Voletta Wallace is a living Hip-Hop martyr, albeit one bent on bringing murderers to justice. Christopher Wallace, professionally known as The Notorious B.I.G., was brutally stripped of life almost a decade ago, forever wounding her soul. But there is hope for Ms. Wallace's spirit to be mended. Healing may come as Ms. Wallace moves extremely close to finding justice for Biggie. Seemingly single-handedly, she's moving mountains and uncovering an alleged Los Angeles City underbelly that makes Film Noir look like Disney. But as Voletta Wallace challenges these forces, she also takes time to release celebratory tributes to her son. Her book, Biggie, along with the well-received Biggie Duets album are keeping her son's incredible life in perspective.In between all this activity, Biggie's mother took time to share some of her reactions to recent media coverage, some insights to her book, and some of the difficulties of running the estate of Brooklyn's forever burning-bright star.
AllHipHop.com: Can you tell us a little bit about the book that we might not know on the surface?
Voletta Wallace: It tells the story of myself as a little girl and growing up in Jamaica. I was born in Jamaica. I write about America. I see America. I see Paris. I see London. And I see other islands, but I was attracted to the United States. It painted a beautiful picture of a country that I wanted to come to. I wanted to come here to further my education, to get a life, to marry and have lots of children. But unfortunately, it didn't happen. It tells of my life with my son, my little baby, growing up. What I wanted for him and what he wanted for himself. And I'm sure, as a mother, I was disappointed. Then it went on to tell about his friends and his associates and his business, which at first I never approved of. But in the end, I [learn] to accept it, and grasp it and give my blessings and my love. But for some reason at the pinnacle of his career, at the point where he was supposed to make it big - it never happened. He was was gunned down and that's the sad part.
AllHipHop.com: Do you regret coming to America?
Voletta Wallace: Oh no, no, no. I don't regret coming to America. I grew up here. I matured here. I became a woman here, I went to school here. Jamaica is...education was very expensive. Here in this country, you can get a High School equivalence, and enroll in college through a variety of grants. And if you work, you can pay your way out. I had my family here. So I have no regrets. If I had to do it all over again, I'd put a little dot up there and cross my t's a little longer. But I'm very comfortable with my life.
AllHipHop.com: How are his children these days? We see them smiling in the awards shows and video shows...
Voletta Wallace: His children are wonderful. CJ is 9. He just turned 9 on the 29th of October. And Tiana is 12. She turned 12 on August 10th. They are healthy and happy and wonderful children.
AllHipHop.com: As you write this book, how do you feel about the existing books on your son's life?
Voletta Wallace: That's another reason why I wrote the book: there are so many books out there, and I was never a part of it. And I was asked a question in regards to the book and but I was not a part of it. So I said hey what better person to put out a book. This book is the truth. The honest truth that came from the heart.
AllHipHop.com: What about some of the documentaries? I know there was one in particular that was called Tupac and Biggie. You where in that one with Nick Bloomfield.
Voletta Wallace: Yes, I helped Nick 'cause from the time when he was doing it because it was a project that was going to help solve the murder. And believe it or not that documentary opened a whole can of worms. And some of the information that was in Nick's documentary, we used some of that in [case]. 'Cause he interviewed [hard to reach people], and he's been to places that police officers never went.
AllHipHop.com: On that note, Rolling Stone just published an incredible story, a long story...
Voletta Wallace: I read the story.
AllHipHop.com : What did you think about it?
Voletta Wallace: I wasn't in shock. 'Cause I would say that most part of the article, I was very much aware of and it was bought out in court. There where few things that shocked me in the piece but it just to show you, who can you trust. And when your suppose to be putting your faith and your trust in someone to help you solve the crime they are the ones who are the criminals.
AllHipHop.com: What shocked you the most about it?
Voletta Wallace: There was a name that was brought out that was affiliated with one of the crooks. And it was shocking to know that this person knows that person.
