T’yanna Wallace was only 3 years old when her father, Christopher—the rapper the world recognized as the Notorious B.I.G., or Biggie Smalls—was brutally killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. I was 22 and a college senior, living across the street from his mother, Voletta Wallace, on St. James Place in Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Clinton Hill neighborhood. Our shared street soon bore graffiti that read, “We Love You, Biggie.”
In the two decades since, T’yanna’s father’s legacy and sound haven’t been diminished—in either the lexicon of American music or his influence on hip-hop culture. Last year, Diddy notoriously (pun intended) staged a sold-out concert at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn to commemorate what would’ve been the rapper’s 44th birthday, nearly 20 years after his death. Despite a minor dustup with Diddy, T’yanna Wallace was there, no doubt inspired and proud of the tangible and lasting impact her father still has on the genre and culture he left too soon.
And last night, in the borough both she and her father called home, she opened Notoriouss Clothing, a brick-and-mortar store at 514 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Heights that she intends to be “a flagship store for streetwear,” as she told Brooklyn’s News 12:
I just feel like when you listen to his music, you know he’s from Brooklyn ... I don’t really hear a lot of people coming to Brooklyn and not thinking about Biggie.
At 24, T’yanna Wallace is now the same age her father was when his life and career abruptly ended. Hopefully her empire is just beginning.