C.J. (Christopher Jordan) Wallace, son of the late, legendary rapper Notorious B.I.G., recalls feeling a flush of pride as he moved to Los Angeles as an eight-year-old. As he and his mother, singer Faith Evans, listened to LL Cool J’s classic “Going Back to Cali,” he recalls, “I can remember feeling proud, knowing he always wanted to move here.”
C.J. has worked as an actor, playing his young father in the 2009 biopic “Notorious” and working in films like “Everything Must Go” and “Kicks” as well as the TV series, “Scream.” And his latest venture is related to his dad’s legacy as well: the cannabis brand Think BIG, a partnership with the brand Lowell Herb Co., with a pre-roll pack dubbed “The Frank White Creative Blend,” named after the Christopher Walken drug-dealer character in Abel Ferrara’s “King of New York,” It was an alter ego adopted by his father and first heard on “The What,” a track from BIG’s 1994 classic “Ready to Die.” The company will produce cannabis products —such pre-rolls, vapes, gummies, apparel, stationary, pens and more.
In conjunction with his partners, including marketing guru and noted photographer Willie Mack, Wallace’s Think BIG was inspired by his parents’ use of cannabis and the CBD treatments that ended up helping his younger brother, who suffered from autism.
“Cannabis is something I’ve always been connected to, even at a young age,” he explains, adding that Think BIG was “born of a shared mission for social justice and a fundamental goal to herald in a new era where cannabis is no longer considered contraband, but a catalyst for creativity.” As part of their goal, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Prison Arts Project, which is dedicated to providing arts instruction for the incarcerated, with the goal of positively influencing their views on themselves and the world around them.
Wallace was inspired by stories of his dad writing in journals while jailed on marijuana-possession charges, planting the seeds of his successful career as a rapper.
Mack, who saw the benefits of medicinal marijuana in treating AIDS patients, says, “We want to remove the stigma and the lies surrounding cannabis by having a larger conversation around what the plant has done, can do and how we should interact with it.”
“The goal is to celebrate cannabis,” says Lowell marketing director Dominic Grech, one of the company’s first employees. “We’re tired of the negative stigma surrounding it. We felt C. J. and Willie were the perfect pair for us to get in business with.”
Wallace personally visited farms and greenhouses to put together his Hybrid, Sativa-dominant blend, which is 50% Orange Sherbet, 25% Banjo and 25% Rattlesnake Sour Diesel. Frank White Limited Blend is available as an 1/8th pack, which includes seven .5 gram pre-rolls.
C.J. insists he and his older sister T’yanna have come to terms with their father’s still-unsolved murder, but wouldn’t mind something to commemorate Biggie at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Blvd., where he was shot emerging from a party at the Petersen Automotive Museum after appearing at a “Soul Train Music Awards” taping. A Christopher Wallace Way has been named in his hometown of Brooklyn.
Says Lowell Herb’s Grech, “From a brand and marketing standpoint, we wanted to create a business that honors and respects C.J.’s father without being built on his name.”
Indeed, C.J. sees Think BIG as a way of getting people to see his father “in a different light,” explaining, “All I heard growing up was the bad stuff… that he was a drug dealer, a gangsta rapper, a criminal. Now that I’ve grown older, I realize he was a father, a loving son, someone who cared about his friends, girlfriends and wives. That’s what I want to honor.”