Want that Old Thing Back? Notorious BIG lyrics inspire forthcoming TV show

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Think BIG, about a teenager struggling to provide for his two young children, hopes to hypnotize viewers with a script based on the late rapper’s songs

Want that Old Thing Back? Notorious BIG lyrics inspire forthcoming TV show
Notorious BIG: experiencing life after death. Photograph: Everett Collection / Rex Feature

“It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up magazine.” Almost 20 years after his death aged 24, Notorious BIG is still renowned as one of the greatest MCs of all time. Now his lyrical prowess has been confirmed by the BIG news that a new TV show will be made based on his songs.

It’s a juicy prospect, and Variety reports that cable network TBS is developing a show called Think BIG, about an inner-city teenage boy struggling to provide for his two young children – or, as Biggie may have put it: “Take a better stand / Put money in my mom’s hand / Get my daughter this college plan, so she don’t need no man.”

Think BIG will be made in partnership with New York-based media company Mass Appeal, Bystorm films and Voletta Wallace, mother of the Notorious BIG (whose real name was Christopher Wallace). It’s not the first time the rapper’s lyrics have been used to illuminate 21st-century events: on Wednesday, analysts from Credit Suisse used Mo Money, Mo Problems to illustrate the difficulties excessive stimulus has created at the Bank of Japan.

Think BIG is the first of a range of shows the graffiti magazine and record label-turned creative consultancy and media company Mass Appeal will make for TBS. Also on the slate is an animated show called Storyville, which will feature celebrities regaling viewers with 10-minute anecdotes exposing, says Variety, “the absurdity of celebrity life in all its glory”. The show will be broadcast on the network’s festival and social media platforms this fall, but the network has provided a taste in which Questlove discusses his feud with Patti LaBelle.


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