The Notorious B.I.G. might’ve had no problems with bootleggers staying in the house when he kicked his classic “Wickedest” freestyle for Mister Cee, but his mother Voletta Wallace, and ex-wife Faith Evans aren’t fans of people bootlegging anything Biggie related.
According to HotNewHipHop, Biggie’s mother and widow have sued Yes. Snowboards for illegally using the G.O.A.T.’s likeness on their products without their permission. For those that don’t know, Faith and Ms. Wallace founded Notorious B.I.G., LLC after his murder to manage all intellectual rights related to Biggie including his name, image, and likeness. Looks like Yes. Snowboards might’ve stepped in it.
Though Biggie’s face and image have been seen and used on numerous products over the years they have indeed been given the legal greenlight by Ms. Wallace and Faith Evans. Yes. Snowboards did not.
The suit explains, “At a time where fame and popularity for musicians comes and goes on an accelerated time scale, it is hard to quantify the power – both emotional and financial – of a musician whose brand and persona are still appreciated, recognized, and replicated more than two decades after his death.”
The product in question is one from a series called “Greats x Chi,” a partnership between Yes. and photographer Chi Modu. The series features other rappers, all who are no longer with us, including Tupac Shakur, Eric “Eazy-E” Wright, and Russell “Ol’ Dirty Bastard” Jones. Modu is a longtime hip hop photographer who, according to Yes.’s site, worked for The Source and photographed the likes of Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J, and Biggie, who stood for the photographer in front of the Twin Towers.
That Source cover really was a classic though. Just sayin.’
Aside from seeking an injunction against the company, Ms. Wallace and Faith Evans want all the profits made from the sale of the Biggie boards and a little on top for unspecified damages.