Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'd heard about Jamal Woolard for a few years, but knew him mostly by his rap name, Gravy. If you're as big of a hip-hop fan as I am, then you usually know about the rappers who are making noise in the underground scene. Gravy was one of them. But he's had difficulties breaking through, as have many artists in this tightening music industry. But he's now about to become more famous than he'd ever imagined with his starring role as Christoper Wallace aka the Notorious B.I.G. (aka Biggie Smalls) in the new movie, Notorious, that hits theaters this Friday. With all the fame Woolard is getting (and the movie is receiving good reviews), I hope he shows a lil' love to Charlotte.

Everything I'd ever read about Woolard talked about him hailing from Brooklyn, New York, which is also the birthplace of Biggie. But I was just reading an MSNBC.com article about Woolard's role in the movie when I came across this line: “There were similarities going on while we were shooting,” said Woolard, who was an unemployed expectant father living in Charlotte, N.C. when director George Tillman tabbed him for the role.

When I read that he had been living in Charlotte, I got excited. You have to excuse me; I grew up in a very small town in South Carolina that wasn't known for much else other than being very small. So while I will always have a lot of love for Rembert, S.C. (I'm going back there Thursday), Charlotte is my adopted hometown and I still have that small-town pride when it comes to seeing the place I live making headlines. As for why and for how long Woolard was living in Charlotte, I don't know. But I'll see if I can find out. (And I still have to update y'all on Jada Pinkett Smith's Charlotte connection).

Click here to read the MSNBC.com article, Jamal Woolard fills B.I.G. shoes in ‘Notorious.’


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