AllHipHop.com: Now in Hip-Hop there is an unwritten rule, and this is in the streets in general, there is a code of silence. Rolling Stone suggested taht Diddy and some other dudes where involved in that code of silence. How do you feel about that?
Voletta Wallace: Ronald Sullivan asked me that same question. If, Puffy, Diddy, Sean Combs, knows something about my son and is trying to hide it, it will be brought to justice. It will be exposed. And as a friend of my son, I'd consider him lower then low. If, he was involved in it or anyone! Anyone that I'm associated with and I considered a close friend or associate who is suppose to be Christopher's friend and if they know and they are not talking...Now if they know and they are not talking because their lives are in jeopardy or in danger. I think the least they could say to me...'cause I remember once I approached someone and they said they don't know much but even if they did they wouldn't even say because their children's lives is being in danger. So at least he was honest. But this was a life that was taken and people are dying because of that. If you know something you need to come forward.
AllHipHop.com: That story said you might bankrupt the city if your suite is successful...
Voletta Wallace: We'll see...we'll see. All I want, all I ever wanted is justice for my sons death. All I ever wanted was the truth. And that's not asking too much.
AllHipHop.com: What happened to the film on Biggie's life?
Voletta Wallace:The film on Christopher Wallace, the Notorious B.I.G., we will start production early next year. It's funded through Fox/Searchlight and direct by Antwon Fuqua - a very nice director. He's very talented. Who is gonna play Biggie, I don't know yet. Who is gonna play me, I don't know yet. But we are in the process of casting now. So hopefully soon.
AllHipHop.com: So I guess Guerrilla Black is out?
Voletta Wallace: Oh please! Out!
AllHipHop.com: So how's your relationship with [Lil'] Cease. I heard you on the radio a couple of weeks ago...
Voletta Wallace: Telling Cease to mind his damn business. And I will tell Lil' Cease to mind his damn business among other people. And anyone that puts their nose into my business, I will tell them to mind their own damn business. Because trust me, like I said, the estate is challenging, but I can handle myself. I can handle my business and if I need help, trust me, I'll seek professionals to help me. But Lil' Cease, he talks, he doesn't think. But he comes around, and he apologies. Because he put his foot where it didn't belong and shouldn't belong. And I gotta speak my mind. And Puffy is not too big that I can't handle him. I can handle Puffy. And you gonna ask about Lil' Kim. Lil' Kim is in jail, and I'm sure she is nice and warm and comfortable. And I wish her well.
AllHipHop.com: Don't you think most of those people are trying to do the right thing but in there own way so to speak. I mean they all love Biggie...
Voletta Wallace: In their own way. But sometimes when you love, you show that love in ways that's nauseating. She loves comes from here and when you love someone you don't hurt them, you don't hurt the family. If you love you don't hurt you think.
And what they where doing, those many people who claim to love my son. they where not thinking of the the family. Christopher is my son. And he's not here to defend himself. So if you love him, do that and get on with your life. The world does not need to know that you're having sardines for dinner, or caviar. Get on, spit some good music and let us all dance and enjoy and stop giving us headache for crying out loud.
AllHipHop.com: How was the industry changed you? You can't come into the industry without it changing you.
Voletta Wallace: It's turned me into a nasty mean old woman. Don't take 'no' for an answer and get business done. Get to know people. I know a lot. People don't know it but I do. It makes me stronger. I'm a good business person.
AllHipHop.com: Last question, so what's the current status of the lawsuit. I know there was a mistrial.
Voletta Wallace: Yes it was declared a mistrial in summer. So our attorneys are starting all over again based on the information that was brought to light. So hopefully by early next year we will be out there.
AllHipHop.com: They've held over the documents?
Voletta Wallace: I hope so.
AllHipHop.com: No chance if you letting us know what was in them?
Voletta Wallace: No, come to court. You're gonna get a lot of juicy stuff in court. It's gonna be a shocker.