CJ Wallace, son of Notorious B.I.G., discusses designing a legacy

The son talks about the father’s legacy and emulating him
Photo courtesy of Eduardo Donoso

Christopher “CJ” Wallace is an entrepreneur, actor, photographer and producer. The only son of the late Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace and superstar songstress Faith Evans, CJ is on a lifetime quest to expand his father’s legacy beyond The Notorious and share the fuller story of Christopher Wallace the young Black man, artist, writer and poet who changed and inspired the world.

Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey and why you went in that direction.

It’s always been a dream to have a team of people that I know and respect, working with me and working to help me bring my dreams to life. I can’t say why, but I guess it’s in my DNA. My parents did the same thing. My dad had a team, my mom always had a team around her so I guess it’s in my … genes.

How do you plan to impact the urban Black culture through your brand?

With a lot of different ideas, and collaborations. I’m really excited to announce that we’re doing a collaboration with Lexus, that’s definitely huge for our culture. That is something my dad would have aspired for; he always talked about Lexus and was a huge fan. He drove a Lexus and he mentioned it in his records. It’s a full-circle moment for me to actually work with them. We also did a mini-documentary talking about the impact of legacy and how they’re two iconic brands coming together, being able to stand the test of time, and their impact on hip-hop and being part of Black culture.  

What legacy do you want to leave behind?

I want my legacy to be everlasting. I definitely want my kids to be proud of who their dad is. I get to honor my dad every day and not a day goes by where I don’t think about it. I guess I want that same effect, but, obviously, I would do it in my own way. My dad was one of the greatest poets, writers, rappers and artists. Apparently, he was a great drawer, designer and graffiti artist [too]. I’ve learned so much about him, and want to have similar never-ending titles like him. He was a multi-mogul and a genius. 

What is the importance of building generational wealth in the Black community?

For me, it really starts with family. I’m lucky to have my grandmother and my great-grandmother in my life. A lot of my family’s from Jamaica on my dad’s side and my great-grandma is turning 100 this year. I’m glad to be able to go to Jamaica, see her and ask her questions about her life, how things are different and what she’s lived through. For her to still have her health and knowledge of self is really impactful to me. I want to build something like that for my grandkids and great-grandkids one day, and build on this legacy that my sister and I have. 

– jacquelene clarke

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