Notorious B.I.G.’s 50th Birthday To Be Celebrated Across NYC

The upcoming weekend kicks off big plans to honor the 50th posthumous birthday of The Notorious B.I.G.  The celebration will continue across NYC, where the late rapper became a hometown hero, over the next two months.

Notorious B.I.G.

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The Notorious B.I.G. Celebration

The Notorious B.I.G. will be crowned the King of New York this weekend when his hometown pays tribute to the iconic rapper on May 21, which would have been his 50th birthday.

The storied Empire State Building will change the historic landmark’s lights to red and white, featuring a crown spinning in its mast. The historic landmark will illuminate Manhattan as well as pay homage to Biggie’s debut multi-platinum album Ready to Die.

On May 20, the Empire State Building, along with Bad Boy / Atlantic / Rhino Records, will host a ceremony including Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, children CJ and T’yanna Wallace, dear friend James Lloyd (Lil’ Cease), and Kimberly Denise Jones (Lil Kim). Other figures who were key to Biggie’s legacy will be attending the ceremony as well.

The Barclays Center in Brooklyn is planning to feature a video montage of classic Biggie records on the massive oculus display above the arena’s entrance to celebrate The G.O.A.T.’s 50th B-Day. It is only several subway stops from Bedford-Stuyvesant, where Biggie Smalls grew up. 

New York City MTA will also release a special edition MetroCard on May 21 featuring Biggie and will be exclusively available at three subway stations near his old neighborhood: Lafayette Avenue, Clinton – Washington Ave., and Atlantic Ave. – Barclays Center. 

Not wanting to miss out on the celebration of a legend, Amazon Music and their music brand, [RE]DISCOVER, will reveal a takeover at the Clinton–Washington Ave. Station. With art based on the iconic “King of New York” photo of Biggie wearing a crown by Barron Claiborne, fans can scan a QR Code at the station granting them access to a special Instagram filter celebrating the life and legacy of Biggie Smalls. Amazon Music and [RE]DISCOVER also collaborated with non-profit Beautify Earth to debut new, custom murals of Biggie created by local artists in each borough of New York, which will be reclaiming previously unused space with images that are inspired by lyrics from his music.

Celebrating the life of Biggie will continue on for the next two months. The New York celebration will continue when Lincoln Center, partnering with Bad Boy / Atlantic / Rhino Records, will host an orchestral tribute on June 10. Featuring music arranged and conducted by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, appearances from special guests, the event will be free to the public. Amazon Music will livestream the event exclusively on their Twitch channel as part of celebrating Black Music Month.  Exclusive Biggie Smalls merch will also be available for pre-order. 

Also on June 10, Bad Boy / Atlantic / Rhino Records will release a vinyl version of Life After Death. The Life After Death 25th Anniversary Super Deluxe boxed set consists of 8-LPs, a booklet that features rare photos from the album cover shoot, liner notes by Sheldon Pearce, and exclusive reflections from members of the team who worked on the original album.

Comic-Con Unveiled Limited Edition Notorious B.I.G. Statue & Merch

Recently, Concrete Jungle Studios, an artistic endeavor by Steven Cartoccio, paid homage to The Notorious B.I.G. through the creation of figurines. The statuettes also doubled as exclusive collector items.

Cartoccio has released amazing Hip-Hop statuettes via his Concrete Jungle Studios imprint including Sean Price with the Infinity Gauntlet, Ghostface Killah with a robotic arm, and Raekwon The Chef with a translucent purple arm.