Four years in the making, Netflix has shared the trailer for Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell, the first estate-approved documentary about the Notorious B.I.G.
The legendary rapper’s mother Voletta Wallace and close collaborator Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs are among the documentary’s producers, with both providing exclusive interviews for the film. The film premieres on the streaming service on March 1st.
I Got a Story to Tell was first announced in 2017 (with the title One More Chance), but only recently completed. “The running joke about documentary films is often how long they take to make. This film lived up to all those stereotypes, taking us four years to develop and make it,” director Emmett Malloy said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “Through those years we were immersed in Brooklyn in the 70s through the 90s. It is easy to see how much Brooklyn has changed since Christopher Wallace was a kid, but it’s also clear that many things about being a young black man in this country have not changed.”
Notorious B.I.G.’s former manager and current estate manager Wayne Barrow also serves as executive producer on the film. “Mama Wallace and I had a conversation about creating the first Estate sanctioned documentary about BIG’s life and the initial thought was to have the story told from the perspective of his fans globally and how they were inspired by him and his music,” Barrow said in a statement.
The story of Notorious B.I.G. has been told multiple times but with one note and we felt it was important to delve into the mind of Christopher Wallace, tapping into the influences in his life as a young man that inspired his creativity, his ability to stimulate and evoke emotion with his visually stimulating word play and flow in a way that was authentic and compelling..
Much of I Got a Story to Tell’s early video footage comes from the archives of and interviews with the rapper’s childhood friend Damian “D Roc” Butler. “Big was always a visionary. There will never be such a crazy time in Brooklyn as the 80’s and 90’s, out of great struggle, comes great art and music. The Brooklyn kid rapping today won’t have the same stories we have to tell,” D Roc said in a statement to Rolling Stone, adding that with the documentary, “fans see Big was an artist before he was a rapper.”
The Notorious B.I.G. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in November 2020, with Puff Daddy paying tribute to the rapper during the virtual ceremony.
“In the wake of the Notorious B.I.G.’s landmark induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and ahead of what would have been his 50th birthday, Biggie: I Got A Story To Tell offers a fresh look at one of the greatest, most influential rappers of all time by those who knew him best,” Netflix said of the film.
“Made in collaboration with Biggie’s estate, I Got A Story To Tell is an intimate rendering of a man whose rapid ascent and tragic end has been at the center of rap lore for more than twenty years. This intimate documentary features rare footage filmed by his best friend Damion ‘D-Roc’ Butler and new interviews with his closest friends and family, revealing a side of Christopher Wallace that the world never knew.”