Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content
Oscars 2017
The Latest News and Insider UpdatesDon't Miss


That's who they chose to play Biggie Smalls?!

Posted on


Biggravy_lSo the title role in Fox Searchlight’s longgestating Notorious B.I.G. biopic has finally been cast, and it’s… Brooklyn rapper Gravy, best known as the dude who allegedly took a bullet in the buttocks moments before a radio interview on Hot 97 a couple years ago. My first reaction –€” and I say this as a dedicated New York rap head –€” has gotta be, “Who?”

Back around that whole shooting incident, no less an authoritative rap blogger than Nahright’s Eskay mocked Gravy as “a C-List rapper” whom “you’ve probably never heard of,” and his hip-hop career hasn’t exactly taken off since then. Now Eskay’s pointedly wondering whether Gravy has any acting chops to speak of — a fair question, but one on which I’m willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, since I’ve never seen him act. I have, however, seen him rap, and the few tracks I’ve heard are strictly cookie-cutterN.Y.C. mixtape-goon stuff. Go ahead and check out a representative (and NSFW) clip for yourself below. Okay, he’s not (quite) the world’s least charismatic performer. But honestly, beyond the very slight physical resemblance (hey, a pudgy guy ina hat!) and the fact that he puts words together overbeats, Gravy isn’t a very strong contender for the “next Poppa” title. His voice doesn’t even sound anything likeBiggie’s! Am I wrong to hope they just have Gravy lip-synch in the movie?

Of course, I could be wrong. Gravy could turn out to be a hip-hop Laurence Olivier. (Hey, I didn’t really expect Diddy to make much of an actor, either, and he turned out pretty well.) But you’ve gotta assume that rapping is a fairly important part of this role — and right now, this seems roughly comparable to casting Aaron Carter in an 8 Mile remake. Anyone not feeling underwhelmed by this choice?

addCredit(“Notorious B.I.G./Chi Modu/diverseimages/Getty Images “)