On this date in 1995, birthdays was no longer worse days for The Notorious B.I.G.

At the time, he was nearly a year removed from shaking up the rap game to its core with his lauded debut and Bad Boy Records’ flagship album Ready to Die, and prepping the first release from his new rap group Junior M.A.F.I.A. Yet, even with all that was left to be done — promo, scheduled guest features, television appearances — the Big man still found time to work hard and play harder for his 21st birthday.

Famed celebrity photographer Ronnie Wright, who shot for legends like Michael Jackson, Lena Horne and Whitney Houston to name a few, sat back and recalled the famous birthday memory that has been crystalized in history thanks to this camera lens.

“It was a beautiful day, we were out in Long Island and everybody was there,” Wright remembered. Among the famous faces in attendance were Ed Lover, Total, 112, Puff Daddy and the entire Bad Boy crew. The occasion behind gathering on May 21, 1995 happened to be Total’s video shoot for “Can’t You See,” which stars Biggie as a guest feature. But not before long it turned into a special birthday celebration for the man of the hour.

“It was just like a picnic,” Wright recalled. “They were playing basketball and stuff.” Following Big’s arrival on the set, the rapper was greeted with a birthday cake from his ace boon Puff Daddy. “The cake was actually on the table somewhere and somebody came and gave it to Puffy and then they set it up so Biggie can blow it out.”

Through Wright’s curatorial eye, we received a snapshot for the history books —and if you don’t know, now you know.