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Lil Kim, Lil Cease, Mister Cee, DJ Premier and More Describe The Notorious B.I.G. [PG.2]

Damion Butler: He was so smart that you could ask him questions like, How many miles is Pluto from Earth? And he could break it down.

Dj Mister Cee: People would be flocking to this kid like hw as the mayor of St. James Place. Everybody would be around him, and he’d be joking with the Arab store owners.

Damion Butler:  And everybody was scared of his mother. Mrs. Wallace don’t play. When we were 15 or 16 I used to stay [at Big’s house], and if we came in at, like, three in the morning, trying to tiptoe in the crib, she would be right there. She’d direct you into the living room and sit you down on the couch. And she just wouldn’t be talkin’ to Big. There would be three of us and she’d treat everybody like her son. She’d say, “Don’t come in here this late, y’all gotta be careful, you smell like reefer.” She’d just always be on us, but not in a bad way. I mean, you can’t be mad at somebody who cares, you know?

Lil’ Kim: I was with Biggie was before anybody, and he was always romantic. When you don’t have m oney, you can think of more romantic things to do. One Valentine’s Day I went over to his house and he said he was gonna buy a bunch of roses and put them on the bed, but he didn’t have enough money. So he wanted to put a bunch of pennies on the bed instead, in the shape of a heart, but he thought I’d be mad.

Damion Butler: [Big] used to [rhyme] just for us. 50 Grand had some DJ equipment in his basement, so we would go there and smoke, drink, and Biggie would just rhyme, to, like, bug out. And we used to tell him, “Yo, you kinda nice at this.”

50 Grand: There was a little church across from his hosue and every Friday night there would be little parties there. [Big] and this kid Preme used to battle each other, [but] Big was always called the nicest in the neighborhood. He rapped under the name Quest [back then]. Then he was called Big, not even Biggie. He always said it stood for Business Instead of Games.

Justice Rivera: The Whole area was telling me how nice this kid Big was.

Damion Butler:  But he never wanted a [record] deal. He always used to say, “Man, I don’t wanna rap.” Once we got old enough, we got us a little Cadillac or whatever. And then one day we made a tape that we would just ride around with in our car.

Elizabeth Butler: Chris would come to my house with Damion—and you couldn’t separate them—maybe two or three times a week, most of the time to eat. His favorite was pineapple upside-down cake. He’d call me Mom and I’d call him Babyface because he had such a baby look about him.

Carolyn Sampson: I used to study Jehovah’s Witness teachings with [Ms. Wallace]. I would go to her house every week, and I had about two sessions with Chris. He made promises to attend meetings, but he was always in his room with his friends listening to music and writing. Once he made connections with someone who would promote his [rhymes], that’s where I lost him.

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