World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Notorious (2009 film)

Article Id: WHEBN0047769531
Reproduction Date:

Title: Notorious (2009 film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Naturi Naughton, Angela Bassett, Jamal Woolard, Notorious (soundtrack), Kevin Phillips (actor)
Collection: 2000S Biographical Films, 2000S Drama Films, 2000S Musical Films, 2009 Films, American Biographical Films, American Films, American Musical Drama Films, Biographical Films About Entertainers, English-Language Films, Film Scores by Danny Elfman, Films Based on Biographies, Films Directed by George Tillman, Jr., Films Produced by Robert Teitel, Films Set in Brooklyn, Films Set in New York City, Films Set in the 1980S, Films Set in the 1990S, Films Shot in New York City, Fox Searchlight Pictures Films, Hip Hop Films, Hood Films, Musical Films Based on Actual Events
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Notorious (2009 film)

Theatrical release poster
Directed by George Tillman, Jr.
Produced by
Written by
Narrated by Jamal Woolard
Music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography Michael Grady
Edited by Dirk Westervelt
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release dates
  • January 16, 2009 (2009-01-16)
Running time
123 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million[2]
Box office $44.4 million[2]

Notorious is a 2009 American Angela Bassett, Derek Luke, Jamal Woolard, and Anthony Mackie, was released by Fox Searchlight Pictures in North America on January 16, 2009.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Production 3
    • Development 3.1
    • Casting 3.2
  • Soundtrack 4
  • Reception 5
    • Box office 5.1
    • Critical reaction 5.2
    • Criticism by Lil' Kim 5.3
    • Comparison to actual events 5.4
  • Home media 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The film opens at a party in Los Angeles, California on March 8, 1997. Just as Biggie Smalls is about to be killed in a drive-by shooting, the film flashes back to Biggie's childhood in Brooklyn, where he (now played by his biological son Christopher Wallace, Jr.) lived during his adolescent years. Biggie, (now played by Jamal Woolard) sells drugs at the height of the crack epidemic, hustling with his friends D-Roc (Dennis L.A. White) and Lil' Cease (Marc John Jefferies).

When his girlfriend, Jan Jackson (Julia Pace Mitchell), informs him that she is pregnant, he begins to take his drug dealing more seriously, so he can make more money to support his upcoming child. Biggie eventually takes part in a rap battle, which he wins, but Biggie's mother, Voletta Wallace (Angela Bassett), throws him out of the house after finding drugs underneath his bed.

Biggie gets caught in possession of weapons and cocaine, and is sentenced to two years in jail but only serves nine months before making bail. Biggie meets Kim Jones (Naturi Naughton) and they have sex but Kim refuses to pursue a relationship due to her abusive past. After reconciling with his mother and visiting his newborn child, Biggie records a demo called "Microphone Murderer" which catches the attention of Puffy, an ambitious producer for Uptown Records. Puffy promises Biggie a record deal but Biggie finds out that Puffy is no longer employed by Uptown Records, frustrating him. Soon after, Biggie and D-Roc are again caught with drugs, but D-Roc takes the fall for the both of them to allow Biggie to pursue his rap career.

Biggie becomes depressed when he finds out Voletta is suffering from breast cancer, but cheers up when Puffy signs him to Puffy's own record label, Bad Boy Records, and while there Biggie records his first album, Ready to Die. At a Bad Boy photo shoot, Biggie meets singer Faith Evans (Antonique Smith). The two begin a relationship, and eventually get married. However, Faith catches Biggie cheating on her at his hotel room. The two later reconcile but the tensions between him, Faith, Jan, and Kim continue to grow.

Biggie befriends rapper Tupac Shakur (Anthony Mackie) whilst celebrating the success of his album Ready to Die. Biggie soon starts to admire the other rapper, but questions the nefarious people he is associated with. When Tupac is robbed and shot five times in the lobby of Quad Studios, he blames Puffy, Biggie, and Bad Boy Records for setting him up. At The Source Awards in 1995, Death Row Records executive, Suge Knight (Sean Ringgold), makes a speech dissing Puffy and Bad Boy Records, claiming that Death Row is the better label. A bonus scene follows Snoop Dogg (Anwan Glover) right after Knight's insult with his own infamous Source Awards speech.

