Over a quarter century after his death, The Notorious B.I.G. continues to receive love from Brooklyn. Spreading love is the Brooklyn way, after all. On Thursday (March 9), New York City leaders and loyal Biggie fans gathered on Christopher Wallace Way to commemorate the 26th anniversary of his death and witness the unveiling of a new mosaic immortalizing the rapper on his childhood street. Fellow BK native, Mayor Eric Adams, was present to speak about Big’s lasting impact all these years later.
“We are larger than our surroundings,” Adams said of the “Juicy” MC’s reach, according to PIX11 News. “The possibilities are endless if we go within and use the creativity for our life experiences, how do we tell our stories, and how do we make sure we leave from our block of Brooklyn and become a global phenomenon.”
We lost the Notorious B.I.G 26 years ago today. He was so young and yet he already gave us so much.
This powerful mural will forever pay tribute to Christopher Wallace, a homegrown Brooklyn legend.
It was more than just a dream. pic.twitter.com/5EQiotV8u3
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) March 9, 2023
The new mosaic was created by Brooklyn-based artist Jan Carlos Pinto. It portrays the rhymesmith made out of shards of glass and various pieces of stone while rocking a crown and his signature Coogi sweater. His face is replaced by a mirror, allowing passersby to envision themselves as the “King of New York.” The mural references the now-iconic photo shoot done just days before his death where he was pictured wearing a crown.
It isn’t the first time the “Hypnotize” icon’s legacy has been honored by his home city. In 2016, Adams — the Brooklyn borough president at the time — declared Biggie’s birthday, May 21, as a holiday. And in 2019, his childhood street, St. James Place, was renamed Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace Way. Murals of his face, meanwhile, have populated the surrounding area for years.
26 years ago, New York City lost a son and a talented artist.
Biggie Smalls had not yet turned 25 when he was murdered.
Today, Brooklyn unveiled this inspiring mural to literally make us reflect on his legacy and death. pic.twitter.com/6tbo5hxjvY
— NYC Mayor's Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) March 9, 2023
Diddy, a longtime friend and collaborator of the late Bed-Stuy-bred talent, marked the 26th anniversary of Big Poppa’s passing with a heartfelt Twitter post honoring him as “The GREATEST RAPPER OF ALL TIME.” The Bad Boy Records founder also shared a rare video of the young artist spitting wisdom.
There will NEVER be another. The GREATEST RAPPER OF ALL TIME. Today we celebrate and honor you king. Love and miss you!! pic.twitter.com/pqqkllglZv
— LOVE (@Diddy) March 9, 2023
“Don’t be a fool and sit back and do it because somebody else is doing it,” Big asserted. “Because only thing you gon’ do is follow in somebody else’s footsteps and you just gon’ be a shadow. Who wants to be a shadow for the rest of they life?”
“If you got a lil’ something that you know how to do, progress that and keep trying,” he added. “God knows what could happen, you know what I’m saying? That’s what I did. I just kept on rapping and it happened to get to the right ears.”