During the late 1990s when the Notorious BIG emerged as rap's top performer, detailing street life in Brooklyn on songs and albums that dominated the pop charts, his mother didn't think much of his music, which she used to call "noise." Now, she can't live without that noise. Voletta Wallace says after her son died in 1997, she connected with his music and fell in love with Christopher Wallace, the artist. "I remembered my son said, 'Don't listen to my music.' And I never listened to his music. I heard it on the radio and it sounded good, because it was clean. But I said, 'You know what, I have to. I have to listen to that music.' And that's what I did," Wallace said in a recent interview with the AP.
"I cried so much that day just listening to the music. I remember I sat, I stood. I rested my head on the stereo and I just cried like a baby. And that was therapy for me. And I said, 'Oh my God—that was a talented young man to put those words together.' He had a beautiful voice. I love his voice." Wallace details the love for the Notorious BIG as both his mother and No. 1 fan in the new, three-hour documentary, Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G. It debuts Monday on A&E. In the film, directed by Emmy nominee Mark Ford, rap acts such as Jay-Z and Nas discuss BIG's impact on hip-hop culture, and Wallace said watching those performers speak passionately about her son helped her understand his importance in music, and made her a true fan of rap music. Click for more. (Read more Notorious BIG stories.)