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New York to Celebrate Biggie’s 50th Birthday with Empire State Lighting, Special MTA Card & More

May 21 marks The Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie’s 50th birthday and New York City has announced a variety of ceremonies and activations to celebrate the big day.

First up on May 20, the Empire State Building, in partnership with Bad Boy / Atlantic / Rhino Records, will host a ceremony to celebrate the great rapper that will include Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, his children (CJ and Tyanna Wallace), his dear friend James Lloyd (Lil’ Cease), and Kimberly Denise Jones (Lil Kim). Other close friends, collaborators, and hip-hop luminaries, that were instrumental in Biggie’s huge success and legacy will also be in attendance.

A day later on May 21st, the iconic Empire State Building will change the historic landmark’s lights to red and white, with a crown spinning in its mast that will illuminate Manhattan and pay homage to Biggie’s debut multi-platinum album Ready to Die. Also on the same day, the Barclays Center will honor the hometown hero by featuring a video montage of classic Biggie records on the massive oculus display above the arena’s entrance to celebrate The G.O.A.T.’s 50th Birthday.

The Barclays is only a few subway stops away from Bedford-Stuyvesant, the neighborhood where Biggie grew up. New York City MTA will release a special edition MetroCard on May 21 that features The Notorious B.I.G. The card (what a great collector’s item it’ll be) will be available exclusively at three subway stations near his old neighborhood: Lafayette Avenue, Clinton – Washington Ave., and Atlantic Ave. – Barclays Center.

On that day, Amazon Music and their catalog music brand, [RE]DISCOVER, will reveal a station takeover of the Clinton – Washington Ave. station to celebrate the hip-hop legend’s birthday. Featuring art based on the iconic “King of New York” photo of Biggie wearing a crown by Barron Claiborne, fans will be able to scan a QR Code at the station that will grant them access to a special Instagram filter celebrating his life and legacy. Amazon Music and [RE]DISCOVER have also come together with non-profit Beautify Earth to debut new, custom murals of Biggie created by local artists in each borough of New York, reclaiming previously unused space with images inspired by lyrics from his music.

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Then next month on June 10th, Lincoln Center, in partnership with Bad Boy / Atlantic / Rhino Records and the Christopher Wallace Estate, will host an orchestral tribute to The Notorious B.I.G. on June 10. The creative black-tie event will feature music arranged and conducted by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, with appearances by The Originals and several special guests. The event will be free to the public, and as a part of their celebration of Black Music Month, Amazon Music will livestream the event exclusively on their channel on Twitch.

On June 10, Bad Boy / Atlantic / Rhino Records will release a vinyl version of Life After Death, Biggie’s diamond-certified, GRAMMY-nominated second album. The Life After Death 25th Anniversary Super Deluxe boxed set of 8-LPs and a booklet will feature rare photos from the album cover shoot, liner notes by Sheldon Pearce, and exclusive reflections from members of the team who worked on the original album. The collection will be available at retail for $179.98. In addition to the 2022 remaster of Life After Death, the set also includes the Hypnotize 12”, Mo Money Mo Problems 12”, Sky’s The Limit 12”, and Nasty Boy 12”.

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