• Charli Baltimore Talks about the late great Notorious B.I.G.

    A few weeks ago, SooDetroit reached out to recording artist, actress, and now label head, Charli Baltimore for a candid interview. We discussed many topics: the origin of her rap name, her relationship with the late and great Notorious B.I.G., and what she’s been up to since parting ways with Murder Inc. For those who have been wondering where Charli has been—you’re all welcome.

    Yeah, just horrible. Okay, I know you got the name Charli Baltimore from Geena Davis’ character from the movie, The Long Kiss Goodnight, but what about her made you adopt that name?

    Well, anybody that has seen the movie knows that the character [who] transforms into Charli was in a car accident first. What happened was, I was in a really bad accident. I was in that car accident that [The Notorious] B.I.G. was in—I was in the backseat.

    I never knew that.

    Yeah, I was in the backseat, and I went through the windshield. We were all in the hospital at the same time, for an excessive amount of time. I had crazy head injuries, Biggie had fractured his leg. We just sat in the hospital all day, bored to death. I would go down to Biggie’s room and chill with him, and we used to just watch movies all day. The Long Kiss Goodnight was on, and I just thought it was crazy how this chick was in a car accident—know what I’m sayin’? She was going through the same situation, and B.I.G. thought that it was a fly name, and that we just need to take that.

    A lot of people actually think Charli Baltimore is your birth name. [Laughs.]

    [Laughs.] I know. I go to Baltimore, and people actually think I’m from Baltimore. Nah, I’m from Philly

    That’s funny, because one of my friends thought you were from Baltimore, too. Now, speaking of Biggie, I heard you met him in the summer of ’95. Is that correct?

    Yeah, we met in ’95, at a concert he had in Philly. After the concert, I was asking him for pictures, everyone was standing outside trying to take pictures. While, I’m asking to take pictures of him, Biggie’s like, “I wanna take pictures of you.” Now, we’re both outside taking pictures of each other—standing face to face. Meanwhile, girls are driving by, throwing their panties at dude, screaming all kinda stuff, showing their titties—just crazy and ratchet. [Laughs.] Like, it was wild! After the whole initial picture taking—I think he invited me up to New York. We were just chillin’.

    So, the “Get Money” music video came after that?

    Yeah, but we were already dating around that time [“Get Money”] came out. It’s a lot of craziness behind that too, ‘cause my hair was blond at the time, and [Biggie] didn’t want me to have blond hair.

    Oh, because of Faith Evans?

    Yeah. See, you gotta remember, I’ve never did a music video before. In my mind, I’m not thinking of any comparisons to Faith. I’m not thinking it’s gon’ be that. He’s like, “I’m tellin’ you, it’s gonna be that.” I told him, “You’re trippin’. I’m not gonna dye my hair no other colors.” Soon as the video come out, people are like, “Oh, she’s dissin’ Faith.” First of all, I would never do that. That’s not even in my character, but lesson learned.

    I’m glad you cleared that up, because so many people to this day thought Biggie was trying to diss Faith.

    [Laughs.] I know

    Plus, they were separated at the time.

    Yeah, they were. He just wanted to do the video with his girl. He’s like “You’re fly. I want you in the video, but dye your hair black.” [Laughs].

    You tried it. [Laughs.]

    [Laughs.] Yeah, he tried to warn me. It’s all my fault.

    You want to know something crazy? I was 10 years old when “Get Money” came out.

    Oh, damn! That is crazy. [Laughs.]

    Now prior to Biggie’s death, I know he was flirting with the idea of starting another group with you, Cease, Jay Z, and him called The Commission. That had potentially the makings of one of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time. What were those conversations like?

    It was all early stages. B.I.G. definitely had conversations with Puff [Daddy], and Jay [Z], but by that point, Biggie was just tryin’ to find a way to bring me out. I used to rap so hardcore, like, he thought it was crazy from a marketing perspective, because I don’t look like I should be rapping like that. We never really got far with [The Commission], other than the shoutout on Life After Death album.

    Yeah, the “What’s Beef?” track.


    Notorious was the one who introduced you to Lance “Un” Rivera, right?

    Yeah, I met Un through B.I.G., and when B.I.G. passed, well, Un and B.I.G. already had a partnership with Atlantic Records called Undeas—that’s where Lil’ Kim and Junior M.A.F.I.A. were based. That was Biggie’s label, and Un was in the middle of starting a new label called Untertainment, and he felt like he should carry on Biggie’s wishes—which was to bring me out, and put me on the Unertainment label with Cam’Ron.