After his vast success as a rapper, Biggie Smalls dreamed of making a name for himself outside the music world. Before being ruthlessly murdered in 1997, Biggie had already started venturing into the fashion world and even Hollywood, making an appearance on the sitcom Martin.
However, there was one more dream the rapper had that he never got to fulfil before his death, and this was his dream of opening a restaurant. Not many people knew of this hidden desire, but his daughter T’yanna did, and in 2021 she achieved his goal of having his own place to eat.
As reaffirmed in Justin Tinsley’s 2022 posthumous biography of the rapper, among Biggie’s dreams was to open a restaurant called ‘Big Poppa’s Chicken & Waffles’. The late rapper (real name Christopher Wallace) was no stranger to the world of soul food and had a particular love for dishes like pulled pork with collard greens and cornbread, as well as the classic chicken and waffles. He grew to love this food while temporarily living in North Carolina.
Knowing this, in 2021, over 20 years after Wallace’s murder, his daughter T’yanna chose to complete his dream of having a restaurant. In order to make sure it was perfect, T’yanna recruited restaurateur Tyra Myricks, the daughter of the late Jam Master Jay, to assist her in opening ‘Juicy’s Pizza’. An LA pizzeria dedicated to her father.
Speaking with the entrepreneurial magazine Business Insider, Myricks revealed, “The more I thought about how to bring that New York theme to Los Angeles, I felt, who represents New York more than Biggie Smalls? She loved it.”
As the daughter of Jam Master Jay, Myricks knew that people profiting off of your late parent’s name often happens, so Myricks got Wallace explicitly involved to combat this and ensure she could be a part of continuing her father’s legacy. She continued, “I was like, ‘I don’t want you to invest anything,’” Myricks recalled telling Wallace of the venture. “‘Let’s just make money together. Let’s make moves.’”
You can watch a video of Myricks explaining how she came up with the concept below.