In hindsight, the thought that a film could have ever done justice to Christopher George Latore Wallace, the Brooklyn-born rapper who went by the names Biggie Smalls and The Notorious B.I.G. until his untimely, unsolved murder in March 1997 at the age of 24, was a foolish if exceedingly hopeful fantasy. Would any director possibly be as good at balancing blunt criticism—of masculinity, poverty, the music industry, the black experience in America and, perhaps most importantly, the subject himself —and have as big an ego as the late M.C.? Maybe Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep) but his project never came to pass.
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