'Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell': what we know about The Notorious BIG documentary

The much anticipated film premieres on Netflix in March

American rapper Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls, aka Chris Wallace (1972 - 1997), rolls a cigar outside his mother's house in Brooklyn, New York, 18th January 1995.  (Photo by Clarence Davis/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

One of the year's biggest hip-hop releases will be on the small screen.

Netflix has revealed the trailer for Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell, the anticipated documentary on late US rapper The Notorious BIG, who was known by fans as Biggie.

Premiering on the platform on Monday, March 1, the production was completed with the support of the artist's – real name Christopher Wallace – estate.

Mother Voletta Wallace and collaborator, now turned entertainment mogul, Sean "Diddy" Combs are listed as executive producers and are also interviewed for the film.

The news comes four years after the documentary was first announced in 2017, under the different title Notorious BIG: One More Chance.

In an official statement at the time, Voletta said the documentary would celebrate Biggie's contribution to hip-hop and US youth culture.

“It brings so much joy to my heart that my son Christopher’s music has made such an impact on the music community,” she said.

“His stories have positively inspired so many young men and women over the years, and still influencing the youth all over the world today.”

With the documentary's promotional campaign under way, here are four other things to know about Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell.

1. A new way of telling the story

A lot of screen time has been dedicated to the rapper, with the 2009 film Notorious and the 2018 Netflix drama Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious BIG looking at Biggie's rise to stardom and his death in 1997 at the age of 24.

As the first documentary produced with the blessing of his estate, Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell should provide a fresh perspective into the life of the artist.

2. It goes back to Biggie’s roots

Previous film and literature about Biggie’s life often focused on the heady days of fame and his tragic demise, but what is less explored is how he came to be.

Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell aims to shed light on that aspect, and in turn tell a story about how hip-hop flourished in the New York borough of Brooklyn, where Biggie was born.

"We were immersed in Brooklyn in the '70s through the '90s," director Emmett Malloy told Rolling Stone.

"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.”

3. It will be close and personal

A lot of hip-hop documentaries, such as 2017's Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine tribute The Defiant Ones, come packed with star-studded guests.

The new Biggie documentary instead focuses more on quality than quantity. Since the film looks at the rapper's early days, the production is built around three in-depth interviews with mother Voletta, Combs and childhood friend Damian "D Roc" Butler.

Such an approach should give the film a certain winning intimacy.

4. The title has its own story

The film's title is inspired by the much-loved Biggie track I Got a Story to Tell.

As part of his final release, the 1997 double album Life After Death, the track details an encounter with the partner of a US basketball player. With Biggie dying two weeks before the album's release, rumours still continue to swirl on who the celebrity athlete was.