After altercations between the two, the disagreement escalates into the media referring to an "East Coast-West Coast rivalry" and attacks are made on both sides. At the 1996 Soul Train Awards in Los Angeles, California, Biggie receives a death threat from an unknown caller. At the after party, Tupac and Suge verbally assault Biggie, but leave when Biggie's security threatens them with a pistol.

A track called "Who Shot Ya?" is later released by Biggie, which is interpreted as a diss song directed at Tupac. Biggie and Puffy claim that "Who Shot Ya?" was recorded before Tupac was shot, but Tupac responds with "Hit 'Em Up" where he disses Biggie and claims he had sexual relations with Faith. After seeing a magazine photo of Tupac and Faith hugging each other, Biggie confronts Faith but she insists nothing happened between her and Tupac.

The two attempt to reconcile after she tells him she's pregnant with his child. The rivalry between the east coast and west coast continues to escalate. Biggie goes on tour in Sacramento, California, and the crowd boos him, throwing up West Coast signs to show their allegiance to Tupac and Death Row. Annoyed, Biggie performs "Who Shot Ya?", which enrages the crowd even more. The rivalry between the two rappers continues until September 1996, when Tupac is murdered off the strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. Voletta tells Biggie that Tupac was probably killed as a result of their rivalry, which shakes him up. Biggie attempts to ease the tensions in his life by visiting Jan and their daughter more often.

Biggie and D-Roc renew their friendship after D-Roc is released from prison and Biggie confides that he wants out of the rap game. However, Biggie decides to go to Los Angeles to promote his upcoming album Life After Death, bringing D-Roc and Lil' Cease with him along with Puffy and Faith. Whilst there, Biggie receives several more death threats. After calling Lil' Kim to apologize and arrange a meeting with her, he leaves the party. The film returns to the opening scene, where Biggie is shot and killed in a drive by.

His funeral is held a few days later, where friends and colleagues grieve, along with thousands of fans, who line the streets to pay their respects. A member of the crowd turns on a radio which plays Biggie's song "Hypnotize" and the crowd begins dancing as Biggie's casket is driven down the city's streets.




External links

  1. ^ (15)"NOTORIOUS".  
  2. ^ a b c "Notorious (2009)".  
  3. ^ Kym Balthazar (February 26, 2007) 360 We Gon' Make It XXL. Accessed November 28, 2007.
  4. ^ a b Director Selected for Biggie Biopic, Diddy to Executive Produce XXL (August 13, 2007). Accessed November 28, 2007.
  5. ^ at Fox Searchlight Pictures. Retrieved on 2009-01-16.
  6. ^ Melena Ryzik (October 8, 2007) Dreaming Big About Acting Big NY Times. Accessed November 28, 2007.
  7. ^ Beanie Sigel Auditions for Role of Biggie Smalls in New Biopic XXL (October 3, 2007). Accessed November 28, 2007.
  8. ^ Sean Kingston: Big, But Not B.I.G. Vibe (August 30, 2007). Accessed November 28, 2007.
  9. ^ Brooklyn Rapper Gravy to Play Biggie in Upcoming Biopic XXL (March 6, 2008). Accessed March 6, 2008.
  10. ^ Gravy for Biggie (March 6, 2008). Accessed March 6, 2008.
  11. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for January 16-18, 2009".  
  12. ^ Notorious Movie Reviews, Pictures. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2015-05-18.
  13. ^ Notorious Reviews, Ratings, Credits. Metacritic. Retrieved 2015-5-18.
  14. ^ TV Guide
  15. ^ AP Press Statement Video on YouTube
  16. ^


See also

Notorious was released on DVD on April 21, 2009. In the first three weeks, about 858,000 DVD units had been sold, bringing in $19.5 million in revenue.[16]

Home media

In a scene involving Biggie being kicked out of class in 1990, and meeting his girlfriend in a restaurant, where she says she's pregnant with his daughter. In reality, Biggie dropped out of high school in 1989 at the age of 17, and his daughter T'yanna, was born in August 1993, nine months after her father was locked up. There are advertisements for the film Juice which was released in 1992.

