If You Don’t Know, Now You Know: Five Ways To Celebrate The Life and Legacy Of the Late, Great Biggie Smalls

Here are several ways you can pull up for The Notorious B.I.G.

Today, (March 9) marks 26 years since the world lost Christopher Wallace during the twilight hours in Los Angeles, CA when he was shot and killed during a drive-by shooting. On the cusp of greatness in his rap career,  The Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie Smalls was only 24-years old when he was murdered. No one has ever been found guilty of that crime.

Thought of as one of the greatest rappers of all time, his impact on hip hop and the culture of hip hop can still be seen, heard, and felt today. Diddy, Lil Kim, and Mase often reminisce about the early days they spent together, growing up in the rap industry. After his death, artists like Meek Mill, Fabolous, and Rick Ross have found ways to continually pay homage to Biggie. And as for today’s generation, his music has gone mainstream, featured most recently in the latest Fast and the Furious and Transformers movie trailers.

The Notorious B.I.G. meant so much to so many. Last year, in honor of his 50th birthday on May 21, the city of New York released a limited number of MetroCards, strategically available at only three Brooklyn based subway stations with his portrait on them. The Empire State Building flashed red and white with the number 50 and a crown.

True Biggie fans won’t stop there. For the enthusiast who wants to experience more than just a playlist of his greatest hits, here are five ways (we know there are arguably thousands) to show your love to the life and legacy of the one and only Notorious B.I.G.

  • Read "It Was All A Dream"

    UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 05: MADISON SQUARE GARDEN Photo of NOTORIOUS BIG, Notorious B.I.G. performing at Madison Sq Garden for Urban Aid on 10-5 -1995 (Photo by David Corio/Redferns)
    Notorious B.I.G. performing at Madison Sq Garden, 1995.

    It Was All A Dream: Biggie and The World That Made Him” is the latest biography about the Notorious B.I.G. This biography explores Biggie's life through interviews with family, friends, and colleagues. Written by Justin Tinsley, senior culture writer for Andscape, this is the perfect read for a true hip hop head who wants the backstory from the people who were there and the facts about Biggie’s life. It explains how Christopher Wallace transformed into Biggie Smalls, creating a successful rap career while dealing with immigration, the war on drugs, and the 1994 crime bill, which led to a crisis of mass incarceration.

  • Visit The Sky's The Limit statue in Brooklyn, N.Y.

    The Sky's the Limit in the County of Kings is a nine-foot statue in Brooklyn, NY, that not only honors the Notorious B.I.G. It cements him as part of the borough’s landscape. New York artist Sherwin Banfield created the sculpture as a tribute to Biggie’s legacy and the 50th anniversary of hip hop. The statue is solar-powered and plays a special mix of Biggie songs for people who pass by. True fans will want to have a selfie moment in front of this piece of art and post on socials and represent Biggie and BK to the fullest.

  • Watch the film, "Notorious"

    Notorious is the 2009 biopic that highlights the story of Biggie Smalls, from his rise to fame to his unfortunate passing. The film stars Jamal Woolard, Naturi Naughton, and Angela Bassett and is directed by George Tillman Jr. The drama will capture the interest of any hardcore Biggie fan who will want to see it again and again, especially the scenes when Biggie met Puff Daddy, when Biggie performed the Tupac diss track, "Who Shot Ya?" and the moments in the studio where he made his classic hits like “Juicy.”

  • Watch the documentary, "I Got A Story To Tell"

    “I Got A Story to Tell” is the 2021 Netflix documentary directed by Emmit Malloy which features real-life, original footage of The Notorious B.I.G. in different moments of his life. Sit back and chill watching important moments from Biggie’s childhood and backstage before and after his shows. The documentary also features interviews with Diddy, Faith Evans, and Biggie's mother, Voletta Wallace.

  • Visit The Biggie Smalls murals

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 7: American rapper the Notorious B.I.G. (1972 - 1997) aka Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls at the 12th Annual MTV Awards on September 7, 1995 in New York City. (Photo by Catherine McGann/Getty Images)
    The Notorious B.I.G. at the 12th Annual MTV Awards on September 7, 1995.

    If you live in New York City, pull out your uncle’s favorite vintage Coogi sweater and do a tour of Brooklyn to find several amazing murals dedicated to The Notorious B.I.G. You'll find the King of N.Y. Mural on the corner of Bedford Ave and Quincy Street. Created by artists Scoot Zimmerman and Maoufal Alaoui, the 38-foot portrait features Biggie with a crown on his head proving his “King of New York” title. It’s an image that's recognized by locals and visitors worldwide. Another favorite can be found at the corner of Fulton St. and St. James Place in front of the Respect For Life Barbershop. This piece is created by Vincent Ballentine and brings the ultimate street cred to Big’s former barbershop. Whether you want to leave flowers, say a prayer or pour a little adult libation in his honor (he is an ancestor after all), several people will be there today to pay homage to one of the greatest rappers of all time.

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