Best known for playing the role of the late rapper The Notorious B.I.G. in the 2009 biopic Notorious, he was the recipient of both BET and Black Reel Awards. A rapper himself, he performed under the stage name of Gravy.
Before becoming known for his role in Notorious, he released several rap recordings, including Mayor Goonberg Visits Africa and N.Y. Target.
He gained more than fifty pounds in preparation for his role as The Notorious B.I.G.
He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. At one point, he temporarily suspended his film acting career to spend time with his daughter.
He contributed to a track on the posthumously-released Tupac Shakur album Pac's Life.