In the scene where Biggie and Puffy meet for the first time, Biggie gives his age as 19. That is correct, as the two men met in early 1992. But during that meeting, Puffy talks about the West Coast's dominance of hip-hop, saying, "They got Snoop, they got Dre, they got Cube, they killin' it. The East Coast is just lookin' for someone to fill that void." At the time, Dr. Dre was known mainly as a member of N.W.A and would not release his first solo album, The Chronic, until December of that year and Snoop Dogg was also not widely known until his appearance on The Chronic, although he did appear with Dre on the Deep Cover soundtrack in 1992. At the time of Biggie and Puffy's first meeting, it is unlikely that anyone would have cited Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg as major players in West Coast hip-hop.

Comparison to actual events

Lil' Kim was not happy about how she was portrayed in the film, saying "Regardless of the many lies in the movie and false portrayal of me to help carry a story line through, I will still continue to carry his legacy through my hard work and music." She felt the producers were more interested in her "character" than her. Lil' Kim scenes in the film contained a lot of nudity and sexuality.[14] The film's producers, including Voletta Wallace, downplayed her comments.[15] Purportedly, producers attempted to get Jones' input during production of the movie but she never returned calls. Producers went with stories from Wallace's friends of how she and Wallace met.

Criticism by Lil' Kim

Roger Ebert gave the film three and a half out of four possible stars, applauding the film focusing on Christopher Wallace and not his rapping persona.

The film received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 51%, based on 142 reviews, with an average rating of 5.5/10. The site's consensus reads, "A biopic that lacks the luster of its subject, Notorious is generic rise-and-fall fare that still functions as a primer for those less familiar with the work and life of the hip hop icon."[12] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized, the film has a score of 60 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[13]

Critical reaction

Notorious opened on January 16, 2009 in 1,638 venues. The film earned $20,497,596 in its first weekend, ranking fourth in the domestic box office behind newcomer Paul Blart: Mall Cop, holdover Gran Torino, and other newcomer My Bloody Valentine 3D.[11] The film closed on April 2, having grossed $36,843,682 in the domestic box office (US/Canada) and $7,528,069 internationally for a worldwide total of $44,371,751.[2]

Box office


  • "Born Again" (Intro)
  • "Hypnotize"
  • "Going Back to Cali"
  • "Ten Crack Commandments"
  • "Bed Stuy Brooklyn" (the film credits list this as the title, although the track appears on the soundtrack under the name "Guaranteed Raw")
  • "Suicidal Thoughts"
  • "Everyday Struggle"
  • "It's a Demo" (the film credits list this as the title, although the track appears on the soundtrack under the name "Microphone Murderer")
  • "Pimps & Macs"
  • "Party & Bullshit"
  • "Machine Gun Funk"
  • "Unbelievable"
  • "Juicy"
  • "Flava in Ya Ear"
  • "Big Poppa"
  • "Warning"
  • "I Love the Dough"
  • "Get Money"
  • "Gimme the Loot"
  • "Who Shot Ya?"
  • "Sky's the Limit"

A soundtrack album was released to accompany the film, although only eight of its tracks feature in the movie. The following tracks which Christopher Wallace Jr. had input on feature in the movie:


In early October 2007, open casting calls for the role of The Notorious B.I.G. began.[6] Actors, rappers and members of the public all participated. Rapper Beanie Sigel auditioned[7] for the role but was not picked.[8] Eventually it was announced that rapper Jamal Woolard was cast as Biggie.[9] Other cast members include Angela Bassett as Voletta Wallace, Derek Luke as Sean Combs, Antonique Smith as Faith Evans, Naturi Naughton formerly of 3LW as Lil' Kim, Dennis L.A. White as D-Roc and Anthony Mackie as Tupac Shakur.[10] An unknown actor also portrays Craig Mack in a scene as well.


[4], Voletta Wallace and Biggie's former managers Wayne Barrow and Mark Pitts.Sean Combs include Notorious Producers on [5].Fox Searchlight Pictures The film was distributed by [4]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.