See Jay-Z, Nas Rap Notorious B.I.G. Lyrics in Documentary Trailer

B.I.G.'s estate sanctioned and helped produce three-hour 'Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G.' about rapper's life and art

An authorized, three-hour documentary about Notorious B.I.G. featuring Jay-Z, Nas and Sean "Diddy" Combs premieres on A&E September 4th.

A new documentary on the rapper Notorious B.I.G. is set to air on A&E on September 4th. The three-hour Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G. includes unreleased archival audio of the MC, archival footage and interviews with other New York rappers who became ubiquitous in the 1990s, including Jay-Z, Nas and Sean "Diddy" Combs

"The foundation of this biography is exclusive archival footage and audio recordings of Biggie himself, packaged in a way that allows him to tell his own life story as if it's present day," Elaine Frontain Bryant, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for A&E, said in a statement. "We are truly excited to be able to bring that kind of intimacy and connection to his fans."

In a pair of short new trailers for the documentary, famous rappers take turns describing the greatness of the man born Christopher Wallace. "He used words that wasn't typical for the lexicon of hip-hop," Jay-Z says. "His confidence gave so many guys confidence." 

"He had more than just rap. He had the look; he had the presence," adds Nas. "He's one of the greatest ever to touch the mic." 

"B.I.G. was the greatest artist I ever worked with," Sean Combs declares.

A&E is billing the new documentary as "the first biography to be authorized by Biggie's estate." The rapper's mother, Violetta Wallace, and his widow, Faith Evans, both serve as executive producers on the Mark Ford-directed film.

Biggie: The Life of the Notorious B.I.G. is not the only hip-hop deep-dive A&E aims to release this year: The network is also plotting a six-part series on Tupac Shakur. The release date for Who Shot Tupac? has not yet been announced.