Merry Christmas everyone! Y'all been rocking with the kid for quite some time now and my appreciation runs deeper than Richie Rich's stocking full of gifts. To commemorate such blessed occasion, allow me to present a special piece on Charles Wingate better known to the hoods of the world as Max B.
For years now there has been tons of speculations surrounding the Harlem street legend but as you know there's two sides to a story and then the truth. It is my pleasure to introduce the homie and fellow BAPE employee Erick Shaw who just so happens to be related to Biggaveli.
Below is the transcript of our brief sitdown pertaining to his immortalized cousin:
Frendy: You've been working at BAPE for about a year now and it was only 2 months ago that I found out you were related to Max. I'm assuming only a few individuals know about your relation to him?
Erick: Yeah. It's funny how people come across or figure it out lol. I usually do a good job of keeping it a secret. The only people that really know that I'm related to him besides my family obviously is my closest friends. They actually got to meet him. For those that don't know and aren't aware, he and I are 1st cousins. His mother and my mother are sisters. My mother being the baby and his mother being the eldest female out of 8 kids. We make up 10 grand-kids so it's a big family lol.
Frendy: What's your fondest memory of Max?
Erick: I have a few fond moments of my cousin and I. It's funny because he considers me his favorite so I take that to heart. One memory I have is when I was little, his sister and I used to always come home from school and play Super Mario on Nintendo. We'd get to the last level and no matter how hard we'd try we could never beat it. Charlie would come from outside doing whatever he was doing in the street and we'd tell him to help us out. He'd beat Bowser in 2 minutes flat! Made it look so easy lol. Another memory that I have with him is when I graduated High School and he surprised me by showing up. Everyone was so shocked to see him. Here I am carrying a normal convo with him as if it's nothing while everyone's jaws are dropped. That was a pretty cool moment for me.
Frendy: For those who don't know, explain Max's relevance in Hip Hop and how did his nickname "Biggaveli" come about?
Erick: Well, that name comes from 3 artists. Bigga is Biggie and Jigga is Jay Z and of course Veli at the end for 2Pac. Those were the artists that he looked up to coming up and that's how the name came together. He does everything to the max so "Max Biggaveli". He's responsible for alot of the lingo in New York including the iconic word "Wavey" and "Owww". Max put out hood classics like the "Public Domain" series, the "Domain Pains" series and of course mentoring French Montana into what he is today. And to think, he was primed to be something big.
Frendy: Did you know much of his street life?
Erick: I was still pretty young to comprehend his street activities. As I got older, I started to piece things together. He spent alot of time in and out of jail with his two brothers Michael aka "Mike Murder" and Eric (who was murdered). Charlie was the only brother out of the three to have both parents around (for the most part) but the streets still called his name and majority of the time he answered.
Frendy: To be honest, I really don't know the set of events that led to Charles' arrest. Can you elaborate on that situation?
Erick: Basically what happened was, there were two desperate parties attempting to rob the same person/persons and claimed that my cousin was the mastermind behind it all. Mind you, he wasn't even present at the time. If my knowledge serves me right, he was doing shows when it happened. If I'm correct, Max was found guilty for 9 out of 11 counts for Manslaughter and Conspiracy to commit robbery. SMH, It truly hurt me because before that he was in jail facing a 2 million dollar bail that was later paid. To just have him home and then I gotta see him go away......sucks alot.
Frendy: Any update on when he'll be free?
Erick: There are alot of dates people are giving out. From what I know, he still has to do a considerable amount of time. On a positive note, he's got a new lawyer team and is fighting for a retrial. As for as release date.....that's in God's hands.
Frendy: Do you still keep in contact with Charles?
Erick: Of course! If I'm not speaking to him, I'm speaking to my aunt about him. Last time I spoke to Charlie was like a month and a half ago. He was trying to have me work with one of his engineers to make music and before that he tried to get me to work with Dame Grease. I can't front Grease was kind of a asshole lol. That's another story though...
Frendy: What's Max's biggest misconception?
Erick: People seem to think that he's this troublemaker but that's not the case. We all make bad decisions. He just tried to live his life and sometimes the company you keep can also be your downfall.
Frendy: Any thoughts of working in the music industry like your big cuz?
Erick: Like him, music is also my passion. I kinda want to take a different approach than him though. Seeing him go through all of this and watching his life change from feeling like you had nothing to having it all and then having it taken from you....that will make anyone open their eyes! It hurt me so much but at the same time it helped me realize what mistakes not to make, how to move, how to trust, and how people perceive you when you're down. I learned so much from him and we didn't even spend that much time together because of his lfe decisions. Despite it all, I still love and want to do music. If there was an opportunity to work with Charlie I would in a heartbeat! Not just because he's "Max B" but because I want to keep him close to me. Keep him out of trouble and bond more as a family, doing something we both love.
Frendy: I appreciate your time E for giving us a deeper insight into Max's life and your relationship with him. Any words you'll like to leave with the people?
Erick: I just want to say thank you to all of your loyal fans that have supported him for years. Y'all mean the world to him and myself because you guys help keep his work alive. We just gotta hope and pray that he gets his time to come home. I guarantee if he does, things will be different. He'll be staying home for good this time. But again thank you and stay wavy.