Charli Baltimore is back. The rapper took a break from the game to raise a pair of daughters, but she’s back with a new reality show.
Many remember the Philly native (“Philly people sort of have a resilience about them to overcome any obstacle that’s in thejr way,” she says) as the Notorious B.I.G.’s former girlfriend who ended becoming an accomplished rapper in her own right. But after rocking with Irv Gotti’s Murder Inc. (a new tour for the 20th anniversary of Ja Rule’s debut album is in the works), after leaving Undeas Entertainment, Charli pretty much went strictly behind the scenes.
Her new reality show, Charli Knows Best, explains exactly what she’s been up to—which includes guiding the careers of her aforementioned daughters, model India Christin and DJ Siaani Love. Hip-Hop Wired caught up with Charli to get some answers straight from her about leaving the rap game behind, getting lyrical training from Biggie Smalls, the Commission supergroup she was to be a part of and more.
Peep game on the following pages.
Photo: MoNae Mayweather/@photosbynae
1. How she met the Notorious B.I.G. …
“We met at a concert in Philly, he was performing at a club. I saw him looking at me like the whole night. The club was kind of small but it was packed. After it was over it was chaos, people just all over him. I wanted a picture, that was the whole point. I got near him and he was still following me all night with his eyes, so I was like ‘Can I get a picture?’ And he was like ‘Only if I get a picture of you.’ So literally we [were] standing outside taking pictures of each other, which was causing more chaos. Girls were driving by throwing their panties at him, just wow.
“We exchanged numbers and during the first 3 or 4 months we were just really cool. I used to come up here [to NYC], we would to go Puff parties and different stuff I had never experienced. I don’t even think I was legal to get in the parties, I was just hype to get in there.”
2. On being the Notorious B.I.G.’s girlfriend…
“It was intense for somebody that young to be involved with somebody of his stature. I was from Philly, never been around anything like that. And he was really young. The way he impacted people, it was crazy. It had a lot of affect on our relationship. You got a young kid from Brooklyn and he’s just taking off, he’s learning how to deal with all of his fame and I have to learn how to deal with all of it as well. It definitely was a learning experience, but it was cool.”
3. It’s Murda…Source:Getty
“I’ve never been dropped from a label, ever. I left Untertainment then I went to Murder Inc. Never got dropped from Murder Inc. either, I asked to leave.
“Cold As Ice, I know a lot of it leaked, but when I listen to songs from there I’m like, ‘Wow,’ I was so green. I got way better as time progressed.
“The shows Murder Inc. used to do were super crazy. It’s the 20th anniversary of Ja’s album, so that’s where the concept for the tour idea came from.”
“I used to rap when I was younger and then I had stopped when I had my daughter. I went to college and I had just graduated, I had a regular job. I was actually just playing around with him one day and [it] wound up [Biggie] discovering that I could rap.
“I never told him. I’m like, ‘It’s Big.’ I was just playing around. He was like, ‘Yo, you’re really dope. I need you to write a rap every day. It’s just going to make you doper and doper and doper.’
“Of course you’re going to follow those instructions. You got Big telling you to write a rap every day, you have potential. Honestly, I didn’t take really him seriously at first, I thought he was being nice because I was his girl, but he was dead serious. He was like we’re going to really do something with this, we’re going to start a group.
“That was there the whole Commision idea came from on the ‘What’s Beef?’ record from ‘Life After Death.'”
5. The Commision was…
“Me, Big, Puff, Jay-Z and Cease. It would have been really crazy, definitely.
“The Charli Baltimore name came…Big and I were in a really bad car accident. I don’t know if people realize I was in the car (when Cease was driving). I went through the window. I had really bad head injuries, leg injuries. Cease lost all his teeth, Big’s leg was messed up.
“We were all in the same hospital together but Big had the worst injuries basically because of his weight. They had to put a rod in his leg, he had to learn how to walk again. I would go visit him when I got out and we would watch movies all the time. So it was this movie called ‘The Long Kiss Good Night’ and in the movie this girl she has an alter ego. She doesn’t realize it, she gets into a car accident and she transforms into this crazy assassin chick named Charlie Baltimore. We’re watching it he was like, ‘Yo, that name is crazy.’ Just because he was trippin’ off the whole comparison—I had been in a car accident, too. It was cute.”
6. On ‘Charlie Knows Best’Source:press handout
“[Rush Evans] brought the idea to me of wanting to show [my] whole family dynamic—cause they knew me and how I was with my daughters—I wasn’t against it. My daughters with the careers that they have, I was like this would be a good opportunity for them. I’m always trying to look out for my kids. One is a DJ, one is a model.
“His idea of the project was to explore and show people a different side to things. I think the show will give a good idea of who I am and who my daughters are as people.”
7. Hip Hop Sisters Foundation BET Gifting Suite Powered By ReebokSource:Getty
“I’m cool out of the spotlight. I really don’t mind, I prefer it because I’m kind of a loner and I can be kind of anti at times. It doesn’t bother me. It can be worse when you’re in the spotlight because you don’t get any sort of privacy.
“I feel that everything happened for a reason. All of the stuff that’s happened taught me a lesson one way or another. I don’t take time and focus back on the past. The best thing to do is move forward. I don’t look at like unfinished business or I gotta prove this, that’s just not me.”