*March 9th marked the 25th anniversary of the murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G. The iconic hip-hop star (born Christopher George Wallace) was fatally shot in 1997 at the age of 24.
Faith Evans, his former wife, and mother to his 25-year-old son C.J. Wallace, spoke to PEOPLE spoke about the legacy he left behind.
“I walk down my stairs and there’s a portrait that someone gave me of him up in the top of the foyer. B.I.G. is a huge part of this house,” she says of Biggie. “He’s one of the reasons that I am able to be here, to be quite honest, and live here, and my son.”
C.J. was only 5 months old when Biggie died, and Evans sees much of the late artist in her son.
“Early on, I noticed different mannerisms that C.J. had and little quirky things. Like the way that B.I.G. had allergies and C.J. does as well, but there was a certain way he rubs his nose, and C.J.’s been doing that. That’s … I wouldn’t say spooky, but to me it’s a more spiritual thing. That is totally his dad’s spirit right there,” said Evans.
The songstress said she often gets together with Biggie’s group Junior M.A.F.I.A. to share stories about the rapper.
“All we do throughout the night, is tell B.I.G. jokes. [We] tell stories and [say], ‘Remember this time?’ It may be the same 30 jokes, over and over and over, or situations, but it just never gets old. It’s actually a joy, just to know that that’s how we felt about him, everybody,” she said of the group that Biggie founded and mentored. “There’s not many people — I don’t know of any — that really don’t have a great feeling about him or a funny story about him.”
Evans also recalled how “lazy” Biggie was.
“He wouldn’t get out of the car to go into the store to get the weed! So I go in, and it just so happens they were getting raided. I was taking a long time. And it’s not like he got out the car, to come and check and see what happened,” she shared with PEOPLE.
“It was about an hour, and I came back all frazzled, and I’m like, ‘Why you didn’t come check on me?’ He’s like, ‘No, I’m not getting out the car, what are you talking about?’ He was like, ‘Well, where the weed at?’ Not, ‘Are you OK?’ but, ‘Where’s the weed?'” she said laughing.
“I totally feel like he would be the mogul that he wanted to become right now,” she said of Big if he were alive today. “[He] would have had a restaurant chain or something.”
Evans also noted that “despite whatever, even after B.I.G. and I separated, even after he had a girlfriend or I found out about this one or that one, he always still depended on me for something or another, trust me. Even up until his passing, to be quite honest. He knew he could — he knew he could depend on me.”