When you’re an artist as iconic as Mary J Blige, and you’ve been in the game for as long as her, there’s no question that you’ll meet a lot of interesting and talented people. Mary once worked with the legendary Biggie Smalls, also known as The Notorious BIG.
During her appearence on Naomi Campbell’s quarantine radio talk show, No Filter with Naomi, Campbell spoke with the R&B legend about what it was like to work with Biggie Smalls, aka Christopher Wallace, on their track together, “What’s the 411.”
Blige admitted that Biggie was “sweet and fun.” She says Biggie was mostly reserved and liked to keep to himself. He waited quietly on the side of the room, smoking, and not saying much because he was waiting to get into the booth so he could start recording.
She also reflected on the nickname he had given her, which was “mom.” Blige went on to say that Christopher was always “humble and quiet and sweet.” As part of the same conversation, Mary also touched on the day she was discovered and how her career took off.
According to the performing artist, she recorded a mixtape in a shopping mall, and her stepfather passed it on to a singer, who then took it to Andre Harrell, who was P. Diddy‘s mentor. He was so pleased with what he heard that he went to her house to sign her to his record label, Motown.
Blige said that Andre looked at her and realized immediately that she was a “star.” And it was all history from there. As most know, Biggie Smalls was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting at the height of his fame.
Coincidentally, he released just two albums before he died, both of which referenced his inevitable death, Life After Death and Ready to Die, with Life After Death coming second. Biggie has gone down in history as one of the most important figures in hip-hop for the way in which he made East Coast rap popular again, among a few other artists.