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Producer Sues Biggie Smalls’ Estate

(CN) - The estate of Notorious BIG refused to hand over footage of the late rapper, aka Biggie Smalls, according to a movie production company that claims it paid $30,000 for the film.

Kaushi Entertainment and Dro-Entertainment say they signed an agreement in February 2007 to buy archival footage of Smalls, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, from RocDarling Films, the production company run by rapper Damion Butler aka D-Roc.

Wallace's estate gave RocDarling permission to use and sell the footage, Kaushi claims in Los Angeles Federal Court.

Kaushi says it paid RocDarling $30,000 but never got the promised footage.

Wallace, an integral part of the East Coast hip-hop scene, released his first album, "Ready to Die," in 1994, which topped the U.S. pop and R&B charts and garnered a host of awards. Wallace was about to release his second album when he was gunned down outside a Los Angeles music industry party on March 10, 1997.

RocDarling released a documentary, "Biggie Smalls: Rap Phenomenon" in 2009, with previously unreleased footage of the rapper.

Fox Searchlight Pictures released "Notorious," a biopic on Wallace, also in January 2009.

Kaushi and Dro-Entertainment sued Faith Evans, a singer and Wallace's widow; the estate; and Butler and RocDarling, demanding $5 million, alleging fraud and breach of contract.

Kaushi and Dro-Entertainment are represented by Steven Lowe and Kelly Houle.

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