Rapper Christopher Wallace and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg were both born in Brooklyn, and both were dubbed “notorious.” Wallace, of course, as the Notorious B.I.G. And decades into her career, Ginsberg was dubbed “The Notorious R.B.G.” in a clear reference to the fallen MC.
Biggie’s 23-year-old son, C.J. Wallace told the 3rd hour of TODAY Thursday (Oct. 1) that his dad would’ve been happy to share the “Notorious” title with Ginsburg, a fellow Brooklyn native.
“Brooklyn, New York, represents no fear, confidence, and speaking your truth, and my dad and Justice Ginsburg lived those words,” Wallace told TODAY in a statement. “I think he would be honored to share the ‘Notorious’ title with her, and it’s up to us to honor their legacies by continuing to fight for equality and justice for all by voting and getting into good trouble.”
The Notorious B.I.G. was murdered in 1997 at the age of 24. The rapper was shot in a drive-by shooting. Ginsburg succumbed to pancreatic cancer on Sept. 18 at 87 years old.
A popular picture of Biggie Smalls wearing a gold crown was re-created with Ginsburg’s image and was used for the cover of the 2015 book “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik. (Knizhnik, as a second-year law student at New York University at the time, coined the moniker on a Tumblr blog.)
Back in 2017, Ginsburg talked about her connection to the “Hypnotize” rapper and the origins of her nickname. “I think about how this Notorious RBG was created,” she said. “People ask me, don’t you feel uncomfortable with a name like the Notorious B.I.G.? Why should I feel uncomfortable? We have a lot in common. And first and foremost, we were both born and bred in Brooklyn, New York.”
More than 20 years after his death, The Notorious B.I.G.’s legacy also lives on as the rapper is slated to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The plastic gold crown he wore in a famous photo shoot also sold for $594,750 at a Sotheby’s auction last month.
“For it still to relate so much 20 plus years later, it’s just insane,” Wallace told Sheinelle Jones during an appearance Thursday’s 3rd hour of TODAY.
Wallace, who is Biggie’s son with Faith Evans, is also celebrating his dad’s legacy with his new album Ready to Dance, which features dance remixes of Biggie Smalls’ songs from his iconic Ready to Die album.
“I’ve always wanted to stay away from doing anything with my dad’s music unless it was extremely creative and outside the box, so this was that,” Wallace said.