Brooklyn Rapper to Play Notorious B.I.G.

Biggie is coming to the big screen, according to Reuters. Jamal Woolard, a Brooklyn-based rapper, will play the late rap icon Biggie Smalls, a.k.a. the Notorious B.I.G., in the upcoming biopic Notorious. He passed the open casting call last fall. Like Biggie, Mr. Woolard was a drug dealer before he became a rapper. Also known as Gravy, he has released a number of albums, though he’s perhaps best known for being shot before a radio appearance outside the New York hip-hop station Hot 97 two years ago, after which he proceeded with the interview and became a part of hip-hop lore. Biggie’s mom, Voletta Wallace, cited “Jamal’s charming personality, warm spirit, wonderful sense of humor and beautiful smile” as reasons for the casting. “He is a talented and charismatic actor, and I am excited that he will bring Christopher’s character to life.” Derek Luke will play P. Diddy and Anthony Mackie will play Tupac Shakur. Angela Basset is set to play Biggie’s mom. The movie is set for release next January.

Brooklyn Rapper to Play Notorious B.I.G.