It's been twenty years since the death of the Notorious B.I.G. and his widow Faith Evans is on the brink of celebrating his life with an upcoming joint album The King & I (due March 14) on which fans' ears will bear witness to new collaborations between the former couple and never-before-heard Biggie vocals. During her interview with The Breakfast Club, Evans talked about feeling Biggie's spirit in the studio while recording the LP, gaining closure despite his murder going unsolved, her current relationships with both Lil Kim and Stevie J, and what it felt like touring with the Bad Boy team during their Reunion Tour last year.
Watch the interview and read excerpts below.
ON B.I.G.'S UNSOLVED MURDER: To be quite honest, we, Ms. Wallace and I, sort of feel like we know what happened. It's just a matter of LAPD saying that they know what happened which they probably will never do. The criminal case itself, I don’t think that so much is something to heal from. I mean, he’s not here, so that’s never gonna change. The criminal case is something separate. I wouldn’t say we have closure; we just decided not to continue paying money to make them admit that they know what happened basically.
ON LIL KIM: I don’t know if we're friends because we don’t really talk or communicate that much outside of when we see each other for work, but it was certainly a big deal for me for her to be receptive to my well wishes. I mean, 'cause I was in that place a long time ago of 'Hey, Kim, congratulations,' but I think she said recently she just wasn’t ready to receive it so I understand. But she's in a different place, she's a mom and obviously she's grown past holding a grudge for whatever reason. But when Big died, for me, all of that went out the window.
ON TOURING WITH BAD BOY (AND WHY SHE HADN'T BEFORE): It was really fun because, you know, I never went on the road with the whole family back in the day...It would've been [turmoil]. I never had no turmoil with Mary [J. Blige], not that I knew of, but back then when they did that first big tour with all of them on it, Big and I we're separated, he was messing with Kim, he was messing with Charli and I think they were both kinda on the road at one time or another. And I'm like, I'm doing my little shows getting my money singing two singles on the weekend and they telling me to do it as a promo tour, so where does that make sense? I'd end up scrapping, so I was like, I'm good.
ON STEVIE J BEING HER "BOO": He’s not anymore. I never took Stevie serious actually, but I think probably in the last 10 years, I would say like, 'Is he tryna flirt? Let’s go.' But I never saw him like that…and I always would check on him, even when I hear he's going through stuff. I'd find out how to get in touch with him, 'You alright?' Just really sincerely his friend. And when I kinda felt like he was tryna come at me…I’m like, 'Is this nigga staring at me? Let’s go, ew, he's acting weird'…My friends be like, 'Girl, you used to run away from him'…'Cause I'm like, I don’t want to feel like that, I don't want to think that way about him 'cause I know he know better than that, but…earlier last year, I don't know what made me finally say 'okay.' He convinced me, I ain't even gonna lie 'cause I kept brushing it off like, 'Get out of here, no way.' And I'm like, you know I’m not about all of the craziness, I'm in a whole different place and if I'm gonna be in a relationship, it's gotta be a serious one. And I think probably for a few months, he definitely went through the whole convincing. Even though I was brushing him off, he was like, 'No, for real, I really wanna be with you, I love you' and I'm like, 'I love you too, but I don't know if I wanna be with you.' I still love him, I love him as a friend but it's not like I'm in love with him…I just felt like I never was completely convinced. I just felt like I'm not sure that you're really ready. I was mature enough going into it like, I know there's a 50-50 chance it may not work out, but I know that I have to be mature enough to maintain our friendship.
ON IF IT WAS HARD HEARING B.I.G.'S VOCALS WHILE RECORDING THE KING & I: It really wasn’t I think 'cause we hear his music still. I mean, the only difference in it, I think, I did realize a few lines that I thought I had right that I'm like, 'Oh, wow, I always thought he was saying this.' But it wasn’t. It was so much fun just to be able to be creative with Biggie vocals and do whatever I want to as a creative person myself. It just came together in a way I never imagine it could. I ain't even gonna lie; I feel like his spirit was definitely there every session. I actually, toward the end of recording, I felt like he just tapped me. I just broke down crying in the corner by myself like, 'I think he just told me he’s proud.'