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Original photo by India Rice
Culture

“The Only Christopher We Acknowledge is Wallace!” Trap Museum Exhibit

Historically, Oct. 11 would be remembered as Christopher Columbus Day; however, he was not the Christopher mentioned this past Monday. “The only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace!” These were the words chanted as the late rapper Christopher “Biggie” Wallace Exhibit was unveiled at the Trap Music Museum. The Exhibit was the  “Volume 2: Atlanta Edition” in partnership with The Bishop Gallery who previously founded the event in Brooklyn, NY.

Attendees stretching from far and wide dressed in "Biggie" attire came to the private event and marveled in its glory. The room was filled with immense joy and excitement to see the new exhibit. People discussed their personal memories with the rapper, his inspiration in the art they created, and the overall impact Wallace left on their lives. The most apparent thing by the end of the night was that biggie was a genuine person whose legacy still lives on to this day.

The "Biggie" Exhibit was one that had been in the works for some time.

"We’ve been working on this for over a year, it’s been really intense...” Kystal "KG" Garner, museum's general manager stated. The exhibit is in partnership with the Bishop Gallery, a Brooklyn-based art collective that had previously done the “The Only Christopher We Acknowledge is Wallace” exhibit in New York. Garner, as a New Yorker, explained the importance of bringing the exhibit to  Atlanta.

“…When presented with the opportunity to highlight 'Big,' it made all the most sense, there was no reason as a team to say no… any way to highlight someone as deep as 'Biggie;' we will definitely take that opportunity, I will definitely take that opportunity,” she said. Garner also explained the exhibit's ties to Wallace’s family.

“We are in discussions of doing things with his family members,' she said."They have been contacted and they do know this is going on.” Garner went on to discuss that the family had previously attended the exhibit in New York.

Owner T.I. also spoke on the sentiment that this exhibit was important to the Trap Music Museum and its culture by saying “We felt that this was the perfect time for us to collaborate and for us to extend ourselves for our brother… because he’s definitely a pioneer… who opened doors for us to do what we do, and how we do it today.”

The art at the exhibit was a creative expression of who Wallace was and it showed just why he was regarded as the “Notorious B.I.G.” Artist Christopher Frank explained how Wallace’s music inspired his work in the exhibit by saying “When I listen to these words they turn into pictures.” Another artist in the exhibit Jerell Gantt explained that “I chose this piece because I felt it best symbolizes ‘Big.’ Flashy, not subtle and dimensional…” Wallace’s reach touched many different mediums in the creative space. New Yorker and curator of the exhibits set, Rich Bizarre, described setting up the art as “dope,” because it brought a Brooklyn Vibe to the Museum. This definitely was an exhibit to remember.

Artists discussing art pieces and curation.
Original photo by India Rice

Wallace left an impact in the lives of many New Yorkers and in the Hip Hop game. However, the “Trap Music Museums” roots are southern and based upon Trap music. The exhibit served as a way to highlight Wallace’s contribution to Trap as a genre and in Hip Hop overall. T.I., an Atlanta Native and a pioneer of Trap music said that “Trap music is about people who live a certain lifestyle and [Biggie] kind of painted that picture from his perspective, prior to people from Atlanta, my region being able to paint that same picture… we wouldn’t have been able to do that without people like him.” Ed Lover, Curator of Music at the event lit up when speaking about his late friend Wallace’s contribution to Trap saying “Tonight’s event is wonderful because…this the Trap Museum featuring some of the best Trap artists to ever come out of the south, but it’s about ‘Big’ and ‘Big’ is from New York. ‘Big’ used to be a drug dealer so it’s like the crack house meets the Trap house.”

Biggie portrait by Jerrell Gantt
Original photo by India Rice

Wallace’s influence stretched far beyond Brooklyn, NY, and those who lived in the state of New York -- which couldn’t have been more apparent. Courtney Sills is a Georgia native and former manager of the 90s RnB Group “112.”

“‘Biggie’ was the most authentic person,” Sills stated. Wallace was definitely loved amongst those in the south, and Monday night was representative of that. He definitely touched the lives of many, the "Brooklyn Way."

The Christopher “Biggie” Wallace exhibit at the Trap Music Museum was a definite success at paying homage to the late rapper. The many sentiments about Wallace as a person was truly a representation of who he was as a rapper and an overall good human. The Trap Music Museums Partnership with the Bishop Gallery was indeed one that will go down in history. Tonight solidified the sentiment that “The only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace,” and that's Wallace’s legacy is forever. 

India Rice, 19, is a Mass Media major at the Illustrious Clark Atlanta University.
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