• Voletta Wallace Celebrates Biggie's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction

    On Wednesday (Jan. 15), The Notorious B.I.G. scored a significant win for his legacy after the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced his induction for the Class of 2020. In a phone interview with Billboard, Biggie's mother, Voletta Wallace, expressed her delight upon hearing the news of her son's monumental feat. "Today, I'm feeling great," she said. "As a mother, I'm extremely proud of his accomplishments. You know, I still see such a young man at a young age, and sadly, he's not here to witness all this. But it's an astute honor, and as a mother, I'm just elated for that."

    Set to be honored this May at Cleveland's Public Auditorium, the Class of 2020 includes a hefty list of music legends, including Nine Inch Nails, Whitney Houston, Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers and T. Rex. For Wallace, her son's inclusion, especially as a rapper, speaks volumes to his legacy and irrefutable candor as an MC.

    "Many of [his songs] speak truth," she said. "It might be gritty, and maybe the language is so out there, but he was honest. There was nothing fake about what he was doing. I think for such a young man to resonate such honesty in his lyrics is awesome."

    Biggie's transcendent career rocketed in the '90s with the release of his 1994 debut album Ready to Die. The precocious lyricist chiseled his way onto the rap scene with songs such as "Big Poppa," "Juicy" and "One More Chance," which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. His meteoric career came to a screeching halt when he was shot and killed in 1997. Following his demise, 16 days later, Biggie's sophomore album, Life After Death, was released. The double-album soared to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and, as of last year, sold more than 5 million records. Despite not performing rock music, Biggie's bullish persona, decorated catalog and live-fast-die-young mantra definitely fit the rock-star mold.

    "Rap is respected. We are in a changing time now. People's thoughts are different," said Wallace. "When you put it out there, there's so much respect for it [now]."