On Sunday (May 21), hip hop came together to celebrate The Notorious B.I.G. on what would have been his 51st birthday. Peers like Lil’ Cease, Kool DJ Red Alert, Kleptomaniac, DJ Mister Cee, T Money, Tony “Mr. Wave” Wesley, Papoose, Maino, and Ralph McDaniels arrived at Edge NYC in Hudson Yards for the “Sky’s The Limit” extravaganza, which was hosted by city officials and the Universal Hip Hop Museum. B.I.G.’s children, Christopher Jordan “C.J.” Wallace and T’yanna Wallace, were also in attendance.
“It’s about a way of life,” said former Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. to FOX 5 New York during the event. “When you look at 50 years, five decades, all of the contributions, no one has done it bigger and better than Biggie Smalls aka The Notorious B.I.G.”
C.J. spoke on being included in his late father’s celebration, calling it “one of the many beautiful ideas that are finally coming to life.” Much like Diaz Jr., Cease made it clear that B.I.G.’s impact is one of the largest within hip hop. “He would definitely love what’s going on right now,” the Junior M.A.F.I.A. alum explained. “Watching the culture elevate, watching the shift come through all of the different cities, different towns, different states, different countries.”
Back in 1994, B.I.G. liberated his debut studio LP, Ready to Die, a 17-song body of work with contributions from Sean “Diddy” Combs, Lil’ Kim, Method Man, DJ Premier, Easy Mo Bee, Chucky Thompson, and more. Three years later, he was tragically shot and killed in Los Angeles mere weeks before the arrival of his sophomore album, Life After Death. That project would go on to top the Billboard 200 and become certified diamond by the RIAA, a feat that only a few others in rap have accomplished to date.
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