Christopher Jordan Wallace, who plays twelve-year old Christopher Wallace, is the real-life son of The Notorious B.I.G. and Faith Evans.
Jamal Woolard heavily prepared for his role for months, which includes listening and remembering lyrics to a variety of songs by Biggie, gaining weight and vocal lessons at Juilliard School to get the voice right.
Jamal Woolard reprised his role as The Notorious B.I.G. in All Eyez on Me (2017) about Tupac Shakur.
Rappers Beanie Sigel and Guerilla Black auditioned for the role of Biggie. Singer Sean Kingston also auditioned and publicly claimed he had gotten the role.
When Biggie is rapping right before he lays the vocals down for "Juicy" he is reciting the first verse from "Unbelievable" and is told to stop messing around. The song "Unbelievable" was one of the very last added to the album Ready to Die and according to the producer DJ Premier, he never even wrote anything down, just went in the booth and laid the track down on the spot.
The writer Director Antwone Fisher sat across Biggie the night he died and Antwone's wife LaNette Fisher grew up 3 blocks away from Biggie's supposed killer.
When a teenage Biggie is explaining how his rapping was initially a side-hustle to his drug dealing, the shot shows him rapping in a black and red lumberjack shirt with a hunting cap. This outfit, in fact, matches the one described in the lyrics of the song 'Juicy': 'way back, when I had the red and black/ lumberjack/ with the hat to match'.
Most of the film was adapted from the book, "Unbelievable: The Life, Death and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G." by Cheo Hodari Coker. Writer Reggie Rock Bythewood revised Coker's draft.
The car that is used in the drive-by when Biggie is shot, 2BAI222, is the same plate number that is featured in the first episode of Numb3rs (2005), as well as the same plate number that Ian Watkins, lead singer in the band Lostprophets, uses in the music video for their song "Last Summer" in the car he is driving.
The role of Lil Cease was originally written for Tristan Wilds who had to turn it down due his commitments with 90210.
Angela Bassett portrays Biggie's mother Voletta Wallace in this film. She has also portrayed Michael Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson in the mini-series The Jacksons: An American Dream (1992). Both artists have collaborated twice on two of Michael's songs/albums: "This Time Around" from HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995), and "Unbreakable" from Invincible (2001). The latter was released 4 years after Biggie's death, and his rap contribution was originally for the 1996 release "You Can't Stop the Reign" by Shaquille O'Neal.
The original choice to play Biggie was S.G. aka Surgeon General, a dj/producer from East Orange, NJ. He was chosen from 400 hopefuls in an online campaign to find an unknown to portray Biggie; which was supposed to become a VH1 special. At 6 foot 4, 400 lbs; SG physically embodied B.I.G. & encapsulated the essence of the Brooklyn emcee-- down to the lisp. However after a comment was made by Jamal Mallard, that "Brooklyn would be mad if I don't get the role", producers seemed unsure which direction to go. Ultimately it was left up to Voletta Wallace to choose which actor got the role. She chose Mallard, stating that his smile reminded her of her son.
VH1 had an online campaign to find an unknown actor to play the Notorious BIG. Out of 400 participants only one contestant was chosen: Hip Hop producer Surgeon General.
When seventeen-year-old Biggie is having a rap battle on the street corner in 1989, a poster promoting the film "Juice" can be seen in the background. This is an anachronism, as Juice wasn't released until 1992.
Lil' Kim reportedly hates the film & tried to have Woolard beat up in a Manhattan nightclub.
Jamal Woolard aka Gravy was an aspiring rapper before landing the role of Christopher Wallace. His earlier claim to fame was having a friend shoot him in the buttocks in order to boost his career; ala 50 Cent.
Bad Boy Records was initially called "Bad Boy Entertainment" when it was founded in 1993, but the record label isn't referred to by this name at all in the film.
Marc John Jeffries who played Little Cease also played young Marcus in the movie Get Rich Or Die Trying, a movie based on the life of iconic rapper 50 Cent
Jamal Woolard suffered a heart attack during filming, halting production for six weeks. Woolard complained of chest pains after running up a flight of stairs. After recovering from open heart surgery he was given a clean bill of health by his doctors & allowed to return to the set.
Cheo Hodari Coker, who wrote the book the film Notorious was drafted from was a staff writer with The Source Magazine. He once wrote an article about being punched in the face by Wu-Tang Clan rapper Masta Killa.
Derek Luke, who plays Sean "Puffy" Combs, said in an interview that the production was a nightmare.
In 1992, when trying to persuade Biggie to sign a record deal with him, Puffy says "the West Coast, they got Dre they got Snoop, they killin' it!". However, Snoop Doggy Dogg wasn't actually well known at that point.