Notorious BIG's Mom Threatens to Sue Kendall and Kylie Jenner for Using Rapper's Face on T-Shirts
By Desiree Murphy
Photo: Getty Images
Kendall and Kylie Jenner's latest vintage T-shirt collection was all a dream… that just turned into a nightmare.
The reality star sisters debuted a line of old-school tees on their online shop, Kendall + Kylie, on Wednesday, with many of the pieces featuring their faces and bikini bodies superimposed over iconic images of late artists like Notorious B.I.G. (aka Biggie Smalls) and Tupac Shakur. On Thursday, Biggie's mother, Violetta Wallace, took to Instagram to share a clear message about her anger over the girls' inexplicably branded shirts, which were retailing for approximately $125.
Violetta posted a photo of one of the shirts with a red 'X' mark over Kendall's face and the words, "This product has no affiliation to the Notorious B.I.G. estate. The estate was never contacted about using the likeness of Biggie."
"I am not sure who told @kyliejenner and @kendalljenner that they had the right to do this," she added in the caption. "The disrespect of these girls to not even reach out to me or anyone connected to the estate baffles me. I have no idea why they feel they can exploit the deaths of 2pac and my Son Christopher to sell a t-shirt. This is disrespectful, disgusting, and exploitation at its worst!!!"
Following the backlash, the shirts were removed from the site and both Kylie and Kendall have deleted all social media posts referencing the collection. They also issued a joint apology on Twitter.
"These designs were not well thought out and we deeply apologize to anyone that has been upset and/or offended, especially to the families of the artists," Kendall and Kylie wrote. "We are huge fans of their music and it was not our intention to disrespect these cultural icons in any way. The tee shirts have been pulled from retail and all images have been removed."
"We will use this as an opportunity to learn from these mistakes," they continued. "And again, we are very sorry."
Last month, Biggie's son, C.J. Wallace, and Sean "Diddy" Combs paid tribute to the late rapper onstage at the Billboard Music Awards in honor of what would have been his 45th birthday.
"It was something that was beautiful," Diddy told ET following the tribute. "To have his son, first time we've been onstage together, first time he's made an appearance. ... It's just a beautiful night."
"Biggie was the best rapper I ever had a chance to work with," he added. "Watching him and seeing him work is something that words cannot explain."