The Notorious B.I.G. is being crowned by his hometown. On what would have been his 50th birthday, Biggie will be officially recognized as King of New York; the Empire State Building will be lit up in red and white, with an illuminated crown spinning around its center on May 21. And the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will display a video montage of Biggie; with the MTA releasing special edition Biggie-themed MetroCards, which will be available at three subway stations near his old Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.
A ceremony is to be held on May 20 in recognition of Biggie's life and career, and will include the late rappers' close friends and collaborators Lil’ Cease and Lil Kim.
Born Christopher Wallace, Biggie’s death on March 9, 1997 came as he was preparing for the release of his second and final album, Life After Death. Wallace was murdered in Los Angeles following a Soul Train Awards afterparty. The double album would go on to receive a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album. In commemoration of the album’s 25th anniversary this past March, Bad Boy Records, Atlantic Records, and Rhino Records are releasing a special vinyl edition of Life After Death on June 10.