the Earth. So, if I had to put it into one sentence of just how blessed I am, to be able to be a part of this, I’d just say that ‘My father is bigger than life.’ He’s just larger than life and it really shows. I just love that he’s been able to stand the test of time.”
Saturday, May 21, 2022, marks what would have been the iconic rapper’s 50th birthday. With that said, Wallace can hardly contain his excitement to launch a partnership alongside the luxury car brand, Lexus. The brand, which has been featured on hits like “One More Chance” and “Hypnotize,” was just one of many made popular by the Black community through trendsetting rappers like Biggie.
The icon’s love for the luxury car brand ran deep and despite his humble beginnings, once he made it, one thing was clear: he was going to put his family and friends on, too.
Bringing It Back Full Circle
In the latest collaboration with Lexus, Wallace is on a mission to use his father’s legacy to continue to have an impact on Hip-Hop fans from all walks of life.
“I know that my dad would’ve had insane brand partnerships. It’s been a dream for me to work with companies like Lexus and to be able to wake up every day and not have to fake a story and not have to be a part of something that isn’t really impactful to me,” said Wallace. “I’m just blessed to be able to continue this family legacy with my sister, with my mother, with my grandmother, and with the people close to me. There’s nothing else I would want to do for the rest of my life and I’ve been preparing for this moment since I was really young. My grandmother has always made sure that I’ve been ready for these situations.”
The new collaboration includes a mini-documentary, filmed in his father’s hometown of Brooklyn, NY. It not only honors his legacy by looking back and reflecting on all that Biggie was able to accomplish before his life was cut short at the age of 24, but it also celebrates the now.
“Lexus came to us and really just wanted to be a part of the culture. We represent the culture in a huge way at Frank White,” he continued. “Everything we do is really to celebrate creativity and obviously to honor the legacy, but we’re celebrating Black culture at the end of the day. Black culture is American culture and Lexus has also stood the test of time.”
He continued: “Being able to work with Lexus is amazing. The new LX 600 is back, and it’s really cool that [in his songs] my dad talks about being in the LX. I actually got to drive one, which is featured in the docuseries.”
A portion of all proceeds made in the collaboration with Lexus will go to the Youth Design Center, a youth creative agency and innovation hub that “provides a gateway for young people to learn marketable hard skills in STEAM, access post-secondary education, achieve economic mobility and engage in a place-based community revitalization.”
Carrying the Torch
Along with the Lexus partnership, another way that the legacy of Biggie continues is through the metaverse.
The new activation, “The Brook,” highlights his hometown and will be an activation of Hip-Hop culture, lifestyle, music entertainment, sports and fashion. It will include an immersive digital space where users will be able to explore virtual worlds, attend virtual concerts, purchase virtual and physical merchandise, real estate as well as purchase and trade NFTs.
All in all, Wallace is just on a lifelong mission to make his father proud.
“Keeping the legacy alive with all these different ideas is the main goal for me,” the 25-year-old concluded. “The main goal for me is doing really impactful projects like the Lexus deal and things that I know my dad would have dreamed about.”