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Woolard: 'Notorious' role caused unease

Jan. 11, 2009 at 2:42 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Rapper Jamal Woolard says he paid so much attention to imitating the late rapper Biggie Smalls for the U.S. movie "Notorious" he made other people uneasy.

Woolard, who raps under the moniker Gravy, said several people close to Smalls before his death in 1997 were shocked to see how much of the late rapper was apparent in Woolard while filming the movie, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Woolard said Bad Boys Records owner Sean Combs was one of those people who knew Combs, who performed as Notorious B.I.G., and were disconcerted by Woolard's spot-on imitation.

"He just couldn't take it," Woolard said of Combs. "But I felt like that's my job. They were hurting, but I'm not here to hurt you, I'm here to give you what you want."

Smalls was shot and killed in Los Angeles in 1997 and his homicide case has yet to be solved.

Rapper Lil' Cease, who was one of Smalls's closest friends, admitted to the Times that seeing Woolard acting out his "Notorious" part was very disturbing initially.

"The first time I went on set and saw him rehearse, I walked out," the rapper said. "It took a while to get used to."

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