Mr. Biggs has always followed the beat of his heart and he carved out a successful music career that has spanned decades. He has now transferred his passion into crafting signature Italian wines. The diverse selection of Red and White Wines he carries all don his signature MB logo in a dark sleek bottle. Other special offerings of Mr. Biggs wines have colorful wraps on each bottle that stand out with a big B with Soul Sonic BIGGS and a color representing each flavor.
Growing up in the Bronx during his transformative early years, he explained how the love of music brought together regular guys in the hood. Ultimately the iconic group Soulsonic Force who was led by Afrika Bambaataa helped to establish early roots in the hip-hop foundation. Their song “Planet Rock” stands out as one of their greatest hits and has earned them legendary status.
Recalling his early music days Mr. Bigg said “It started in early 70’s, maybe ‘73 or ‘74 and it wasn’t even called hip hop; we just played music. We were actually bad boys, a part of a gang called The Black Spades from the Bronx River Projects. We got into battles with other gangs and had no idea that hip hop would come this far. It was just something we did in high school gyms, the parks and just having fun with music.”
Having a close family and leaving a legacy is very important to Mr. Bigg. He grew up with a big family and was the oldest of nine children. Because his mom was alone he took on the role of being a protective big brother and acted as a father figure to his sisters and brothers. “Growing up where we grew up was rough.” I had pretty sisters that all the guys wanted to talk to. Guys would say, “that’s Bigg’s sister don’t even say nothing to her. They would knock on my door and I’d tell them to get out of here. That led to his sisters being mad at him and he heard the phrase, “You’re not my father!” numerous times. “I was hard on them,” he admitted.
Mr. Biggs toured on and off but it wasn’t enough money to support a family, so he became a Correctional Officer in a Juvenile Detention Center.
Having an entrepreneurial spirit Bigg began selling shirts online and he was contacted by a childhood friend, Ray, who went into the military straight after high school. “Ray was stationed in Italy and he got into the wine game. He would always ask me if I was interested and at first I was like, “not really.”
The start up was a journey and it just came together around five years ago. Life interjected with its harsh ups and downs and Mr. Biggs had to deal with one of his brothers being sick and in a comma. “The first time we were meeting in Florida about it when me and my wife first stepped into the hotel I got a call that my brother had died.”
That was a blow that hit hard but that it was not the first time he lost a sibling. His youngest brother died in a tragic accident where he fell off a roof in the Bronx. At that time his brother was not even 16 years old.
Mr. Bigg’s friend was persistent and eventually time and opportunity became aligned and the rest is history resulting in Mr. Biggs Wines.
He eventually retired from his job in Corrections after twenty plus years leaving room for him to develop his other interests.
Clubs and restaurants were busy promoting the Mr. Biggs Wine brand but were recently impacted by the pandemic-closing -leaving them to turn to alternate ways to promote. A family affair, his sons are involved on the distribution side of the business.
The Soulsonic Force continues to beat and lives on in Mr. Biggs’ music. You can see and hear a modern take on the classic tones in his inspiring altruistic song and short film with Bun B, The Future is Mine produced by John Robie on Instagram @Soulsonic_biggs and on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITdsUr4tDeo
The video/short film travels through the history of race relations and violence in America from the past through today and it features photographs provided by Fred Baldwin and Wendy Watriss.
Mr. Biggs Wines are available at several New York Wine & Liquor retailers. See full list and/or shop direct at www.mrbiggswine.com on Instagram and
Replay the Tea N Tawk Podcast Video Interview with Mr. Biggs– https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ2YAbWA_Aj/