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C.J. Wallace Honors His Father By Partnering With Lexus on a Mini-Documentary

Christopher Jordan Wallace who simply goes by the name C.J. was born into hip hop royalty, being the son of late rap legend The Notorious B.I.G. and R&B singer Faith Evans. This year, C.J. along with his family and his father’s friends celebrated what would have been the late rapper’s 50th birthday, as well as the 25th anniversary of B.I.G’s second album Life After Death.

The city of New York honored The Notorious B.I.G. in numerous ways including the lighting of the Empire State Building in colors that represented him. While there were massive public celebrations to commemorate B.I.G’s life, his son C.J. found a personal way to honor his father with both a collaboration with Lexus, a company his father had a deep connection with, and through his own company Frank White, which is named after one of his father’s alias.

As part of C.J.'s collaboration with Lexus, he teamed with Complex to film a mini-documentary going back to his father’s childhood neighborhood Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. The mini-documentary shows C.J. driving the new Lexus LX 600 around the Brooklyn neighborhood, stopping at a barbershop to speak with a barber who was close to his father. The Notorious B.I.G’s connection goes back to the 90s when B.I.G. made frequent mentions of the brand in songs such as Hypnotize, Warning and One More Chance. The rapper also owned several of the brand’s vehicles.

“We've always had them on the top list of people to collaborate with, just when thinking about companies that sort of synergize with my dad's legacy and Lexus was definitely one of the top ones,” C.J. commented about why Lexus was the right company to collaborate with.

C.J. spoke about how the idea to do something massive to celebrate what would have been his father’s 50th birthday came about three years ago around the time of his father’s 47th birthday. He also noted that Lexus reached out to come on board to bring the project to life.

“We started talking with them last year, summer of last year, and it took a while. We had to make sure everything made sense. It really came out beautifully,” C.J. added. The symbolism behind the Lexus partnership is bigger than just honoring B.I.G., highlighting the Lexus brand being synonymous with the epitome of luxury in hip-hop music, and introducing its luxurious and aspirational automobiles to a new generation in a relevant way.

The partnership between Frank White and Lexus offered experiences within the metaverse as well. On May 25, 2022, Lexus and Frank White brought “The Notorious B.I.G” to ComplexLand 3.0, which was a free, virtual festival that connected gaming, commerce and entertainment. The virtual experience allowed fans, gamers, and more to interact within the Lexus x Frank White music studio, which featured the LX 600 as the centerpiece. While entering the vehicle, the interactive experience allowed participants to screen the mini-documentary and have the opportunity to buy Lexus x Frank White merchandise via a specially created virtual storefront.

Furthermore, the collaboration also released NFTs to honor The Notorious B.I.G. “It's definitely the future of technology,” C.J. stated about the metaverse. “So for me to actually be alive and seeing the Oculus, and all of these different new forms of technology, and just the way people are trading with crypto, I think is really interesting. I feel like we need to study this just as much as everybody else, or else we're going to be left out of it just like every other industry we get left out of,” he added. Frank White and Lexus want to invest in the future of Black communities and donated a portion of proceeds from the virtual storefront and NFTs to the Youth Design Center, an NGO/creative agency that provides young people with a gateway to generational wealth in a variety of creative communities.

Beyond the Lexus collaboration, Frank White covers a range of areas including apparel, as well as supporting the Think BIG social movement for global cannabis legalization, while working towards economic reinvestment in communities harmed by bans on cannabis. The Notorious B.I.G. was known for his endorsement of streetwear and luxury fashion brands such as FUBU, Timberland, Coogi, and Versace. C.J. expressed that he looks to his father’s fashion pieces that he received from his grandmother for inspiration while expressing that his father laid the groundwork for many of today’s fashion trends especially by connecting the aforementioned brands to hip hop.

In regards to the cannabis industry, Wallace spoke about his parent’s use of cannabis to inspire creativity as well as discovering its ability to be used in the treatment of autism. “My mom was always against using pharmaceutical drugs like Ritalin”, C.J. stated. “CBD was the first thing that we just sort of thought of because I remember doing research when I was in high school, and just reading about autism and reading how CBD can help children with autism. It was always one of those things that we use as medicine in our house,” he added. “My father would definitely be interested in the cannabis space right now. I know for sure he would have been a heavy player in the cannabis space, probably would have been years ago. I know he's looking at me proudly,” C.J. spoke about where his father might have been today in creating entrepreneurship in the cannabis industry.

Check out the documentary below which was presented by Complex.


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