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Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell

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An informative origin story about Notorious, a rapper, hip-hop legend cut off too early. Netflix

Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell

“Christopher Wallace is a conscious person. He knows what the hell is going on. Notorious B.I.G., he didn’t really give a f**k. Damion “D-Roc” Damion “D-Roc” Butler, childhood friend and tour videographer.

The Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace) was a BIG influence on Hip-Hop in the ‘90’s until his death in 1997. At one point he was on equal to his friend turned enemy, Tupac Shakur, and mentor Sean “Diddy” Combs. The current origin story, Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell, tells Notorious’s story as well as it could be told by friend Emmett Malloy.

Malloy and the others who hung around Wallace before he became legend tell an endearing story of a rapper who shifted from tough street denizen, especially Fulton St. in Brooklyn, to contemplative poet of hip-hop, universally hailed as a seminal figure, recently, 2020, in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Although some of the home-footage is blurry or cut too short, the essence of the big-hearted, brilliant man is there.

Here is a doc for those who value the history of music as it grew with the bigger-than-life stars like B.I.G. The doc is short on his performances, favoring snippets rather than full performances. However, when it comes to the testimonials, including his very cool mother, it is rewarding in both facts and feeling.

His murder, shown in the last 15 minutes leaves plenty of room before it to give a loving portrait and yet presage, with such losses as Tupac’s, Notorious’s eventual demise at 24. The doc has enough of history and personal background to differentiate between the public Notorious, who was casual, anarchic and rough, and the “conscious person” who loved his mama and his two children.

His death was tragic, his life a gift.

Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell.

Director: Emmett Malloy

Writer: Sam Sweet

Cast: Sean “Diddy” Combs, et al.

Run Time: 1 h 37 m

Rating: R

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at JohnDeSando62@gmail.com

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, is host of WCBE's programs It's Movie Time and Cinema Classics, and the podcasts Back Talk and Double Take. Contact him at johndesando52@gmail.com.