The mother of rapper Biggie Smalls, who was shot and killed in 1997, recently gave an interview in which she spoke about the pain of losing her son and indicated that she knows the killer's identity.
Voletta Wallace, 64, told the Daily Mail that she has felt pain every day since her son, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was gunned down in Los Angeles 20 years ago.
"It hurts me every single day to know what happened to Christopher and that I won’t see him ever again," she said. "And it’s not just me that is devastated -- his sister T’yanna hurts every day because of his [death]. As a family, we’ve [collectively] grieved and it doesn’t ever get any better for us."
Biggie Smalls, aka The Notorious B.I.G., was on his way back from a party following his performance at the Soul Train Awards on March 9, 1997, when an unknown assailant pulled alongside his SUV and shot him four times. He was 24 years old.
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"Any mother who has lost a child knows exactly the devastation I feel," Wallace told the Daily Mail. "It’s the worst pain in the world and one that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy."
"He was so young, so talented and his life was taken far too soon," she said. "It’s unnecessary that Christopher lost his life at just 24. He was my baby, and I think about him every day."
Wallace added that she turned to religion to cope with the pain she feels. But not even the church, she said, can provide her with total closure.
"I get by, using religion to ease my pain. But that’s not easy. It helps a little, but it’s a far cry from bringing Christopher back to life," she explained. "I have had lots of support from friends at church, and I’m thankful for that over the years. People have been very nice to me, and that’s also because Christopher was such a glowing figure in their lives too."
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Wallace went on to say that she thinks she knows the identity of her son's murderer, and that the Los Angeles Police never wanted to solve the crime.
"I have a very good idea who murdered Christopher and I genuinely believe that the LAPD know exactly who did too," she said. "They’ve done their investigation, but they just refuse to move forward. I don’t know why they haven’t arrested who was involved."
"It seems to me that it’s one giant conspiracy, and someone is definitely being protected somewhere down the line," she added.
Wallace admitted that unless the killer is brought to justice, she will never be at peace.
"There’s no closure for me until that murderer is behind bars and sentenced," she said. "That may give me some closure to grab onto, but it sure won’t ever bring my son back."
Plenty of theories about the murder have been proposed, including that Biggie was killed by mistake, and that the real target was Diddy, aka Sean Combs, who was traveling in the car behind Biggie's when the shooting took place. Central to this theory is the unproven claim that Diddy was somehow involved in the murder of Tupac Shakur six months earlier.
Diddy was one of many people who paid tribute to Biggie on the 20th anniversary of his death, encouraging fans to post videos of themselves rapping their favorite Biggie lyrics with the hashtag #WeMissYouBIG, according to USA Today.
"[Twenty] years ago today we lost the greatest rapper of all time The Notorious B.I.G.," Diddy wrote on Twitter.
In an interview with CNN, singer Faith Evans, who was married to Biggie when he was killed, said his music is as compelling now as it was 20 years ago.
"It's is still just as impactful, as if he were this new, dope rapper from Brooklyn, now," Evans said. "Something about his word play, his confidence, he was pretty witty and he was intelligent. It's absolutely timeless."
And if he were alive today?
"He definitely would have still been making records," she stated. "And who knows what else."