NYC is celebrating rap legend The Notorious B.I.G. in a rather big way this year, for what would have been his 50th birthday on May 21st.
Biggie, a.k.a Christopher Wallace, was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant. A New York native, Biggie made monumental contributions to NYC’s rap scene and is often referred as one of the best rappers of all time.
According to the MTA, 50,000 limted-time MetroCards featuring a portrait of Biggie will be released on a first-come, first-served basis at the vending machines on the day of his birthday (Saturday, May 21st). The sure to be collector’s item will only be available at four NYC subway stations near the legend’s old neighborhood: Lafayette Av, Clinton-Washington Av, Clinton-Washington Av , Atlantic Av – Barclays Ctr.
Beyond the limited-time MetroCards, other celebrations will honor the legend’s birthday across NYC this weekend. On Friday May 20th, the Empire State Building will host a special ceremony with Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, his children (CJ and Tyanna Wallace), James Lloyd (Lil’ Cease), and Kimberly Denise Jones (Lil Kim). The following night (May 21st), the Empire State Building will glow red and white with a rotating crown and ’50’ in the mast.
In Brooklyn, Barclays Center will project a video montage of Biggie’s biggest hits on the arena’s enormous oculus display this Saturday, reports Hip Hop N More. The Clinton – Washington Ave. station will also undergo an exciting takeover featuring artwork based on the “King of New York” photo of Biggie, along with QR codes that unlock Biggie-themed Instagram filters.
Murals are expected to pop-up across each borough featuring “images inspired by [his] lyrics” thanks to Amazon Music, [RE]DISCOVER, and non-profit Beautify Earth, according to Hip Hop N More. And a month later, Lincoln Center will honor the legend with an orchestral tribute.